Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary by Candace Fleming

Do you like reading about what people's lives were really like? Do you want to know what Abraham and Mary Lincoln were like as human beings? Do you wonder how they treated their kids, how they treated each other, and what other people thought of them? The detail about the Lincolns in their public and personal lives is what makes this book fascinating. Every page is stuffed with photos and captions and text about every imaginable aspect of the Lincoln's lives and relationships. It's much more than a scrapbook, however. Fleming did a huge amount of research and arranged information into short, readable segments that could be browsed or read straight through. Abraham and Mary were both complex people. Mary's behavior, especially, is puzzling, but she was certainly not the lunatic that some believed she was. And it's hard to imagine a person sacrificing more of himself for what he believed in than did Abraham Lincoln. It's a nice complement to Lincoln through the Lens, which has less of the nosy details of life but has photographs and insights of its own. If you like this style, read Our Eleanor, also by Candace Fleming. It's fabulous.

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