Qty:1
  • List Price: $21.95
  • Save: $1.78 (8%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Details
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Abe Lincoln's Legacy of L... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Nice clean copy. No writing or highlighting. Unmarked inside and out. Book is slightly curved from improper storage by prior owner, otherwise excellent condition. This item is fulfilled by Amazon and qualifies for Amazon Prime and Super Saver shipping.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.24
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Abe Lincoln's Legacy of Laughter: Humorous Stories by and about Abraham Lincoln Paperback – July 15, 2007


See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$20.17
$14.91 $13.97

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now
$20.17 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press (July 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572335858
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572335851
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

During the Civil War, it was said that two ladies on a train were discussing the likely outcome of the conflict. One insisted Jeff Davis would win the war because he was a praying man. The other replied, “But Abram's a praying man.” “But,” said the first, “the Lord will think Abram's joking.”

Abraham Lincoln used his jokes and stories to illustrate a point, sway opinion, and to sustain the national morale during a momentous crisis. Lincoln told many stories based on his own experiences, but much of his material came from other sources and was familiar to his audiences. His contribution to these borrowed stories was his celebrated style of delivery-his performance rather than his invention. To many, his anecdotes resembled the comfort and support of an old shoe.

Abraham Lincoln's Legacy of Laughter, a substantial revision of P. M. Zall's 1982 classic, Abe Lincoln Laughing, consists of stories, jokes, and anecdotes on a wide range of topics by and about Abraham Lincoln before and after he became president. Establishing which tales are authentic and which are frauds and delusions, Abraham Lincoln's Legacy of Laughter includes stories derived from Lincoln's writings and speeches; writings by others up to April 1865; post-Civil War writings by those who knew him; and writings by others about Lincoln in later decades, including a sample from the twentieth century. Within each group, entries are arranged in the order they appeared in print. The volume contains notes, a bibliography, an index of the entries by section, and a subject index.

As the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial approaches, many are focusing on Lincoln's ideals and contributions to America and the world. Abraham Lincoln's Legacy of Laughter will remind readers of another distinctive, timeless trait that marked him as nearly unique among our political leaders: his quick wit and the wry sense of humor that helped him lead the nation during one of its darkest periods.

P. M. Zall, professor emeritus of American studies at California State University, is a research scholar at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Among his other books are Mark Twain Laughing and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: A Genetic Text.

About the Author

P. M. Zall, professor emeritus of American studies at California State University, is a research scholar at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Among his other books are Mark Twain Laughing and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: A Genetic Text.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
0%
4 star
100%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By George C. Bradley on October 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
We have all seen "wit and wisdom" collections, and I was fearing, when I opened the cover of this book, that this was yet another. I am happy to report that such is not the case. Professor Zall is a student and historian of humor and humorists, and he does a great job of demonstrating that Lincoln was too.

Professor Zall quotes the late Steve Allen for saying that there is no such thing as an old joke. How so? For the people who hear it for the first time, a joke is always new. Lincoln knew that. While there is no doubt that the president had a deep and genuine sense of humor, and the ability to create funny remarks of his own, here it is demonstrated that he too was a student of the art. He sought out funny anecdotes wherever he could find them. And just like the names and faces of the constituents he courted, he had the uncanny ability to recall those stories and to adapt them to the needs of the moment.

The book is very thoughtfully put together. The first section includes anecdotes that appear directly in Lincoln's own writings and speeches. The second is devoted to stories about Lincoln that were recorded before the president was killed. The third section recounts additional stories attributed to Lincoln by people who knew him well, but who recorded them after 1865. The last section, and obviously the least reliable, includes anecdotes attributed to the president after his death by other people not well-known in the White House.

I have one big complaint. This book is too short. I wanted to hear more- more about where and how the stories originated, or from where they were derived. But mostly, I just wanted to read more stories. So many of them are just so warm and funny. But more importantly, they bring out the humanity in a man who was a very warm human being.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not light reading, but for those willing to dig a little deeper, this book provides an insightful look into the context of Lincoln's humor and stories.

Most Lincoln joke books tell us his stories without the story behind the story, but this book tells us the incident that lead up to Lincoln telling a particular story.

Lincoln said,
"I am not simply a story-teller; it is not the story itself, but its purpose that interests me."

In my thinking, Lincoln's most powerful personal quality, in his quest to overcome his modest beginnings and in his rise to political fame, was his humble ability to tell stories. He used stories as a tool to quickly and dramatically connect with people.

As Lincoln himself said, "A story is the shortest path between a stranger and a friend."

This is a thoroughly researched and nicely written book.

I also recommend The Humorous Mr. Lincoln and my own humble volume How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds, and Funny Bones.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?