There are about 16,000 books on Abraham Lincoln, and authors of about 50 of them (augmented by several non-Lincoln historians with opinions about the sixteenth U.S. president) appear in this edited compilation of C-SPAN interviews. Culled from the network’s various book programs, they omit the questions put by host-editor Brian Lamb and his colleagues, but the relaxed directness that is his signature is detectable in the historians’ replies. Answers by anecdote abound, indicating Lamb perhaps asked “Who was Ann Rutledge?” or “Was Lincoln a racist?” in addition to covering every other curiosity the reading public has about Lincoln. That curiosity shows no signs of subsiding and every one of surging for the February 2009 bicentennial. This volume’s review of the past 15 years of Lincoln authorial effort demonstrates how interpretively vibrant the subject remains, still capable of producing original research such as Matthew Pinsker’s Lincoln’s Sanctuary (2003), despite or perhaps due to Lincoln’s “biographical inaccessibility,” as Mark Neely comments. With content from history heavyweights David Herbert Donald, James McPherson, and Doris Kearns Goodwin, this will be in high demand for the bicentennial. --Gilbert Taylor
"Kirkus," October 1, 2008"As the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth approaches, this collection serves as a useful introduction to the startling depth of the Lincoln discussion among scholars during the past decade and a half."