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Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln [Hardcover]

Don Fehrenbacher , Virginia Fehrenbacher
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 1, 1996 0804726361 978-0804726368 1
This is the first comprehensive collection of remarks attributed to Abraham Lincoln by his contemporaries. Much of what is known or believed about the man comes from such utterances, which have been an important part of Lincoln biography. About his mother, for instance, he never wrote anything beyond supplying a few routine facts, but he can be quoted as stating orally that she was the illegitimate daughter of a Virginia aristocrat. Similarly, there is no mention of Ann Rutledge in any of his writings, but he can be quoted as saying when he was president-elect, “I did honestly and truly love the girl and think often, often of her now.”

Did Lincoln make a conditional offer to evacuate Fort Sumter in April 1861? Did he personally make the decision to restore General McClellan to army command in September 1862? To whom did he first reveal his intention to issue an emancipation proclamation? Did he label the Gettysburg address a failure right after delivering it? Did he, just a few days before his assassination, dream of a president lying dead in the White House? All of these questions, and many others, arise from recollective quotations of Lincoln, and the answer in each instance depends upon how one appraises the reliability of such recollection.

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In the late 19th century, the good Parsi?a tiny elite of 40,000 living in Bombay?embraced charity, truthfulness, racial purity, progressive attitudes, and British cultural values. In this anthropological study, Luhrmann (anthropology, Univ. of California, San Diego) traces the Parsi origins in Persia, their adherence to Zoroastrianism, and their rise to social and cultural prominence under British colonial rule. By the 1920s and 1930s, however, the good Parsi had entered a stage of severe self-criticism after sensing the loss of moral integrity, manliness, and genetic strength. Luhrmann concludes that the growing weakness was due to excessive intermarriage and extensive Parsi charity, which destroyed the inner drive to succeed. In consequence came the rise of the crisis of personal identity in a postcolonial world. Luhrmann has produced a superb analysis of Parsi history, anthropology, and psychology. For academic collections.?John F. Riddick, Central Michigan Univ. Lib., Mt. Pleasant
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Respected editors of Lincolniana present the verifiable sayings of Lincoln outside of his writings and speeches. Most excerpts were put to paper soon after the conversation, and hence they are more reliable than the effusion of remembered conversations inspired by the shock of the assassination. Yet the latter category can ring truthfully, and the Fehrenbachers clearly explain the historiographical bases (such as double sourcing or internal consistency) that the expert researcher would use to evaluate any particular statement. The amateur browser, too, will find this to be an informative volume of how Lincoln was perceived by contemporaries; especially, given his virtual apotheosis, the hostility with which many--not just rebels--regarded him. Lincoln's chats as remembered by his supporters lend fascinating insight into his political acumen. There are many hooks on which readers can hang their particular curiosities (such as the origin of the story about sending Grant's whiskey to Union generals), so that this scholarly edition, though expensive, should find an appreciative reader in most libraries. Gilbert Taylor

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (November 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804726361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804726368
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.7 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,960,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource January 26, 2004
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I can not imagine how many hours of checking and rechecking it took for the Fehrenbachers to compile this book. They offer not only the words of Lincoln as recalled by others, but also their opinions on the probable accuracy of the person who recalled the words. I found quotes I had never heard and I noted that some quite famous "quotes" were debunked. This is as close to the "real words" of Lincoln we are able to get outside his writings and newspaper reports of his speeches. Of course, written words, carefully crafted speeches and spontaneous spoken words are all different. Thanks to the editors for massive amounts of careful work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln December 28, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a must for any serious student or common layperson with an interest in Abraham Lincoln. There are so many sayings that are attributed and quoted to substantiate some issue that it is wise to see if Lincoln did say them. This book is the ultimate source reference. Although expensive at $80.00 it is worth the investment. This book can not be found in bookstores and is an order item. Amazon gives you both new and used copies to select from so you do have an option in terms of the amount you want to spend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What did Lincoln really say? August 24, 2007
This important reference book evaluates the dependability of quotations attributed to Lincoln. They are listed alphabetically by name of the person who claimed to hear Lincoln. A copious index to this nearly 600-page book gives further assistance in locating alleged quotations. The book was compiled by two Lincoln experts and is authoritative as any Lincoln book can be.
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