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Tad Lincoln's Father (Abraham Lincoln) [Kindle Edition]

Julia Taft Bayne , Mary A. DeCredico
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

To others, he was the American President, one of the most powerful men in the world, presiding over one of the most horrific wars in history. But to Julia Taft, he was Tad Lincoln's father. Invited to the White House to watch over her two brothers, who were playmates of the Lincolns' sons, Julia had an intimate perspective on the First Family's home life, which she describes with charm and candor in this book. A rare look behind the public facade of the great man, Julia's affectionate account of the Lincolns at home is rich with examples of the humor and love that held the family together and that helped the President endure the pressures of governing a nation divided.
Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln often expressed their regret at not having a daughter of their own. Julia Taft thus enjoyed a special place in their lives, and her memoir reveals the warmth she elicited from the couple. She speaks of her initial fear of Lincoln—the towering, rough-and-tumble backwoodsman—who won her over with teasing, and of her relationship with Mary, who was never really accepted into Washington social life and took particular comfort in Julia's presence.
A unique glimpse into the social life of the Lincoln White House, Julia Taft Bayne's memoir shows us the human drama played out daily behind the great pageant of history.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mary A. DeCredico is chair of the history department at the Naval Academy. She is the author of Mary Boykin Chestnut: A Confederate Woman's Life.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1082 KB
  • Print Length: 89 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (September 1, 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003R50TB0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,405 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step back in time October 17, 2001
If you want to know what Lincoln and his family were really like, read this amazing book. Ms. Taft wrote this book in 1931. She played with the Lincoln boys in the White House as a 16 year-old. Her descriptions of the everyday life of the Lincoln's, the White House and the times they lived make you feel as if you ARE there. It's an amazing step back into a time that has been written about by many others, but not from such a perspective. Truly wonderful, simple and illuminating.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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This is an utterly delightful and informative memoir of the President's family by Julia Taft Bayne, who was a regular visitor and almost a member of the family up until the untimely death of young Willie Lincoln from typhoid in 1862. To all those who are passionately devoted to the study of and discovery of Lincoln, (as well as those who love books about growing up in the 1800's in America), I highly recommend this
book. I have recounted some of its anecdotes in our production, ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S LOVE OF SONG..
.This book has all the charm of such stories as Little House on the Prairie and Little Women...Love it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating May 25, 2012
By SWolf
In some ways, this book is kind of like a time machine, transporting you back to the White House in 1861, when the newly-elected Lincoln and his family were settling into life in Washington DC. 'Julie' tells the story in first person, and you feel like you're with her when she first meets the new President, intimidated by his size and title. But she gets to know the family, and soon she and her brothers are regular visitors to the White House, playing with the Lincoln children, Tad and Willie, and spending intimate moments with Abraham and Mary. Her glimpse gives us all a chance to see what these people were like, up close and personal. Especially the President, who we see in his private moments, interacting with those around him, while at the same time bearing the weight of the divided country on his shoulders. We witness his inner torment, but at the same time we see his love for his children, and for Julie and her brothers, as they're welcomed in like family.

My only complaint is the shortness of the book, and the limited text given to certain events, like Willie Lincoln's death. Here was a woman who was intimate with the Lincolns during one of the most historical eras in the country's history, who died two years after writing this book (in 1933). I am sure she could have filled a book five times this size with her recollections, but now they are lost forever. Even the accounts of the other historical people she encountered because of her closeness to the Lincolns, which she speaks of briefly, could fill a volume all by itself.

If you enjoy your history personalized, or if you're a fan of Lincoln, this book is a must read. If I could give it more than five stars, I would.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful April 12, 2014
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A wonderful portrait of a delightful man caught in the nightmare of the Civil War, yet trying to keep his children's life relatively normal. Julia Taft was a 16 yo girl, sister to Bud and Holly Taft the playmates of Willie and Tad Lincoln. She was fortunate to get to know the Lincoln's as parents while the boys were playing together. She portrays the President as a loving father who liked nothing more than rolling around on the floor with his boys while they climbed all over him. She would take tea with Mrs Lincoln and they would talk about fashion. She portrays the Lincoln's as lenient parents who rarely scolded the boys, they were allowed to run around the White House "like savages", and scatter their father's papers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lincoln behind the scenes May 3, 2014
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Enjoyable look at Lincoln and life in Washington from the eyes of a sixteen year old girl. Julia provides anecdotes of the Lincoln family in 1860, focusing primarily on her brothers and the two youngest Lincolns. Includes many amusing incidents with the boys, their animals, and their imaginations. Lincoln's sense of humor comes through, as well as his and Mary Lincoln's love for Willie and Tad. Julia also had a favorable opinion of Mary, which is a point of view rarely heard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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A short but true look at Willie and Tad Lincoln in the White House written by the older sister of the Taft boys who were Willie and Tad's play mates. Julia would often come with her brothers, and all the Lincolns enjoyed this young girl's presence since they would have liked a daughter of their own but never had one. An excellent book for kids old enough to enjoy history and read on the level of Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quartet and the like.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Alternate View of Mr. & Mrs. Lincoln March 29, 2014
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What a lovely glimpse of a relaxed and playful President Lincoln. The fresh behind-the-scenes memoir from the 16-yr-old sister of Willie & Tad's playmates is revealing of Lincoln as indulgent father. I also appreciated seeing a more gracious depiction of Mary Lincoln. This lends balance to the mor serious reading about Lincoln I usually do. This would also be excellent reading for children.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have for the Lincoln Library January 24, 2013
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if you are as obsessed with studying Abraham Lincoln's life as I am, you will love this book. Julia Taft gives you the sense that you are part of the family during the first two years of the Lincoln presidency. Hers is the perspective of a sixteen year old girl whom both of Tad's parents looked upon as the daughter they never have.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Pricey, but information Lincoln's family life is hard to find.
Book is a little on the expensive side for such a short book, but it is Lincoln from a point of view rarely seen. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars I would buy it again
I really enjoyed this book but that could be because I'm such a Lincoln - fanatic. If you're looking for historical information there really isn't any to speak of in this book. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kay
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book
This is a very simple forthright book. Written from tender memories of the author's days visiting with the Lincoln's at the White House.
Published 22 months ago by wendy
4.0 out of 5 stars History Buff
Personal side of the Lincoln family let's us see how much they loved their children. Tad's antics made me smile.
Published on March 30, 2013 by Christine Bellinger
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull and Boring
This has been used for class study by college courses and is a total waste of reading effort. It could have been better with more detail.
Published on February 7, 2013 by Roy J. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful glimpse
julie taft had the great good fortune to be an intimate of the white house for a year, and her observations make this little book a unique record of lincoln's white house, family,... Read more
Published on May 16, 2012 by C. Holland
4.0 out of 5 stars Tad Lincoln's Father (Abraham Lincoln)
This book offered more intimate interactions between Lincoln, his children, and his children's dear friends who were so often at the White House.
Published on August 29, 2011 by Kindle Customer
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