From Publishers Weekly
East Carolina University history professor Prokopowicz has created a Lincoln trivia book, answering dozens of questions about the 16th president of the United States. Did he write his own speeches? (Yes, though sometimes he borrowed from other writers—the conclusion of the Gettysburg Address echoes abolitionist Theodore Parker.) Do we celebrate Thanksgiving because of Lincoln? (Lincoln declared a national day of thanksgiving on the urging of writer and editor Sarah Josepha Hale.) Did Mary Lincoln hold séances in the White House? (Yes; she was trying to contact her dead son.) How tall was Abe? (Six feet and nearly four inches.) Prokopowicz addresses some trendy topics, such as the two depressive episodes Lincoln experienced in the 1830s and 1840s and the debate about Lincoln's sexual orientation. As for the titular question, Prokopowicz insists that people keep asking whether Lincoln owned slaves: he did not, but he may have rented one. Although the irksome q&a format necessarily lends itself to a certain superficiality, Prokopowicz is learned, his tone is engaging and his suggestions for further reading at the end of each thematic chapter are also a helpful resource. (Jan. 22)
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"A wonderful book, as witty as it is wise. Addressing every question that conceivable can be raised about Abraham Lincoln, Gerald Prokopowicz provides answers that are short, accurate, and in many instances highly amusing."
--David Herbert Donald, author of Lincoln
"From his birth to his death (not to mention the century and a half since), here is everything one ever wanted to know about Abraham Lincoln, told authoritatively and entertainingly by a fine scholar and gifted writer. Facts are reported, myths punctured, and controversies analyzed in a text that proves both an essential reference and a page-turning good read."
--Harold Holzer, cochairman, Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission
"Of the thousands of books about Lincoln (you can get the exact number, and many other facts, from this book), very few bring us as much information, and none is more pleasantly amusing. If you have any interest in Lincoln and start reading this book, you will have a hard time stopping."
--William Lee Miller, author of Lincoln's Virtues: An Ethical Biography
and President Lincoln: The Duty of a Statesman
"Witty, intelligent, and informative, Did Lincoln Own Slaves?
is a book that every level of Lincoln student--from grade school to scholar--will find useful. Prokopowicz has provided accurate answers to the essential questions about our sixteenth president; no more digging around in the Lincoln library is required."
--Jean H. Baker, author of Mary Todd Lincoln