Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe's America
I liked this book, because instead of focusing on who Lincoln was, it focuses on the many different ways that Americans see Lincoln or portray him. As Ferguson (who, if the back cover photo is accurate, looks eeriely like the late Kur ...more
Interesting background information on many Lincoln sites and controversies over those sites.
Lots of reminiscing in the final chapters of the book.
Throughout, the airport is trying to make sense of the Lincoln phenomena and his own feeling towards that, which of course is the whole stated point of the book.
He does that will.
The book was a 2. But Chapter Seven was a 5.
This is presented as a funny, rollicking look at the way Lincoln has become everything to everybody. It's not a terrible book. It's written technically well. It's got a lot of interesting anecdotes and information.
But what comes across loud and clear is a deep, disturbing cynicism that reads like a disgusted reality TV producer dismissing ever ...more
I was reminded of this book after I completed Lincoln in the Bardo. Maybe I was inhabited by a spirit? ...more
But what is probably the book's strongest suit is Ferguson's refusal to dissolve com ...more
But, incidentally, if you decide to engage in creative pogonotrophy in an effort to evoke the Great Emancipator, just remember that at least in the Philadelphia region, people are just going to think you are Amish. It was more than a little disappointing. Did anyone ask me to r ...more
For whatever reason I read it today. I wasn't thrilled with it and didn't identify with much in it, but I hope my dad will enjoy it.
There is quite a bit of commentary on "new" history, and the new interpretations of Lincoln, which I found interesting. Education and museums are certainly designed di ...more
Ferguson travels from statue to statue, landmark to log cabin in search of the "real" Lincoln. Of course, it isn't going to be easy, what with everyone assigning him what they want to see ever since his death. One thing's for sure: Abe has real staying power. Even 150+ years later, he inspires passion in peop ...more
The book isn't so much about Lincoln himself as about how ...more
I listened to this on CD while exercising. It made for a whole lot of fun. This book is not about Abe Lincoln, "the icon," it's about American experiences with Abe. Abe the spiritualist, the homosexual, the romantic husband, the father, the animal lover, the rat-scoundrel killer of democracy, the business man, the pacifist, the whimp, the vacation destination etc... You name he has done it! Well, according to the different Americans this author talked to.
It was insightfu ...more
This book is more about our response to Abraham Lincoln than it is about the man himself. Some hate him with a passion, like the people in Richmond, Virginia that hired a plane to fly over the ceremony commemorating the plac ...more
It has made me reconsider the way I think of Lincoln. No longer is he a mere icon, an abstraction that springs from theory, but he is Man as well as Icon: some ...more
Abraham Lincoln has been the subject, by one count, of nearly 14,000 books. Chances are that none is funnier than Andrew Ferguson's Land of Lincoln. Ferguson is at his best when writing the sort of good-natured, insightful observation that drives Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation, Tony Horwitz's Confederates in the Attic, or any of Bill Bryson's books. At times, the humor devolves into cynicism and the argument loses focus; those passages work less well. In his attempt at separating the trut...more
Still not sure if I should have waited until after my visit to Springfield to read this, but it's too late now.
It's not on the level of Confederates in the Attic or Assassination Vacation (he can't bring the funny irony in the way that Horwitz and Vowell do), but it's a fascinating look at the ways in which people have used Lincoln to suit their purposes. His review of the new museum made me wish he was a bit more of a museum person, but I did ...more