New books about Abraham Lincoln appear so often that the unique merits of each demand scrutiny. Ferguson's book is not so much a study of Lincoln as it is a study of modern American attitudes toward the 16th President. It is also a voyage of self-discovery by a former Lincoln buff and skilled journalist who crisscrossed America to visit museums and memorials, to observe pro- and anti-Lincoln gatherings, and to interview Lincoln impersonators, collectors, and others, all while striving to assess Lincoln's legacy. The result is an engaging and frequently witty confrontation between past and present that reveals as much about modern culture as it does about Lincoln himself. Patrick Lawlor's narration is adequate but often seems rushed. This is a book that might be better read-especially in an illustrated edition. Recommended with reservations.-R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Superb . . . This book belongs on the bookshelf of every Civil War buff!" -- Jay Winik "Land of Lincoln is, as its title suggests, LOL, which is to say, laugh-out-loud funny. It's also a wonderful and serious book about the enduring impact of out greatest president, by one of our best and wittiest writers." -- Christopher Buckley "Wow! This is a fascinating book. With his usual humor and insight, but also with real polgnancy, Ferguson looks at how we see ourselves as a nation by exploring the way we choose to see Lincoln. The result is brilliant and amusing, but also deeply moving." -- Walter Isaacson "Now he belongs to the ages--including the age of kitsch, criticism, and yearning in which we live. Andy Ferguson, one of the best writers in America, tracks Lincoln through twenty-first-century America with humanity, clarity, humor, and passion--the very qualities of Lincoln himself." -- Richard Brookhiser "Andy Ferguson is the single most important writer about American politics. Abe Lincoln was the single most important American politician. The combination of Abe and Andy is--no other word will do--Lincolnesque. Land of Lincoln is like its subject: wise, funny, melancholic, virtuous, complex, tragic, undefeated, kind, stern, and possessed of a fund of wonderful stories. If you don't read this book you are on the wrong side of the twenty-first-century American Civil War, casting your lot with those who would secede from the union of good sense, good principles, and good humor." -- P. J. O'Rourke