"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Sunday, October 14, 2018


Published in 1998 by Enslow Publishers, Inc.

How many books have been written about Abraham Lincoln? NPR claims more than 15,000 - more than anyone except Jesus Christ. This book enters an already crowded field with only one distinct thing going for it - it is aimed at middle school students. That means, I need to review this book with that fact in mind.

To Somerlott's credit, he generally hits the reading level of middle school students and he does keep his focus on the threats to Lincoln and Lincoln's lackadaisical attitude towards his own personal security. It's not always gripping reading, but it is generally accurate and includes a lot of illustrations and some primary sources in special pull-out sections.

The only quibble I have with the book is the rather simplistic way it deals with Lincoln's attitude toward slavery and African American civil rights. Lincoln was politically liberal on this topic for his day, but the cherrypicked quote provided on page 18 makes Lincoln sound more like Martin Luther King than the man who had an ever-evolving opinion (more liberal) on racial matters.

I rate this book 4 stars out of 5. It can be found on Amazon.com here: THE LINCOLN ASSASSINATION in AMERICAN HISTORY by Robert Somerlott.

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