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Hardcover Did Lincoln Own Slaves?: And Other Frequently Asked Questions about Abraham Lincoln Book

ISBN: 0375425411

ISBN13: 9780375425417

Did Lincoln Own Slaves?: And Other Frequently Asked Questions about Abraham Lincoln

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Book Overview

Over the course of nine years as scholar-in-residence at the Lincoln Museum, Gerald J. Prokopowicz answered thousands of questions about Abraham Lincoln. Reporters, researchers, students, and... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Great Book For Those Curious About Abraham Lincoln

Did you ever have a question about Abraham Lincoln but didn't want to pull several books of a library shelf to find the answer? Have you toured the White House, the Lincoln Home, or any of the other various Lincoln sites and had a question that you thought others might think you stupid or uneducated for asking? Then Gerald J. Prokopowicz's book "Did Lincoln Own Slaves?: And Other Frequently Asked Questions About Abraham Lincoln" is just the book for you. This, as acknowledged by Mr. Prokopowicz in his introduction, is not a book directed towards Lincoln Scholars or history professors. This is a book intended to be read by the general American public. If you have read several books on Abraham Lincoln there is little, if anything, new to be discovered between its covers that you probably haven't read elsewhere. This slim tome is an encyclopedia of questions posed about Abraham Lincoln's life and times, the man, the myths and the legends. Though there are probably several, I cannot think of a single question about Abraham Lincoln that is not answered in this book. Written in a question and answer format, the book is broken into chapters covering specific segments of his Lincoln's life: The Boy Lincoln, Rail-Splitter, Springfield, Politician, Speaker, President, Commander In Chief, Gettysburg, Emancipation, Lincoln The Man, Martyr and lastly, Legacy. Mr. Prokopowicz does not speak down to his readers. He writes in an easily read, conversational style with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor thrown in. His answers are often short and concise, but more complicated questions, such as Lincoln's view of race, or emancipation, both deserve and receive longer answers. His book is aimed toward those who are curious about Abraham Lincoln, and though the author answers each question he also includes a section titled "For Further Reading" at the end of each chapter for those who would like to know more. As Lincoln scholar, Mr. Prokopowicz has devoted much of his life to the study of the life and times of our 16th president. For nine years he served as the Lincoln Scholar at the Lincoln Museum at Fort Wayne, Indiana, and was the editor of its quarterly journal, "Lincoln Lore." He is a member of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Advisory Committee, and the host of Civil War Talk Radio. He is currently the chair of the history department at East Carolina University.

Q's`With Real World A's

Like an earlier reviewer, I almost ignored this book. The title made it sound like another Lincoln bashing; and the Q and A format often signifies low level content. I looked at the book expecting to see another hatchet job on the Satanic Lincoln. I saw something quite different. Anyone reading this book will get a mini-survey of Lincoln the man, the politician and the war president as well as something of a run down on his afterlife in American memory, culture, scholarship and popular media (yes, including the bashers). Prokopowicz draws upon his experience answering thousands of questions from visitors to the Lincoln Museum in Ft. Wayne (where he was scholar in residence for nine years) and from questions arising from lectures and addresses given to audiences of all kinds. The book is written with clarity, energy and humor and in a conversational tone. Prokopowicz's answers are always understandable but he does not dumb them down. He gives lengthy and nuanced responses when questions touch on complex issues. Nor does he shy away from more controversial matters. While clear about his own views, Prokopowicz readily concedes that other views are possible. Lincoln's views on race, for example, are troubling to many today. Prokopowicz outlines those views clearly while giving the applicable cultural and political contexts. Prokopowicz himself seems to believe that Lincoln's views were moderately progressive in the 19th century US. He believes that, before the Civil War, Lincoln would have preferred to see slavery abolished but not if that meant violating the Constitution or putting the Union at risk. Lincoln based his view on notions of legal equality founded on the Declaration of Independence, especially with regard to the fruits of one's labor and the opportunity for betterment. Prokopowicz also notes that, as a professional and ambitious Illinois politician, Lincoln had to be careful how he stated his views. He shows that Lincoln used his well-developed oral and legal skills to leave himself wiggle room while appealing to his audience. The war, of course, pushed Lincoln to emancipation, a direction in which he was not loath to go. Prokopowicz believes that Lincoln's views on race broadened during the war, but he recognizes that ultimately one could still argue that Lincoln was just as racist as was 19th century American culture. This book will give any reader a good overall view of Lincoln's life and career. It has something for even experienced Lincoln buffs to enjoy.

Delightful Lincoln Primer

Just finished listening to this audiobook and am very pleased. On the first disc,listeners are encouraged to put the book away if they're long-time Lincoln buffs-because nothing new would be heard. Well, I am a long-time Lincoln fan but I still learned new things- but more importantly I just enjoyed the heck out of the book. I love the question and answer format used. I appreciate the author's sense of humor, easy going style, and clear concise language. This really is a "must have" for all who are seeking to know Lincoln better.

Actually make that 4.5 stars.

This work is practically an encyclopedia in scope. Propowicz synthesizes, assesses and summarizes, in a well-divided, Q & A format, the latest scholarship and views on Lincoln issues and shows how, when you blend all that we factually know, Lincoln was a true pragmatist; ahead of many in thought but practical in deed, and commited to no idealogue's camp. Thanks to the book's division of life and time subjects, it can almost be read like a life sketch. There is also a section that dicusses Lincoln museums, newly-found Lincoln artifacts, and even "fun" stuff, like Lincoln impersonators, movies, etc. The book is generously illustrated with a good selection of relevant photos. OK, why would I minus half a star? C'mon, LINCOLN OWN A SLAVE? Who ever seriously considered that? A better title should have been chosen so the book isn't mistaken for one of these recent "Lost Cause" racism defenders.

Thoughtful Questions, Clear and Concise Answers

Did Lincoln Own Slaves? And Other Frequently Asked Questions About Abraham Lincoln,Gerald J. Prokopowicz, Pantheon Books, 311 pp., illustrations, photographs, bibliographic and reference notes, index, 2008, $24.95 Well, when Civil War Librarian received a first notice of the book, a stereotype was placed in a mental pidgeon hole. Probably a slim book published for the middle school-high school library. Probably lots of often published photographs. Maybe a 'Dummy's Guide to Abraham Lincoln'. But, there was the author's name: Gerald J. Prokopowicz. Civil War Librarian is a listener and fan of Civil War Talk Radio and its host and faculty member of East Carolina University. Hmmmm. Prokopowicz doesn't write/talk down to the reader of Did Lincoln Own Slaves; it is as if the reader is in a seminar on Lincoln and the author is the the discussion leader and instructor. Aristotle and Socrates would be pleased; Prokopowicz employs questions to bring the reader through the implications of the simplest question. What are the assumptions implied in the questions? How has this question been answered previously? What is the current scholarship on the question? As scholar-in-residence at the Lincoln Museum of Fort Wayne, Indiana for nine years, Prokopowicz probably had to handle this questions. The book is organized somewhat chronologically but also topically. In the sections 'Boy Lincoln,' 'Rail Splitter,' 'Springfield,' 'Politician,' 'Speaker' and seven other chapters, the author organizes the material in chronological fashion but also explores the implications of the questions and stretches outside the confines of the immediate dates. In the section 'Speaker' an articulate essay on Stephen Douglas brings the reader into the historical context of competitive politics. The answers to such questions as 'What was his greatest speech?' four pages long and contains a note and portions of Lincoln's remarks. Wonderfully, Prokopowicz conditions his answer with the remark "You already know about his presidential speeches, like the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address . . ." and then presents 11 paragraphs of cogent description and discussion of the October 16, 1854 Peoria, Illinois speech addressing the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Chapter Six, 'President,' Prokopowicz begins with 'How old was Lincoln when he became president?' He deals with the answer in one declarative sentence and then a remark that Lincoln was the third youngest president up to that time. The chapter builds to longer answers in the middle then wind downs to shorter answers. The author leads the reader into an in depth discussion and out again. At the end of the each chapter, a section 'For Further Reading' not only suggests books in the field but also offers a brief historiographical discussion of the resources. From first to last, the author is not a sage-on-a-stage but a guide-by-the-side. A clear writing style and a concise delivery of the facts presents the reader with an enjoyab
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