Land of Lincoln : Adventures in Abe's America

by Andrew Ferguson

Hardcover, 2007




New York : Atlantic Monthly Press , 2007.


Before he grew up and became one of Washington's most respected reporters and editors, Andrew Ferguson was, of all things, a Lincoln buff. Like so many sons of Illinois before him, he hung photos of Abe on his bedroom wall, memorized the Gettysburg Address, and read himself to sleep at night with the Second Inaugural or the "Letter to Mrs. Bixby." Ferguson eventually outgrew his obsession. But decades later, his latent buffdom was reignited by a curious headline in a local newspaper: Lincoln Statue Stirs Outrage in Richmond. "Lincoln?" thought Ferguson. "Outrage? I felt the first stirrings of the fatal question, the question that, once raised, never lets go: Huh?" In Land of Lincoln, Ferguson embarks on a curiosity-fueled coast-to-coast journey through contemporary Lincoln Nation, encountering everything from hatred to adoration to opportunism and all manner of reaction in between. He attends a national conference of Lincoln impersonators in Indiana; seeks out the premier collectors of Lincoln memorabilia from California to Rhode Island; attends a Dale Carnegie-inspired leadership conference based on Lincoln's "management style"; drags his family across the three-state-long and now defunct Lincoln Heritage Trail; and even manages to hold one of five original copies of the Gettysburg Address. Along the way he weaves in enough history to hook readers of presidential biographies and popular histories while providing the engaging voice and style of the best narrative journalism. Ultimately, Land of Lincoln is an entertaining, unexpected, and big-hearted celebration of Lincoln and his enduring influence on the country he helped create.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Seajack
I gave up on the audiobook partway through; perhaps the print version might've held my interest better, but I found the section on "collectors" tedious, FF'ed to the section on Lincoln "imposters" and wasn't grabbed by that part either. Seems like Ferguson has good ideas for articles, but they
Show More
didn't come together as a continuous book for me.
Show Less
LibraryThing member fidchivers
This is a fun to book to read. Beyond that, it's hard to describe just what it is - part history, part travelogue, part research essay, part meditation. But it is this breezy back and forth that gives the book its strength. Ferguson's writing style is loose, anecdotal, engaging,and graceful. (His
Show More
chapters on travelling with his teenage children will ring especially true to any history buff who has bribed their children to too many historical sights.) Think along the lines of Bill Bryson.
Show Less
LibraryThing member pbadeer
Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe's America was a roller coaster ride of reading. Sluggish at times, but humorous throughout, the book follows Ferguson (and his reluctant family's) quest to "discover" how Abraham Lincoln is viewed in this country. While primarily dealing with
Show More
Kentucky/Indiana/Illinois, the book includes individuals and events throughout the US, some more noteworthy than others. What I found most notable in his writing is a biting sarcasm, somewhat sardonic, which seemed to underscore almost every scenario he experienced - whether Pro or Anti Lincoln. There seemed an unnatural investigative reporter's bias, but the bias seemed to change direction, so it became questionable where his true beleifs lie. As the book progresses, his true feelings become more clear - and irrelevant - as the Lincoln "spirit" comes through. A worthwhile read.
Show Less


Local notes

Inscribed by author


Page: 0.195 seconds