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Monday, October 10, 2005

Lincoln for Idiots (and more)

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

"The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Legacy of Lincoln" promises readers a review of his life, presidency, oratory and impact on modern life – all in 332 pages chock full of bullet-points and info boxes.
The publisher, Alpha Books, hopes it leads to a new category of biographical idiot's guides. The Lincoln guide is the first the company has put out, and they're eager to see whether it sells the 5,000 to 10,000 copies a year that is typical of their books, said marketing director Dawn Werk. (Chicago Tribune/AP: "Idiot's Guide" seeks to simplify Lincoln's complex legacy. (Reg. req.))

I haven't seen the book. But, as long as keeps to the facts, this is a good idea.

Posted by Marie at October 10, 2005 8:55 PM


I've got conflicting emotions about this:

--Damn! Wish I'd thought of that!
--Is this really what we need -- another way of making things "easier to understand" by stripping them of the context that lends so much of the meaning to any life? Isn't George W. Bush the ultimate outcome of that sort of approach?

Not that a guide like this has to be bad. I can imagine ways in which you could break things down that might make Lincoln's story more accessible. And that type of resource would be better than nothing -- which is the competing information source, since the teaching of history is so dead to so many people.

Posted by: Dan at October 13, 2005 3:35 PM