What if some, or even a few, of the legends that keep Lincoln's legacy alive and vibrant for us were exposed as fabrications? In Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with Our Greatest President, Edward Steers Jr., author of two highly acclaimed books on Lincoln's assassination, raises and analyzes questions about Lincoln in chronological order. Among the things Steers considers are whether Lincoln was born in a cabin, who his real father was, whether he really said all the things he's famous for saying, what happened to the pages missing from John Wilkes Booth's diary, etc.

In the book's introduction, respected Lincoln historian Harold Holzer discusses not only the legends, myths and hoaxes about Lincoln, but also the issue of factual refutations dug up by historians. He observes that the George Washington myths that Lincoln heard and read about and took as gospel truths inspired Lincoln himself to become the kind of man about whom myths are made. One might take that thought further and suppose that myths make the man: Historians will cherish facts; the people will welcome facts while cherishing myths.

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