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Publisher's Summary

Did Abraham Lincoln hate his father so much that he would not visit him on his deathbed or buy him a tombstone? Is it true that Ann Rutledge, who died tragically young, was the real love of his life? Did he order the murder of 38 Dakota Sioux warriors because of his hatred of Native Americans?

Noted historian Edward Steers, Jr., sets the record straight in this engaging and authoritative book, analyzing the facts and clarifying some of the most prominent misconceptions about the 16th president's life. He investigates claims that have found a foothold in mainstream lore, ranging from the contention that Lincoln had a troubled and perhaps scandalous early adulthood in Springfield, to more serious attacks on his character, such as the accusation that he was reluctant to emancipate enslaved people and held racist beliefs. Drawing on his background in health science, Steers also examines allegations that Lincoln suffered numerous illnesses-from endocrine disorders to syphilis.

In this book, Steers relies on primary textual evidence to address each legend at the source and maintains caution when reviewing the potentially biased reminiscences of historic figures close to the president. The result is a fascinating forensic exploration of some of the persistent hoaxes and myths related to America's most revered president.

©2021 The University Press of Kentucky (P)2021 Tantor

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