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Lincoln As I Knew Him Edited by Harold Holzer Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 1999 pages 262 Over the past decade historians have gained a new respect for the value of oral history and reminiscence For generations serious scholars had discounted this type of historical data as being too easily flawed It is the very nature of reminiscence that it is history being perceived by individuals and is therefore susceptible to the human traits of bias misconception and utter falsification Harold Holzer However work being done by modern scholars has shown that used carefully and selectively many historical facts and incidents can be divined from these sources The editor Harold Holzer Guest Scholar is Vice President for Communications at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and author co-author and editor of eighteen books on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War including The Confederate Image 1987 In addition to many books Harold has written some 290 articles for both popular magazines and scholarly journals A number of books have appeared recently that states reminiscences recollections and personal remembrances of Abraham Lincoln Many individuals who personally interacted with Lincoln left behind records of their experiences in publications of all sorts In Lincoln as I Knew Him Gossip Tributes Revelations from His Best Friends and Worst Enemies Harold Holzer has searched a number of these sources to paint a unique and entertaining portrait of our 16th President Holzer presents his selections by group rather than topically or chronologically For instance the first chapter contains reminiscences from family members other chapters come from fellow lawyers foreign observers authors artists and African-Americans Harold Holzer does an excellent job in selecting reminiscences and recollections from many different and often somewhat obscure sources Personal journals and diaries periodicals and newspapers and little used compilations of reminiscences all served as sources Holzer introduces each chapter and prefaces each individual reminiscence The Lincoln that comes
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