From time to time I encounter information that may be of interest to the Lincoln collector, but find that I have no appropriate way of communicating this to my readers. To rectify this I have created this "Random Notes" page. Its sole purpose is to provide an informal forum for Lincoln book information. If you have any "Random Thoughts" to contribute to this page, feel free to email me.
Some say that with the advent of the Internet the entire complexion of book hunting has change. What used to require extensive car trips from book shop to book shop has been replaced with the more sedate activity of sitting at one's computer with a steaming cup of coffee, idly scrolling through listings from cyber booksellers.
The task of finding a particular title may have become considerably easier, but the enjoyment of browsing through longs rows of books has been replaced by wading through a virtual ocean of books called up from a database, combing through a ocean of common titles for a decent book. The leisurely task of browsing has turned into the proverbial "needle in a haystack" scenario.
Case in point: The a search of the popular online book database ABE (Advance Book Exchange, http://www.abebooks.com) has revealed the following:
* By searching for the word "Lincoln" in titles, I came up with 20,493 books.
* Using the phrase "Abraham Lincoln" in the "keyword" field, I was given a list of 5,227 books.
* The database contained 433 copies of Paul Angle's The Lincoln Reader with a price range from $1.50 to $75.00.
* I was offered the choice of 289 copies of Jim Bishop's The Day Lincoln Was Shot, the most expensive being $45.00, the best bargain only $1.00.
* Also listed was 123 copies of Stefan Lo rant's book on Lincoln, and 91 copies of Kunhardt's Twenty Days, priced between $8.00 and $75.00.
* The most expensive Lincoln book listed was James Quay Howard's 1860 campaign biography,The Life of Abraham Lincoln with Extracts from His Speeches, priced at $7,500.00.
* The least expensive was a copy of James G. Randall's Lincoln the President, which is a bargain at 25 cents, plus $4.00 shipping.
It all makes me long for the good old days where book hunting actually involved more physical activity.
From recent postings to online book lists and from random sightings in book shops, it appears that the following titles have been remaindered by their publishers, and are now available at "bargain prices."
Allotta, Robert I. Civil War Justice: Union Army Executions Under Lincoln. Shippensburg: White Mane Publishing, 1989.
Burlingame, Michael. The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.
Davis, William C. Lincoln's Men: How President Lincoln Became Father to an Army and a Nation. New York: The Free Press, 1999.
Fraysse, Oliver. Lincoln, Land and Labor 1809-1865. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.
Furtwanger, Albert. Assassin on Stage: Brutus, Hamlet, and the Death of Lincoln. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1991.
Hanchett, William. Out of the Wilderness: The Life of Abraham Lincoln. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.
Jones, John Paul, editor. Dr. Mudd and the Lincoln Assassination: The Case Reopened. Conshohocken, PA: Combined Books, 1995.
Klement, Frank L. The Gettysburg Soldiers' Cemetery and Lincoln's Address: Aspects and Angles. Shippensburg: White Mane Publishing Co., 1993.
Long, David E. Jewel of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln's Re-election and the End of Slavery. Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 1994.
Meltzer, Milton (editor). Lincoln: In His Own Words. San Diego, CA: Harcourt and Brace, 1993.
Simpson, Brooks D. The Reconstruction Presidents. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1998.
Tap, Bruce. Over Lincoln's Shoulder: The Committee on the Conduct of the War. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1998.
John C. Waugh. Reelecting Lincoln: The Battle for the 1864 Presidency. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc. 1997.
For those who may have missed it, the May 8, 2000 issue of People magazine featured a double-page spread reporting on the annual meeting of the Association of Lincoln Presenters held in Hodgenville, Kentucky (pages 258-259). The article featured a group photograph of the 49 Lincoln impersonators who attended the 10th annual meeting.
I could not help but be amused that the article appeared in People's annual "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" issue. While the article and accompanying photograph were very interesting, and a great tribute to one of the more fascinating Lincoln associations in the nation, I find it ironic that the "Abes" would be grouped in with the most beautiful people in the world!