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The Soul Of Abraham Lincoln by William Barton
09-16-2021, 08:25 PM (This post was last modified: 09-17-2021 01:09 PM by Gene C.)
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The Soul Of Abraham Lincoln by William Barton
Written in 1920, with about 380 pages of text.
At the time it was written, it quickly became "the book" regarding Lincoln's religious views, how they developed and what influenced him over time. It is not light reading. It's good, but it took me a while to read it.

Written to explain why some writers, mainly Herndon and Lamon, had mistaken views regarding Lincoln's religious views. He gives solid reasons to explain through Lincoln's own words and quotes from people close to Lincoln, where Herndon, Lamon, and others got it wrong.

He's pretty thorough tracing Lincoln's developing religious views throughout his life from growing up in a log cabin to the White House, and responding to the various claims of Lincoln's lack of belief in certain basic foundations of Christianity, as well as those who claimed a special influence on his beliefs.

Barton's sources are well documented and he has a good bibliography.
The thirteenth chapter "Lincoln's Burnt Book" is especially interesting and about the claims over an alleged book or essay that Lincoln wrote to argue - the Bible was not God's revelation, and Jesus was not the son of God. This was supposed to have been taken and burned by one of his friends so as not to become public and ruin his political career. I have always found the story as told by Herndon and Lamon as doubtful. Barton's comments regarding this are interesting and will require some additional study for me.

Available on Internet Archive

Or you can purchase through ABE Books or you favorite retailer
(I purchased my hardback 1920 copy, in good condition, for less than $10)

Additional information has come to light since Burton wrote this 100 years ago, but it is still one of the better researched and documented books on the subject of Lincoln's religious beliefs.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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The Soul Of Abraham Lincoln by William Barton - Gene C - 09-16-2021 08:25 PM

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