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Hello from the newbie
10-20-2013, 09:01 AM
Post: #1
Hello from the newbie
I don’t know if it is customary to make an introduction post but since I didn’t want to hijack the thread about the Lincoln Papers, here, as answer to Eva’s questions and a hello from the newbie, a few things about me.

I am a newbie not only to this forum but Civil-War- and Lincoln-history as well. During a trip to Washington last year I learned that there is not that much to learn about George Washington (my original goal) but everybody I encountered directed me towards Lincoln. That’s how I became hooked.

Most fascinating thing? His common sense – the way this man was able to break down complicated political issues so that everybody (including me) could get a hold of his ideas is simply not from this world.

Eva mentioned that it is rather difficult for us in Germany to obtain good reading material and I would like to agree. As long as one hasn’t done intensive studying, there is no way for us to distinguish between good and bad. Doesn’t matter if one uses the German or the US amazon store.
The German store hardly has anything at all and the US store has SO much – it is quite difficult to make a smart selection. Especially since Lincoln still polarizes so much that even the reviews can be an easy trap and lead one into a wrong direction when searching for a good book.

This is why this forum - and Roger's website in general - is like a goldmine for people like me. Thanks for setting it up and also for allowing me to participate!
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10-20-2013, 10:06 AM (This post was last modified: 10-20-2013 10:06 AM by Rob Wick.)
Post: #2
RE: Hello from the newbie
Angela,

There are numerous lists of the essential Lincoln books, but this one from the Abraham Lincoln Bookshop in Chicago is the one I use to guide my purchases. Also, forum member Mike Burkhimer has written The 100 Essential Lincoln Books, which provides a capsule of information on some of the best titles.

A note on the Lincoln Bookshop list, some are very rare and will set you back a good bit of money. If you have access to a good library system that can get books via interlibrary loan, that would be a good way to get some of them.

Here are the links.

Best
Rob

http://www.alincolnbookshop.com/html/bibliographies.htm

http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Lincoln-...B006G8373W

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-20-2013, 10:40 AM
Post: #3
RE: Hello from the newbie
Welcome Angela- and, yes, the introduction is certainly appropriate!

Bill Nash
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10-20-2013, 12:26 PM
Post: #4
RE: Hello from the newbie
Angela,
There are literally thousands of books written about Abraham Lincoln. I can recommend a few good ones that I have enjoyed reading and learning from. For a good recent biography read Ronald White's A. Lincoln. For an older biography there is Carl Sandburg's lengthy work.
As far as books on the assassination there is Michael Kauffman's American Brutus, Ed Steers' Blood on the Moon, and Larry Starkey's Wilkes Booth Came to Washington.

Craig
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10-20-2013, 12:55 PM
Post: #5
RE: Hello from the newbie
(10-20-2013 10:06 AM)Rob Wick Wrote:  Angela,

There are numerous lists of the essential Lincoln books, but this one from the Abraham Lincoln Bookshop in Chicago is the one I use to guide my purchases. Also, forum member Mike Burkhimer has written The 100 Essential Lincoln Books, which provides a capsule of information on some of the best titles.

A note on the Lincoln Bookshop list, some are very rare and will set you back a good bit of money. If you have access to a good library system that can get books via interlibrary loan, that would be a good way to get some of them.

Here are the links.

Best
Rob

http://www.alincolnbookshop.com/html/bibliographies.htm

http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Lincoln-...B006G8373W

Rob, those lists are amazing! Thank you so very much! A book on books - this is SO mine!
Craig - yes! I remember when I first saw that booktower in Washington, I thought that even though I came for George Washington, I might get along with Lincoln. Soooo many books - I don't think I have ever heard about another person that has so many books written on him. It was a wonderful moment since I love reading!
I have read the Carl Sandburg biography which I thought was just amazing. I also loved "Herndon's Informants" which isn't so much a biography but a collection of original sources and I always appreciate those. I just recently finished a wonderful book from a teacher, James A. Percoco. It's called "Summers with Lincoln" and it is mostly about statues - but it also tells a lot about people in the US learn about Lincoln and how many different ways there are.
I recently thought about setting up my own little booktower - and then realized that there is a great downside to a kindle...
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10-20-2013, 02:31 PM (This post was last modified: 10-20-2013 03:57 PM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #6
RE: Hello from the newbie
Rob, great links, thank you!

Angela, did you read the only book I've ever spotted in German bookstores (have you ever seen another one?) - Jörg Nagler's "A.L.- Amerikas großer Präsident"? (I like the title because "groß" means "great" and "tall" as well, although I doubt this pun was intended.) If you did - what do you think of it? IMO, it is well-founded and researched regarding the CW and the social and political background of the era, but it also contains some strange lapses like that JWB was already waiting for Abraham Lincoln inside Ford's when the latter arrived. (The author is a professor for North America Studies in Jena.)
Angela, allow me to remark, I'm awestruck by your English skills and eloquent style!! (I feel truly embarrassed since I studied in that field - but have never spent sufficient time abroad. I consider posting under a nom de plum hence - and where is my ostrich tutu...)
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10-20-2013, 02:54 PM
Post: #7
RE: Hello from the newbie
(10-20-2013 02:31 PM)Eva Elisabeth Wrote:  Rob, great links, thank you!

Angela, did you read the only book I've ever spotted in German bookstores (have you ever seen another one?) - Jörg Nagler's "A.L.- Amerikas großer Präsident"? (I like the title because "groß" means "great" and "tall" as well, although I doubt this pun was intended.) If you did - what do you think of it? IMO, it is well-founded and researched regarding the CW and the social and political background of the era, but it also contains some strange lapses like that JWB was already waiting for Abraham Lincoln inside Ford's when the latter arrived. (The author is a professor for North America Studies in Jena.)
Angela, allow me to remark, I'm awestruck by your English skills and eloquent style!! (I feel truly embarrassed since I studied in that field - but have never spent sufficient time abroad. I consider posting under a nom de plum hence - and where is my ostrich tutu...)

Eva - first of all, thank you! I read and re-read every post at least three times before publishing - you do not want to hear me speak english! But I appreciate your kind words, it certainly gives me hope to not totally mess up on here.
As for your question - YES, I have read the one and only decent book I could find so far from a german author and I agree - it was well done! I especially liked his handling of the language (since we are talking about that as well) - all too often, german authors cop out by simply using english phrases or, in another case, bad translations. This as a good read, I enjoyed it.
As for the mistakes - yes, there were a few. Apart from what you mentioned, he also placed Elizabeth Keckley among the people present at the Petersen House and he refers to the masks of Lincoln as "death masks".
But I thought of those as a minor trouble because he really did a great job of summarizing Lincoln's life from youth to presidency as well as giving special attendance to certain legal and political procedures in the United States which might be rather unfamiliar to a german reader.
I thought this book was a great effort by J.Nagler and hope he will continue his studies!
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10-20-2013, 03:00 PM (This post was last modified: 10-20-2013 06:12 PM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #8
RE: Hello from the newbie
I've thought about emailing Mr. Nageler a polite request regarding the mistakes, but even in a polite manner it might be impolite at all...Here are the links to some of his further publications (in English):

http://books.google.de/books/about/On_th...4o2vsMTdYC

http://www.asjournal.org/archive/53/164.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/16/opinio....html?_r=0
(I wonder what two dozen published biographies he is speaking of...)

Hope it's ok if I tell - you briefly mentioned an alledged Lincoln statue in Austria - could you share some details? I've never heard of this!
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10-20-2013, 04:27 PM
Post: #9
RE: Hello from the newbie
Let me just say that, as an American who can't spell "Gesunheit," you both amaze me with your command of the English language.
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10-20-2013, 08:56 PM
Post: #10
RE: Hello from the newbie
(10-20-2013 04:27 PM)L Verge Wrote:  Let me just say that, as an American who can't spell "Gesunheit," you both amaze me with your command of the English language.

Laurie, You mean it's not Gazuntheight?

Rob, thanks for posting your list. There are a lot of books on there that I will be checking out.

" Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the American Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford
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10-20-2013, 09:50 PM
Post: #11
RE: Hello from the newbie
I congratulate both Angela and Eva for their excellent command of the English language and only wish that my knowledge of German were half as good.
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10-21-2013, 06:44 AM
Post: #12
RE: Hello from the newbie
Roger, allow me to blab - fact is, Roger's German is EXCELLENT, and so is his French!! (Incredible how someone can master this language beyond successfully buying a baguette! Especially the subjonctif...)

Laurie and Mike - to say or not to say "Gesundheit" that is the question which reveals all about your educational background and social origin.
When the black death raged throughout Europe, people selfishly said "Gesundheit" (literally "health", meaning "bless you") to someone sneezing because they wished themselves to stay healthy. Over the years, common people stuck to this phrase.
In 1788, nobleman Freiherr Adolph Franz Friedrich Ludwig Knigge, a German writer and Freemason, published his book "On Human Relations", which became and still is the ultimative and authoritative guide to behaviour, politeness, and etiquette. The German word “Knigge” has come to mean “good manners”. Knigge's rules forbid saying "Gesundheit" due to the selfish origin of the phrase and because it is generally impolite to make someone aware of his weaknesses and impairments.

The Knigge-Society nowadays updates and adjusts the rules to modern life and new concerns (like how to write emails), and just recently graciously allowed to say "Gesundheit" (because common people - thus the majority - never ceased doing so) - but it is still risqué in certain surroundings.

So - if you consider entering noble (or snobbish) circles of society I highly recommend to grandly ignore people's sneezing (and this is for sure what Tad was taught in Frankfurt).
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10-21-2013, 08:21 AM
Post: #13
RE: Hello from the newbie
Thank you Eva for the fun fact. I had no idea.

I have only known one person to actually use Gesundheit. My Brother-in-Law, which I assumed he used because he was stationed in Germany while in the service. Now I know he was just vacationing and rubbing elbows with the elite. Figures. ARMY

" Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the American Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford
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10-21-2013, 09:09 AM
Post: #14
RE: Hello from the newbie
Mike - Why do I have the funny feeling that you were a Marine? Just guessing by the way you capitalized ARMY!
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10-21-2013, 09:31 AM (This post was last modified: 10-21-2013 10:17 AM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #15
RE: Hello from the newbie
Mike, most Germans have no idea of this! They say "Gesundheit" BECAUSE they consider themselves well-educated and to "know the manners of good society"...
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