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Abe Lincoln Laughing
04-06-2017, 08:58 AM (This post was last modified: 04-06-2017 09:00 AM by Gene C.)
Post: #1
Abe Lincoln Laughing
Edited (stories collected) by Paul Zall.
About 190 pages, published in 1982
Over 300 stories and jokes, with sources and notes and a very good index.

This is not a joke book, but a collection of jokes and humorous stories told by Lincoln. A brief background or circumstances behind the story is given to help put it into context. Many of these stories had a point or purpose to them, which has been somewhat lost in the passage of time. One of the first books Lincoln read as a young boy was Aesop's Fables, and you can see some of that books influence on him through these stories he told later in life.

Some of these didn't seem to be that funny, but part of Lincoln's humor was in how he told a story. His facial expressions, his use of mimicry, his tone of voice, were a big part of his telling these stories, which sadly didn't translate to a printed page.

I purchased my older, hard copy from a library book sale for $1. You can find a newer paperback edition available through your favorite online or retail establishment for a reasonable price. Not a must have book, but a nice to have book for your Lincoln Library.
https://www.amazon.com/Abe-Lincoln-Laugh...n+laughing

This is an example of one short story I had never read before -
"One day when I was at the White house in conversation with Lincoln a man busted in self-importantly and whispered something to him. As the man left the room Lincoln turned to me and smiled.
"He tells me that twelve thousand of Lee's soldiers have just been captured," Lincoln said. "But that doesn't mean anything; he's the biggest liar in Washington. You can't believe a word he says. He reminds me of an old fisherman I used to know who got such a reputation for stretching the truth that he bought a pair of scales and insisted on weighing every fish in the presence of witnesses.
One day a baby was born next door, and the doctor borrowed the fisherman's scales to weigh the baby. It weighed forty-seven pounds"
Big Grin

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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04-06-2017, 09:13 AM
Post: #2
RE: Abe Lincoln Laughing
(04-06-2017 08:58 AM)Gene C Wrote:  with sources and notes and a very good index.

This fact in itself makes it my personal favorite of all the books on Lincoln's jokes, etc. Thanks for posting, Gene.

One of my favorite Lincoln stories from this book:

"It appears that shortly after we had peace with England, Mr. (Ethan) Allen had occasion to visit England, and while there the English took great pleasure in teasing him, and trying to make fun of the Americans and George Washington in particular. And one day they got a picture of General Washington, and hung it up in the Back House where Mr. Allen could see it. Finally, they asked Mr. Allen if he could see it. Mr. Allen said no, but added that he thought it was a very appropriate place for an Englishman to keep it. Mr. Allen was asked why he felt this way. Mr. Allen replied that there was nothing that will make an Englishman **** so quick as the sight of General Washington. After that, they left Mr. Allen and Mr. Washington alone."
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04-06-2017, 11:29 AM
Post: #3
RE: Abe Lincoln Laughing
I agree - my favorite on the topic, too.
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04-06-2017, 08:58 PM (This post was last modified: 04-06-2017 09:03 PM by Anita.)
Post: #4
RE: Abe Lincoln Laughing
(04-06-2017 09:13 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  [quote='Gene C' pid='64928' dateline='1491487114']
with sources and notes and a very good index.

This fact in itself makes it my personal favorite of all the books on Lincoln's jokes, etc. Thanks for posting, Gene.

I agree Gene and Roger. Sources and their credibility was the first thought that came to me when Gene posted this review. Thanks Gene for another read to add to my collection.

Gene, how many Lincoln books have you read?
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04-07-2017, 07:34 AM (This post was last modified: 04-07-2017 08:50 AM by Gene C.)
Post: #5
RE: Abe Lincoln Laughing
That's a tough one Anita, because when Roger started this forum my reading about Lincoln and related subjects drastically picked up.
The Springfield Tour, which resulted from this forum, also had a big effect.

I have also read over 25 children's books about Lincoln. They are a bit shorter than books aimed at an older audience. I like to read them, especially the older ones. It is interesting to see the change in where they put their emphasis. But that is a subject for another thread.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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04-07-2017, 08:13 AM (This post was last modified: 04-10-2017 08:57 AM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #6
RE: Abe Lincoln Laughing
Gene - I, too, like the children's books. I'd love to learn of your (and others) perception as for the change in their emphasis and hope you get that thread started...
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04-07-2017, 12:57 PM (This post was last modified: 04-07-2017 01:00 PM by Anita.)
Post: #7
RE: Abe Lincoln Laughing
(04-07-2017 07:34 AM)Gene C Wrote:  That's a tough one Anita, because when Roger started this forum my reading about Lincoln and related subjects drastically picked up.
The Springfield Tour, which resulted from this forum, also had a big effect.

I have also read over 25 children's books about Lincoln. They are a bit shorter than books aimed at an older audience. I like to read them, especially the older ones. It is interesting to see the change in where they put their emphasis. But that is a subject for another thread.
I've read a few of the children's books but never really looked at them as a separate category. How the emphasis has changed over time is a great topic for discussion. Like Eva, I hope you will start the thread.
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04-10-2017, 09:02 AM
Post: #8
RE: Abe Lincoln Laughing
Gene - what is/are the oldest children's book(s) you read? (Most I read are rather modern publications.)
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04-10-2017, 11:19 AM
Post: #9
RE: Abe Lincoln Laughing
The oldest one I own is True Story of Abraham Lincoln by Elbridge Brooks from 1896
https://archive.org/stream/truestoryofab...0/mode/2up

One of my favorites that I own is Abraham Lincoln, The Greatest of Good Men, by U J Hoffman from 1926
https://www.amazon.com/Abraham-Lincoln-G...f+Good+Men

I also have a reprint of Abraham Lincoln a Biography for Young People by Noah Brooks from 1888 that I have mentioned on the forum
http://rogerjnorton.com/LincolnDiscussio...s#pid44477

I have read several on Internet Archives, one of the more unique (haven't read this one yet) is The Life of Abraham Lincoln For Young People - told in words of one syllable, by Harriet Putnam from 1906. It has some nice illustrations
https://archive.org/stream/lifeofabrah26...5/mode/2up

There are more I can mention, but I'm at work right now. I will start a new thread about Children's Books soon.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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04-10-2017, 12:56 PM (This post was last modified: 04-10-2017 12:56 PM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #10
RE: Abe Lincoln Laughing
My problem is that I just cannot read an entire book online (even some forum threads I need to print out) and it's near impossible to get old books over here unless there are reprints. Of children's books usually aren't...
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04-10-2017, 08:31 PM
Post: #11
RE: Abe Lincoln Laughing
When Carl Sandburg first approached Alfred Harcourt about writing a book on Lincoln, he wanted to write a biography for children, saying he wanted a book on Lincoln that he could have read as a young boy in Galesburg, Illinois. It was only later that Sandburg and Harcourt realized that Abraham Lincoln The Prairie Years was not going to be a children's book.

After the success of The Prairie Years, Harcourt took the first 27 chapters of the book and turned it into a book called Abraham Lincoln Grows Up. Interestingly, the chapters were reprinted verbatim from The Prairie Years. Harcourt saw no need to "dumb down" the book for children.

Best
Rob

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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04-12-2017, 09:15 AM (This post was last modified: 04-12-2017 09:17 AM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #12
RE: Abe Lincoln Laughing
Amazing. Honestly as for German children's books of that century I cannot think of anything but the Brothers Grimms' tales, the "Struwwelpeter" (1844), and "Max and Moritz" (1865) and other Bush tales. Definitely no bios. All have in common that they intended to teach about good and bad and that the good finally will get rewarded while all things bad will lead to suffer Hell. All are pretty brutal from nowadays' point of view, the idea once even came up to prohibit exposing kids to that old traditional literature.

What about the old Lincoln children's books? (I wouldn't expect them to be brutal, but what about educational goals? What features where emphasized?)
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04-12-2017, 11:35 AM
Post: #13
RE: Abe Lincoln Laughing
As I was growing up back in the 1940s and 50s, my mother and grandmother showered me with lots of biographical books on famous Americans in order to ensure that I would inherit their love of history. I also had a stack of Classic Comic Books that introduced me to knights of yore and the like.

If I remember correctly, most of the bios were along general lines of being an American patriot and supporting one's country. Then came the Vietnam War... Situations on the home front and the college campuses changed much of that idealism.
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