Sunday, March 17, 2013

Book Review--Abraham Lincoln Images

This is a double book review. The two books are set up the same and written by the same author and so rather than do separate reviews it is easier to do them together.

Reed, Fred. Abraham Lincoln: The Image of His Greatness. Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, GA, 2009. Index, bibliography, notes, color and b/w photos, ISBN 9780794827045, $29.95.

Reed, Fred. Abraham Lincoln: Beyond the American Icon. Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, GA, 2013. Index, bibliography, notes, color and b/w photos, ISBN 9780794837419, $29.95.

For any collector of Abraham Lincoln items these books are great starting points to see the array of fields and items available. The books have a nice mix of text and illustrations and are appropriate for any level.

The text is chronological. Both books are broken into five chapters: 1809-1865, 1865-1909, 1909-1959, 1959-2009, and 2009-beyond. The text is in small bites with most showcasing a particular day and important events. The text is not a biography of Lincoln but rather an assortment of Lincoln and Lincoln related facts. There is plenty to learn even for those who have read widely on the 16th president.

While there is a good amount of text make no mistake, the illustrations are the central point of these books. Each page is jam packed with photos most appropriate to the time frame of the text. From vintage campaign items to modern items such as comic books and trading cards Reed has done an excellent job showcasing just how pervasive Abraham Lincoln has been and continues to be in our culture. If you are reader like me you will be amazed at the variety and sheer volume of items with the likeness of "The Great Emancipator".

Published by Whitman, which is known for publishing coin and stamp collecting books, these could be considered collecting books but they are not price guides. That is actually a plus in that it allows the books to stay in print and available for readers. I enjoy just flipping through the pages and looking at the great memorabilia. The only problem with these two volumes is that I am eagerly anticipating the possibility of a third volume in a few years. It will be interesting to see the variety of items that are released during the remaining years of the sesquicentennial bearing the likeness of our most famous president.

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