Lincoln's Gift: How Humor Shaped Lincoln's Life and Legacy
by Gordon Leidner
An insightful, lighthearted look at the first American president to have a sense of humor: Abraham Lincoln.
Admired for his leadership, honesty, and eloquence, Abraham Lincoln was also a well-known humorist and storyteller. Brimming with his soaring wit, LINCOLN'S GIFT explores the role that humor played throughout his tumultuous professional and private life. Blending Lincoln's funniest quips, jokes, and stories with photos and political cartoons, this vibrant narrative of his life whisks readers from the prairie of New Salem to the courtrooms of Springfield to the hallowed halls of the White House itself, making this the perfect gift for history buffs everywhere.
"In this compact, user-friendly volume, Gordon Leidner ingeniously blends a study of Lincoln's humor with an account of his life, showing how our sixteenth president was not always a "man of sorrows" but often a man of laughter, capable alike of enjoying as well as telling a good story."
Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies
University of Illinois Springfield
Author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life
"Gordon Leidner’s Lincoln’s Gift is simply the best book that has been published on this great president’s humor and stories. Skillfully placed in the context of Lincoln’s life and career, the book demonstrates Lincoln’s phenomenal ability to recall stories or make a quip for almost any occasion in order to make a point or to entertain listeners. His stories also served as a form of catharsis for his own melancholy. As Leidner shows, most of Lincoln’s anecdotes were drawn from his rural Midwestern background and, as Lincoln admitted, many were not all original with him. Everyone interested in Abraham Lincoln will want to read this book and also have a copy of it on their desk for reference and for family and friends."
William C. Harris
Emeritus Professor of History at North Carolina State University
Author of Lincoln and the Border States in the Civil War
"Gordon Leidner provides a pleasant, readable narrative of Lincoln’s life and times. His reliance on Lincoln’s humorous quotes and metaphors opens windows to view Lincoln’s humanity, humor, and remarkable sensitivity."
Charles M. Hubbard, Ph.D
Professor of History and Lincoln Historian
Lincoln Memorial University
"A sense of humor was one of Lincoln’s greatest gifts. His contemporaries recognized it, and we still benefit from it today. Gordon Leidner has brought together a compact history of Lincoln’s life, peppered with wonderful anecdotes and stories that reflect the best of Lincoln’s wit."
Jonathan W. White, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of American Studies
Christopher Newport University
Author of Lincoln’s Advice for Lawyers