Abraham Lincoln's Dueling Words

  • Type: Books
  • By: Donna Janell Bowman
  • Age Category: Children
  • Genre: Biography & Memoir
  • Recommended by: Tom S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9781561458523
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Lincoln's sense of humor helped him survive tough times, but it almost got him killed once.

Abraham Lincoln is widely considered America’s greatest president, a man whose political genius, judicious temperament, and brilliant understanding of human nature helped save the Union.  But Honest Abe wasn’t always immune from doing boneheaded things, especially as a young man.  For example, in the early 1840s, Lincoln was a politically ambitious prairie lawyer when he wrote a funny letter lampooning James Shields, the Illinois state auditor.  Since the letter was published in a newspaper, the humorless Shields was offended and challenged Lincoln to a duel, which Lincoln felt honor-bound to accept.  Just how Abe got himself into this predicament – and how he got out of it alive (Shields was an expert marksman) – is the subject of this book.

One of the great pleasures here is the artwork by S.D. Schindler, one of the finest illustrators of historical books for children.  Schindler’s characteristic style, which features realistic detail highlighted by a touch of caricature, is successful in making Lincoln recognizable both as a historical icon and as a human being with human emotions and human failings.