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Learn about Lincoln at DL library

There have been numerous instances in the media where President Barack Obama has been compared to President Lincoln. There are a number of uncanny parallels between the two men.

President Obama said himself, "It's a humbling task, marking the bicentennial of our 16th president's birth -- humbling for me in particular because it's fair to say that the presidency of this singular figure who we celebrate in so many ways made my own story possible."

The observation of President Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday was Feb. 12, 2009, which motivated the release of a number of books on Lincoln and his family, including:

n Lincoln and His Admirals, by Craig L. Symonds. Abraham Lincoln began his presidency admitting that he knew "little about ships," but he quickly came to preside over the largest national armada to that time, not eclipsed until World War I. Lincoln and His Admirals unveils an aspect of Lincoln's presidency unexamined by historians until now, revealing how he managed the men who ran the naval side of the Civil War and how the activities of the Union navy ultimately affected the course of history.

• Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer, by Fred Kaplan. For Abraham Lincoln, whether he was composing love letters, speeches, or legal arguments, words mattered. In "Lincoln," acclaimed biographer Fred Kaplan explores the life of America's 16th president through his use of language as a vehicle both to express complex ideas and feelings and as an instrument of persuasion and empowerment. Like the other great canonical writers of American literature -- a status he is gradually attaining-- Lincoln had a literary career that is inseparable from his life story. An admirer and avid reader of Burns, Byron, Shakespeare, and the Old Testament, Lincoln was the most literary of our presidents. His views on love, liberty, and human nature were shaped by his reading and knowledge of literature.

• The Madness of Mary Lincoln, by Jason Emerson and James S Brust. In 2005, historian Jason Emerson discovered a steamer trunk formerly owned by Robert Todd Lincoln's lawyer and stowed in an attic for 40 years. The trunk contained a rare find: 25 letters pertaining to Mary Todd Lincoln's life and insanity case, letters assumed long destroyed by the Lincoln family. This book is the first examination of Mary Lincoln's mental illness based on the lost letters, and the first new interpretation of the insanity case in 20 years. This compelling story of the purported insanity of one of America's most tragic first ladies provides new and previously unpublished materials, including the psychiatric diagnosis of Mary's mental illness and her lost will.

Come in to the Detroit Lakes Library to find the latest on Lincoln!

The library, located at 1000 Washington Ave., is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and closed Sundays.

For more information on Detroit Lakes Library services and programs, please stop by or call 218-847-2168. Information is also available online at

The Detroit Lakes Library is a branch of Lake Agassiz Regional Library.