Dale Carnegie’s 1937 Anecdotal Biography of Lincoln


Horatio Alger, Jr. (1883). Abraham Lincoln, The Backwoods Boy; or, How a Young Railsplitter Became President New York, NY: John R. Anderson & Henry S. Allen.

Alger wrote about well-behaved boys, who rose from “rags to respectability,” & he believed Lincoln to be a sterling example. Beware, his facts are skewed to show Lincoln as a well-behaved youth.

Andrews, Mary Raymond Shipman (1909). The Perfect Tribute. New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

This is a 49-page novel of Lincoln’s trip to Gettysburg, PA, his speech, and the aftermath. It’s a bit melodramatic but also a heart-warming little story.

Balsiger, David & Sellier, Jr., Charles E. (1977). The Lincoln Conspiracy. Los Angeles, CA: Shick Sunn Classic Books.

Talk about conspiracy theories! The authors charge mainstream historians w/helping Lincoln’s cabinet to perpetuate a massive cover-up of a plot to kidnap Lincoln over his Reconstruction plans and more! It plays fast and loose with historical facts. Probably one of the earliest examples of MISINFORMATION. It’s a stretch to call this nonfiction.

Carnegie, Dale (1932) Lincoln The Unknown. Forest Hills, NY: Forest Hills Publishing Company.

A writer, speaker, and wealthy developer of famous courses on self-improvement [How to Win Friends and Influence People], public speaking, corporate training, and salesmanship, Carnegie suddenly wrote this largely anecdotal Lincoln biography – a look at his youth, his marriage, his loves, his struggles. While Carnegie spent time litterly walking in Lincoln’s footsteps across Illinois and Indiana, doing interviews, looking into many journals and original papers, his work is largely considered suspect “scholarship.” Interesting read though.

Curtis, William Eleroy (1903). The True Abraham Lincoln. Philadelphia, PA & London, England: J.B. Lippincott Company.


Drinkwater, John (1919). Abraham Lincoln: A Play With an Introduction by Arnold Bennet. Boston, MA & New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.

John Drinkwater, an Englishman, wrote this play about Lincoln in the waning years of WWI (1917-1918). In his introduction, he maintains that while he stays true to the history of Lincoln, he does take dramatic license with the moments in which Lincoln creates the history. I’d like to see this play performed some time.

Hanaford, Mrs. P.A. (1865). Abraham Lincoln: His Life and Public Services. Boston, MA: B.B. Russell and Company.

A religiously-tinted view of the newly “martyred president” that was rushed to market to capitalize on his death. It is a very prejudiced, inaccurate account of Lincoln. However, it remains a good read simply because 1. the author was a female writer in the 19th Century; 2. she lived with his candidacy and presidency, and this is her perspective – however unscholarly her account may be.

Lincoln, Abraham (1914?). Speeches and Addresses of Abraham Lincoln. New York, NY: Little Leather Library Corporation.

This source was a novelty item for just a few years around WW I. The brainchild of Charles and Albert Boni, and the marketing genius of ad-men Harry Scherman and Maxwell Sackheim [who will go on to start the Book of the Month Club franchise], these little books measure 3″ wide x 4″ tall – truly a LITTLE library. It has 96 pages of a NICE variety of Lincoln addresses – Springfield Speech (1858), Cooper’s Institute Address (1860), etc.

Trock, Alan L. 36 Hours to Save the President. N.p.: n.p., 2016. Ebook. ISBN 0997412917

Another unique novel about Lincoln. Using a time travel theme, a modern day Lincoln aficionado, and a spirit guide who offers him a 36-hour window of opportunity to stop the assassination of Lincoln, the author begins the countdown! A.L. [Alex Linwood NOT Abraham Lincoln] meets all the key players [and then some] as he races to beat the clock. We all know how it ends – but just maybe, there’s an alternate universe where the ending is different. Good read!

Here are links to the other Lincoln Books, Sites, and Curiosities pages: