Andrew Ferguson, Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe’s America (Atlantic Monthly Press, $24). This is not a biography of Abraham Lincoln, much less a scholarly monograph, but a kind of intellectual travel book, an account of the author’s visits to Lincoln-related sites and events across America, in the course of which he meets a wildly diverse assortment of Lincoln-lovers and Abe-haters, most of them eccentric in degrees varying from mildly aberrant to near-pathological. Everything he sees and everyone he encounters along the way is described with an engaging combination of dry, sly wit and what can only be described as empathy (TT).
Archives for June 24, 2007
Beyond Glory (Laura Pels Theatre, 111 W. 46, through Aug. 19). Stephen Lang’s fire-eating portrayal of eight recipients of the Medal of Honor has finally made it to New York two years after I saw it at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. “Mr. Lang’s one-man play is no simple-minded piece of flag-waving,” I wrote in The Wall Street Journal in 2005. “It is an unsparingly direct portrait of men at war, pushed into narrow corners and faced with hard choices. It is also one of the richest, most complex pieces of acting I’ve seen in my theatergoing life.” All still true. This one is an absolute must (TT).