Book Reviews

Reviews of Lincoln's Springfield Neighborhood


Such a valuable contribution . . .

Belated congratulations on producing such a valuable contribution to the Lincoln literature. You've done a great service to the Lincoln community.

Dr. Michael Burlingame
Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies
University of Illinois, Springfield


Most welcome addition to the Lincoln saga . . .

Congratulations to both authors for adding to our understanding of the sixteenth U.S. president.  From such books, people can come to know the Lincolns and their neighbors more intimately, and better history can be written and enjoyed. Lincoln's Springfield Neighborhood is a most welcome addition to the Lincoln saga.

Dr. Wayne E. Temple
Chief Deputy Director, Retired
Illinois State Archives


Fascinating and fun . . .

The Lincolns and their neighbors provide an excellent window for viewing how millions of other people of that day lived – with the bonus that because Lincoln’s own life is so well recorded, we also know more about the neighbors, too.  This book by Paull and Hart makes use of all available information, and many excellent and rare illustrations.  The resulting is fascinating and fun.

James M. Cornelius, Ph.D.
Curator, Lincoln Collection
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
Springfield, Illinois


Highly readable. I especially appreciate that the focus is . . .

Highly readable. I especially appreciate that the focus is on social interactions rather than a preponderance of political analysis. —Scott E.


A Good Read!

I really liked this book! Instead of a bare-bones history book, Lincoln's Springfield Neighborhood reads like a novel with wonderfully intimate details of Lincoln's and Mary's lives and their hard-working neighbors. I especially liked the footnotes, some of which were stories in themselves. —Susan A.


A New Genre of Books

Great book! The authors have created a history book that doesn't read like a history book. It reads like a novel. The reader feels he is getting to know the people who lived in Lincoln's neighborhood. This book is one of a kind - a new genre of books. —Michael P.


Lincoln and history lovers should absolutely read this book.

Lincoln and history lovers should absolutely read this book. Full of historical facts about Lincoln and his Springfield neighborhood you will enjoy. I live in this neighborhood and learned a lot from this book. I would recommend reading this if you plan on making a visit to his home or the Springfield area. Very well written. —Vi B.


A Fantastic Book!

I have studied Lincoln since I was old enough to read, but I had never read anything about his neighbors and always wondered who they were, what their professions were, and how close they were to the Lincoln family. The only thing I knew was that the boys had playmates in the neighborhood and were well thought of, but nothing about the parents. One of the things I learned was that Mary Lincoln was close enough to one of her neighbors who had had a baby shortly after Mary had that she volunteered to serve as a wet nurse for the neighbor's baby because the new mother was not healthy enough after the baby's birth to do it herself. The book exceeded my expectations, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it! —RJH


Really enjoyed reading this book!!!

Really enjoyed reading this book! Learned a great deal about both Lincoln and his Springfield neighbors as well as what life was like back in 1850s Midwestern America. While an easy read, the book provided a great deal of excellently researched material that made it hard to put down. Not only did the book present factual historical accounts of neighbors Lincoln socialized with but it brought them back to life by delving into their personalities and interests - aspects seldom covered when reading historical accounts. Furthermore, the authors did a great job of weaving together aspects of daily life, culture, and politics to provide a unique perspective. I can't imagine anyone not being intrigued by this book. —Jeffrey L.

Reviews of Winning with Grammar, Basic Workbooks 1 and 2, on parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation, and paragraphs


This is the first time in my life I read a book on grammar that I can understand clearly, simply, without confusions. Also, because of the way this book is arranged, I can remember and keep the data I learned. This is a big help for being able to communicate better. —JK


I have gained so much new knowledge from using these workbooks. They have taught me grammar and writing in a different light, one step at a time. They are winners! —HB

Reviews of Winning with Words: An Introduction to the Dictionary, on how to use a dictionary effectively


I have learned more about English from studying the dictionary than I learned in thirteen years of school. Now I have a strategy to look up words, their sounds and their meanings. —JJ

Reviews of Winning with Writing: A New Approach, using models of fiction and nonfiction by well-known authors to inspire one’s own creations. Co-authored with Carlynn McCormick.


I don't think art should involve too much direction and this course didn't have a lot of “dos and don’ts." I learned a lot. —HLR


At first I didn’t like copying but then after doing it for a while, I started to get a different take on the writings. I saw more details and thought it worthwhile. I didn’t know how many different styles and ways there were to write. By not having a word limit on my own writings, I wanted to write more. I now feel I won’t have backoff on writing in the future. —WP

Reviews of Will the Real Teacher Please Stand Up? A Humanistic Primer in Education. Co-authored with Mary C. Greer.


This book reflects the shift in emphasis in education of the 1970s from teaching just subject matter to teaching children and adults to love learning. The teacher is not only one who imparts knowledge but one who learns. And the learner is also a teacher. The book is full of selections from the key educational writers of that time, such as Herbert Kohl and John Holt, as well as known writers from the past, such as Helen Keller and William Saroyan. Full of poems from adults and children on education and lots of activities, wonderful drawings, cartoons, and photos. This is not your typical, boring textbook. It is an adventure.

I like this book. It is full of smart stuff by smart people who think and feel deeply about educating kids. It is full of stuff that makes you think about yourself, and stuff that makes you wistful and stuff that makes you smile. —Charles Weingartner, co-author of Teaching as a Subversive Activity.

Reviews of The Crooked Journey: The Story of A Woman’s Fight against Scoliosis. Co-authored with Louise Sohrabi.


Born with a curvature of the spine known medically as scoliosis, Louise Sohrabi struggles to live a normal, productive life. Despite operations that leave her mummified for months at a time in a body cast, Louise does not give up but overcomes one physical barrier after another. She defies her relatives, friends and medical ad-visors who try to limit her goals . She marries, has children and learns ways to help others with her disability to have hope. The book inspires the reader to keep going and never give up despite the impediments of life. —PT