How important is a Civil War book's bibliography?

Monday, November 22, 2010

An Author and his Book. A Primer.

Or, in this case, "Authors and Their Book."

David Hirsch (attorney) and Dan Van Haften (retired electrical engineer) are the authors of the just-released Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason.

Yes, I thought the same thing. Keep reading.

This is not "another" Lincoln book. I turned it down twice thinking that it was just that. I was so very wrong. So often we hear (and use) the word "groundbreaking" to describe a new title. It is overused. But it is also applicable to this book. I will post more on this title later, but for now, understand two things.

1) The authors discovered Lincoln's mastery of Euclidean Geometry, and discovered howt he used its precision and simple brilliance to write his best-known speeches--and then they prove it. Truly it is a jaw-dropping discovery. The authors are not household names in the Lincoln field, so traditional Lincoln scholars are scratching their heads in amazement.

2) The authors understand the elevator pitch and that carrying their book around and talking to people is important. David (the attorney) was in Boston at a Consumer Law conference when . . . well, I will let David tell his story:
I had my book with me at lunch and a stranger asked me whether it was good. I told him I was biased and why (I am one of the authors), and then described the book this way: "We broke Lincoln's code regarding how he wrote his speeches. He used a regular template. It is replicatable. Anyone can do it."

Then I stopped, waiting for the obvious question (which is usually, "How did he do it"). Instead, this guy pulled out his iPhone, went straight to Amazon, and purchased the book as we were talking.
So we have a new book about something no one else has every written, and authors who understand the importance of talking about their work and sharing it with others.

And of course this all came with a bonus: a perfect example of how people are purchasing books today and will be into the future.

Brilliant. Simply brilliant.



Anonymous said...

Interesting. Was Jefferson's own codemaking 'breakthrough' mentioned?


Anonymous said...

I just ordered a copy. Sounds fascinating.


TPS said...

Yes, Jefferson is here, too.

R. Alex Raines said...

I want to thank you for your company's use of the electronic format. Soo nice.