Abe & Fido: Lincoln's Love of Animals and the Touching Story of His Favorite Canine Companion

Chicago Review. Apr. 2015. 176p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781556522222. $22.95. PETS
Best known for his reports on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, Marketplace, and Morning Edition, Algeo is also the author of several historical nonfiction titles (Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure; Pedestrianism). The obscure subject matter—Lincoln's love of animals, particularly his dog Fido—will appeal to Lincoln scholars, Illinois history enthusiasts, and dog lovers but probably not the general public. Algeo stretches to make a story out of some small facts that he has cobbled together based on historical records, letters, and other documents such as bills of sale for animal worming products. Although well researched, this glimpse into a simpler age doesn't provide enough hard facts to address the topic fully. Instead, the author fleshes out this very short book by providing background information in an engaging historical framework detailing documentation about Lincoln's childhood, his marriage and children, and his political career. Photos and an extensive bibliography are helpfully included.
VERDICT A very limited audience for this readable but unconvincing book.
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