Goodwin's "Master Among Men"

Simon & Schuster, taking advance orders on Doris Kearns Goodwin's Lincoln bio, has changed its title.

Believe it or not, as recently as April both the publisher and Amazon had been advance-selling something called "The Uniter: The Genius of Abraham Lincoln." That title has given way to "Master Among Men: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln." Director Steven Spielberg, making his movie based on a book that has not yet been published (with a release date in October) appears to have learned of the title change in May, judging by the news on this fansite.

As of late January, Goodwin admitted that she had not yet written the last chapter of her Uniter/Master/Genius tome. I now wonder if she was exaggerating - that in fact she had not written several chapters. To deliver a book in February for October release to bookstores is more than a mild inconvenience to the publisher. Assuming something was delivered that soon after her january comment.

Chaos in Celebrityville

The people at Bookbuffet attended Book Expo America on June 24, where Goodwin appeared at an author luncheon. She gave a little performance. Bookbuffet reports:
She is a popular political speaker for radio and television. However in this instance, she needed to redline (edit) her talk, which lasted an incredible 40 minutes, and summarized each chapter and gave every punchline in her [forthcoming] biography of Abraham Lincoln... [Emphasis added.]
On a bill with three additional writers, she hogged 40 minutes of luncheon presentation time to demonstrate that there is a book and it has chapters. But has it been delivered to Simon & Schuster yet? And what's in it besides "punchlines"?

The Internet yields no clues. Nor does Spielberg. And booksellers Amazon and S&S have failed to provide even one single line of description to advance buyers as of this writing. Which suggests they don't know what's in it either.

Up until now, the advance sale of her book has been based exclusively on the celebrity of one Doris Kearns Goodwin.

As we await the arrival of the Uniter/Master/Genius, let us remind ourselves of historian Philip Nobile's comment that "Plagiarists, like gamblers, tend to be recidivist." His discovery of her copying from David McCullough's Truman is related here and well worth revisiting.

Come along now Doris, the Lincoln scholars await your insights.