The Gettysburg Gospel

Janet Maslin takes a crack at Boritt's new book and seems annoyed by the "appendices, acknowledgments, bibliography, index and so on." She asks "Is this scholarship, or is it everything but the kitchen sink?"

There is an interesting (negative, bored) editing job of her review by the editors at the International Tribune. The same review is quite positive read in its original form at the New York Times. Odd, isn't it?

Meanwhile, Editor & Publisher recaps Maslin's review instead of reviewing the book itself: "Judging from a review by Janet Maslin in today's New York Times, the book often looks at the press angle..." Navel gazing is what editors and publishers do best, one supposes.

Beyond E&P, there is not much ink spilled on this tome.

And that poses a challenge to publishers (Simon & Schuster) who aimed this book at cafe society, away from the buffs; now will cafe society be moved? Clearly, this was a marketing move intended for the space that won Garry Wills a Pulitzer for Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America. But Wills has a following among the intelligentsia. Boritt is a specialist trying to cross over.

At the St. Louis Dispatch, a lower order of reviewer - perhaps a Lincoln buff or an ACW reader - comments on "...the book's lengthy appendices, notes and bibliographical essay. In discovering them, they will see that Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is a living masterpiece."

Dear publisher - there's your audience.