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Separating the Man From the Myth: Who Was the Real Abraham Lincoln

Famed Beverly Hills Courier columnist George Christy gives you an insider's peek into Hollywood's A-list parties and personalities.

“He had only a year of formal education, but he loved to read and read, and write and write, and both his mothers encouraged this … he knew from that brief experience in the schoolroom that knowledge would be the key to improving his station in life,” says former Senator George McGovern about Abraham Lincoln, who was the son of anti-slavery Baptists, and who in time became the founder of the Republican Party.

“This image of Lincoln being a railsplitter and farmer is false, farming never interested him. He was a dedicated learner with a formidable retentive memory, and an unquenchable ambition that came from within.”

Senator McGovern was discussing his immensely readable biography, "Abraham Lincoln," published by Henry Holt in its American President series. He informed that more than 6,000 books have been written about Lincoln. In the series, Louis Auchincloss has written about
Theodore Roosevelt; John Dean on Warren Harding; Douglas Brinkley on Gerald Ford; James MacGregor Burns and Susan Dunn on George Washington; Timothy Naftali, director of the Richard Nixon Library, on George H. W. Bush. The Senator’s donating all proceeds to his late daughter Terry’s foundation against alcoholism.

We were at the evening reception hosted by Dale Olson and Patricia Kelly at Dale’s aerie above Los Angeles, where the surging and terrifying wildfires around the San Gabriel Mountains were seen from afar. Dale, himself, prepared the buffet of stuffed turkey breast, yams, peas with pearl onions, his “cauliflower and cheese thing,” for the 50 guests. Among them were Hollywood’s A-list attorney Ed Blau, who keeps countless Tinsel Town secrets close to the vest; TV producer Dennis Doty with wife Jeralyn; the Improv’s Alix and Budd Freedman; Pat and Michael York; Shirley Jones and Marty Ingels; Tom Laughlin; Jennifer Warren and Roger Gimbel; Dorothea Petrie; Cloris Leachman with son George Englund Jr.; Patricia Barry; Betty Garrett; Mia and Ed Lauter.

FULL STORY: Click here to read George Christy's full column at the Beverly Hills Courier.