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Abraham Lincoln's Lie [Paperback]

Scott Haworth

Price: 5.41 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

10 Jun 2013
Abraham Lincoln once said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Senator Nick Bennett believes that it should not stand. Disgusted with partisan politics, Nick calls for America to be split up by political ideology. The idea of living in separate utopias is wildly popular with Americans. The blue states form the Progressive States of America and the red states create the United States of Ronald Reagan. The two new governments are free to address foreign relations, economic policies and social laws without the interference of an opposition party. While the P.S.A. thrives, the U.S.R.R. is crippled by the inanity of its conservative ideology. A generation of its citizens receives a terrible education and loses the right to privacy. Many are killed either by an abhorrent health care system or the preemptive wars their government starts. The dreadful conditions inside the U.S.R.R. enrage the conservative citizens. Revolution seems inevitable, and the conflict threatens to engulf the liberal country as well. Abraham Lincoln's Lie contains political and social satire and is intended for a liberal audience. The novel takes a humorous look at how fiercely debated ideas could actually be implemented by the two ideologies.

Product details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (10 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1490391746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1490391748
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 15 x 22.5 cm

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing idea 28 April 2013
By Sherrie Cronin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
There are two reasons why I want to speak highly of this book, and it's fair to tell a reader of them. First, this book has a strong political slant, and it turns out that I largely share the author's views. More-over, his sort of moderate-liberal-progressive outlook, in my opinion, shows up too infrequently in political fiction specifically written to make a point, and I admit up front to wishing to encourage him.
Second, this is the first review I have written for a self-published complete stranger since I myself became a self-published author reviewed by complete strangers. I recognize how important reviews are and what an accomplishment it is to produce a coherent novel, much less one with only two typos. I am inclined to be gentle.
That being said .....
This is a novel that covers about a forty year span after the USA breaks in two to form a red nation and a blue nation. The author wisely glosses over details, but focuses instead on following a few key families in each of the new countries. It's a good format and he develops some compelling characters and covers issues from foreign policy to gun control.
The biggest problem with the book is that it can't quite decide if it wants to be realistic, or satire. The smaller satire parts work well, like the number of things in the red nation named after Ronald Reagan and the conservative states getting corporate sponsors for their aircraft carriers. Funny stuff, although I personally would appreciate the humor more if some of the satire went both ways. Let's face it, there is plenty to laugh about throughout the political spectrum.
At the other extreme, the human drama that is not satire works well also, such as the story of the two gay men who find their home is in the red nation, and are forced to flee to the blue with their adopted daughter. To me this was the most emotionally compelling story line and these were the most fully drawn of all the characters.
It's the stuff in between the satire and realism that gave me pause. The blue states gradually turn into utopia, while having no problems with debt or high taxes. They get along famously with other countries, and somehow encourage innovation among the citizenry in spite of more government controls. Lazy or greedy people do not play a role, a fact that I find very hard to believe. In fact, after forty years the place is so perfect that I briefly thought I might have fallen into conservation satire that had been waiting to reveal itself.
Meanwhile, the red nation fares far worse. Citizens roam the countryside with legal automatic weapons. Criminals are tried and executed within days, with no appeals. Sex education has been abolished and science is barely taught. The nation is plagued with teen births, ignorant angry people and wars it cannot afford. Absolutely nothing works better here. As satire, one can do this of course. As a realistic novel, I'd have been more engaged if the red nation produced some sympathetic characters and occasional unique solutions of its own. In the real world, there are truly good people across the political spectrum. I know, I am related to many of them. Furthermore, real politics is a messy nuanced business and there are surprises.
Two things to this author's defense. His main protagonist is the conservative politician who causes the split to begin with, and he does infuse this one character with warmth and humanity (and of course with mounds of regret for what he has done). Secondly, I skimmed through a little Ayn Rand before writing this review. I have not read her in decades and wondered in retrospect how balanced her world in Atlas Shrugged really was. Not very, so this author is at least in renowned company. Unfortunately, at this point his writing lacks the plot intricacy and the suspense that Ayn showed in her two most famous novels. We aren't compelled to find out how this book is going to end, but rather have a pretty good idea much of the way through it.
His character's motivations are sometimes unclear and their emotions sometimes range significantly from one sentence to the next. Author Scott Haworth also shows no skill at all in folding in either romance or sex, both of which do add to a book's wider appeal. Lacking all this, his one-sidedness is more apparent than Ayn's and will likely be more irritating to any reader that does not more or less agree with him already.
However, Ayn did write a first novel, called "Anthem", and years ago I read it. I'm not going to bother to reread it now just for this review, but I remember it as a short, shrill and simplistic treatise in which she outlines ideas that she would later convey with far more power. I am a much more critical reader these days, and I feel certain that "Abraham Lincoln's Lie" is a better first political book than "Anthem".
I wavered between giving "Abraham Lincoln's Lie" 3 stars or 4. I am rounding up in hopes that this is the first of several political novels we will see from Scott Haworth, and that one day soon his skills will grow enough to be able to powerfully convey the fictionally underrepresented ideal of a freedom-loving progressive nation. I am really looking forward to reading those future works.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars INTERESTING BUT HEAVY-HANDED 14 Mar 2013
By CAROL CUSTER - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
When I started to read this book, I knew nothing about it but the title so thought it would be an historical novel set in Lincoln's time. When I realized it was contemporary, I was surprised but not displeased. I enjoyed the satire and humor of the book in the beginning; but as the novel progressed, it became way too heavey-handed and one-sided for my taste. It soon became nothing more than a liberal diatribe. I suppose if I agreed with the viewpoint I would have enjoyed it more, but even then I think I would have preferred a more balanced story. The book could use some editing for spelling and misplaced adjectives that don't seem to go with their nouns (can attire be promiscious?) but still, it's an unusual book and a quick read. I would imagine liberal readers will love it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be Careful What You Wish For 29 Mar 2013
By M. Swenson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Faced with neverending DC political gridlock, it is easy to daydream what life would be like if only your political side could break through and finally accomplish everything on their agenda. Texan Nick Bennett, named to fill out the term of a vacant Senate seat, while delivering a rote speech in the battle of ideologies on the Senate floor, has an epiphany. Breaking from his prepared remarks, he posits that Lincoln was wrong -- the Civil War which kept the Country united did not save it, but plunged it into its present state of gridlock and inactivity. This musing quickly gathers steam and adherents. In back room wrangling, the politicos quickly divide up the country along blue state (Progressive States of America) and red state (United States of Ronald Reagan) lines. Thus, the liberals and conservatives are freed to pursue their agendas unhindered.

This fast paced read brings these daydreams to fruition. As other commenters have noted, this book will appeal to liberals far more than conservatives. It is interesting to see how this author has imagined the future if these policies are allowed to run rampant. The satire can get rather heavy handed, but I didn't mind so much as it played to my own biases.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red State vs. Blue State? Scott hates the South. 2 Jun 2014
By Studs Turkel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Scott has a real big problem, when he was a kid; apparently he got those cheap 3-D glasses stuck on his head. You know the ones I’m talking about where one eye is only seeing blue, and the other eye is only seeing red. That is the only explanation I can see why, everything/one Scott sees is either a representation of a blue state, or a red state. Also based on his disclaimer to conservatives before reading this book, he might have poked his red state eye out, not letting him see that part of the story.

Okay so Plot and Characters are good, Flow is fine, blah blah blah, whatever, it's a Novel, read it you'll be entertained.

Now allow me to rant to you, Scott's biggest problem with this book, is two-fold. First, Scott has no concept of the South or people that live there. Granted, I can't give him too much of a hard time because the further South Scott has been is the Suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. Scott doesn't understand the South of the Civil War is long since gone and is just as diverse and urban and nationalized as the North is, but all Scott wants to see are the shock jock TV reporters on Fox News. To Scott the South is filled with a bunch of ignorant Rednecks that inbred and want the "gov'ment" to get off their land, (Thanks Obama). Which leads to the second problem, Scott doesn't understand the Southern people. Rednecks are not localized to the South; they are a national group and are everywhere. I would bet money that with as rural as most of Ohio is, they have more people claiming to be Red Necks than some Southern States. Also going along this line, Southern States and Middle American are two very different things. I know Scott views them all as Red States but that is just incorrect, the South and Middle America are very different just like the Blue States Maine and California are as different from each other.

Lastly, if Scott really wanted a Second Civil War, using Scott's logic, based off the people I see on CNN, I'm sure the South would have wrapped up within a week.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this book, but.. 4 Mar 2013
By marybb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
it would have benefited from some editing. Errors of anachronism and homophones. Still, it was an intriguing concept and for me, a guilty pleasure as a member of the choir to which the author was preaching.
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