“Lincoln’s Makeup Secrets” Latest Entry in Crowded Field

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois. By one informal count, there have been over 16,000 different books written about Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday has been downgraded to a half-share in Presidents Day. “There’s ‘Team of Rivals’ by Doris Kearns Goodwin, which Obama read–that’s very popular,” says Eve-Elise Schwermer, head buyer for Barnes & Noble. “Then there’s ‘Win Money at Golf the Lincoln Way,’ which Tiger Woods blurbed on the back cover.”

Goodwin: “I’m sad because my goldfish died on Lincoln’s birthday last year.”


The perennial popularity of all things Lincoln is the source of a publishing industry joke to the effect that if you want to turn a ho-hum trade book into a best-seller, change the title to “Lincoln’s Doctor’s Dog.” “I’ve heard that before,” says Schwermer. “I didn’t know it was a joke.”


This year’s offerings are expected to be the most numerous since Lincoln was born 215 years ago in a log cabin that he built with his own hands. “We have Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s ‘Lincoln on Race & Slavery’,” notes Publisher’s Weekly editor Norton Beamish, “and then there’s Tammi Lynn Ebersol’s book,” he adds, with obvious disdain.


Ebersol, a beautician in this, the state capital of Illinois, has penned “Lincoln’s Makeup Secrets,” a work that some historians are calling an outright fraud since there is no evidence that the 16th President used cosmetics when he stepped before cameras operated by famed Civil War photographer Matthew Brady. “That’s just them old eggheads yappin’,” she says in an accent that hasn’t changed much since her childhood in the rural downstate region. “You look at those real serious pictures of him, you can just feel that he preferred thickening to lengthening mascara.”

Ebersol feels strongly that the President known as “The Great Emancipator” used blusher, a product she often employs to accentuate the cheekbones of young girls she helps pursue careers modeling for gas station calendars. “Nothing draws the eye upwards away from the thick neck you got playing football with your brother like a little Tawny Pink Brush-On Blush by Avon,” she says.

The Lincoln Museum, which catalogs works by the man who is widely regarded as the greatest writer ever to occupy the Oval Office, says it won’t exclude Ebersol’s book from its collection despite its dubious thesis. “We let in ‘Lincoln’s Crock-Pot Cookbook,’” says James Erthwein, assistant curator, and ‘Barney the Purple Dinosaur Goes to Ford’s Theatre.’”

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