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Ann’s Choice resident’s book on Lincoln is treasure trove

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“Four Score and Seven Years Ago…”

Reading history books has never been one of my preferred activities, but I’ve always had an affinity for and been an admirer of Abraham Lincoln. In fact, I memorized his Gettysburg Address back in high school and I still can recite a good bit of it now beginning with the familiar words: ”Four score and seven years ago…”

So, when Fred Antil, a friend of mine at Ann’s Choice in Warminster, asked me to read and review the recently completed book he wrote about Abraham Lincoln, “A Lincoln Treasure Trove,” I agreed, even though I usually write reviews about local theater productions.

Antil and I first connected last year when I learned one night at dinner of his passion for Lincoln. I asked him to tell his story as part of a theater performance I was planning, and he graciously agreed.

People who attended our show were fascinated by his story of how he became interested in Lincoln and how he started portraying our 16th president. Following the show, Antil started a monthly history group at Ann’s Choice, which has become very well-attended.

Because Antil is tall and lanky, when he dons the black suit and top hat associated with Lincoln, he looks very much like our former president. He has visited all of the places Lincoln lived and has immersed himself in the history of his idol.

What is especially fascinating about this new book is how different it is from the usual history book. After a brief prologue in which Antil explains how he became interested in Lincoln, the book begins with “Lincoln Lore #1” and continues to “Lincoln Lore #43.” Many of the lores are only two pages long as they share brief, captivating glimpses into Lincoln’s life.

Thereafter, Antil tells additional brief, interesting stories about Lincoln, until the president’s final speech on April 11, 1865, before he was assassinated.

On the back cover of the book are these words someone wrote about the book: “According to Cicero, ‘In history, nothing is sweeter than pure and clear brevity.’ A Lincoln Treasure Trove uses clarity and brevity to present an amazing accumulation of facts and stories, much of which we never knew.”

“A Lincoln Treasure Trove” is available in the Doylestown Bookstore, at Barnes and Noble, online at Amazon Books, and at Inkwater Publishing

Antil’s career was spent in organizational and human resource development in the military, business, and academia. A former Marine officer, he holds degrees from Cornell University, George Washington University and Columbia University, where he earned his doctorate in education.

I recommend you read this book and enjoy a new approach and new appreciation for one of our most interesting and curious presidents. It is published by Inkwater press. The price is $19.95. Antil expects to be having a book signing soon. In the meantime, he can be reached at FHA1@cornell.edu.


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