Fido had been by Lincoln s side as the prairie lawyer rose from obscurity to the presidency, sometimes carrying bundles of letters from the post office in his mouth as he and his master walked the streets of the state capital. "Abe & Fido "tells the story of two friends, an unlikely tandem who each became famous and died prematurely.
The book also explores the everyday life of Springfield in the years leading up to the Civil War, as well as Lincoln s sometimes radical views on animal welfare and how they shaped his life and his presidency. It s the story of a master and his dog, living through historic, tumultuous times.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-02-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Algeo (Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure) celebrates Abraham Lincoln’s compassion for animals, exemplified by his relationship with his household pets, particularly Fido, a “friendly yellow mutt.” The dog “amused Lincoln to no end,” serving as a loyal companion to his sons and “a kind of mascot for the neighborhood boys” of Springfield, Ill., in the period prior to Lincoln’s presidency. A lifelong animal lover, Abe is depicted returning baby birds to their nest, rescuing a turtle from hoodlums, and nursing his first dog, Honey, back to health after he found her with a broken leg. In the White House, he was rumored to have fed his cat at the table with a gold fork. Algeo contextualizes these lighthearted anecdotes by discussing other White House pets, as well as the general treatment of animals during the era of Lincoln’s presidency. Oddly, the book’s narrative arc focuses on Lincoln’s political career, with the parts about his pets treated more as asides. Although there is an overall lightheartedness in tone, be prepared: Fido’s fate was no happier than his master’s. Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Apr.)