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Despite Mistakes, O'Reilly Book Has People Talking, Says Redlands Curator

Bill O'Reilly is getting criticism about errors in his new book on the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The curator of Redlands' Lincoln Shrine said he's glad the issues have people talking about the 16th president.

Conservative talk show host Bill O’Reilly may be getting a lot of criticism for discrepancies that experts say pepper his new biography of our 16th president, but Lincoln Memorial Shrine curator Don McCune says he prefers to give the author a break.

“Any interest in Abraham Lincoln is a good thing,” McCune said during a recent interview. “I think if it encourages interest in people learning about that time period, so much the better.”

The Lincoln Shrine, in Redlands, is the only museum and archive west of the Mississippi River dedicated solely to the study of Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War, museum officials said. It caters to youngsters. And most come from San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange counties as part of classes or individually for projects.

McCune had only begun to look into the brewing controversy last week when he spoke to Patch.com. According to a Salon.com, two literature reviewers -- including Rae Emerson, the deputy superintendent of the historic Ford Theater -- have detailed several errors in O’Reilly’s book titled “Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever.”

Emerson says that “Killing Lincoln” features factual errors and a lack of documentation. According to Salon.com, Emerson noted that the book makes multiple references to the Oval Office when, in fact, Emerson pointed out, the office was not built until 1909.

Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865.

The Redlands memorial’s small gift shop does sell books, but it will not be carrying O’Reilly’s book because the store is geared for children. The only adult, non-youth oriented books the memorial has are books from authors who have spoken during the annual Edyth Burgess Lincoln Dinner.

If O’Reilly ever wanted to speak at the event, they would be glad to have him, McCune said.

While McCune was still looking over some of the reports of the discrepancies, he said many biographical works have had similar problems.

“I don’t think a book has been published yet, even by mainstream historians, that doesn’t have an item or two that can’t be taken to task,” McCune said. “Doris Kerns Goodwin, for example, is accused of plagiarism.”

O’Reilly’s book, co-authored with Martin Dugard, has spent six weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. And much of the book's popularity is the subject, not its writer or the controversy, McCune guessed.

Two centuries after Lincoln’s birth, his life and death still fascinates people, McCune said.

“It’s the drama of the Civil War in my view,” McCune said. “This watershed event in American history that still has relevance today.”

The Lincoln Memorial Shrine is at 125 W. Vine St. in Redlands. For information call (909) 798-7632 or (909) 798-7636.

Bill Norris November 27, 2011 at 11:05 PM
The Patch logo ripped in half is a place holder when an image can't be loaded properly. It's a Patch-wide system issue that is being repaired. Nothing Guy (or I) would be able to do anything about. It usually resolves itself after a reload or two.
Ben November 27, 2011 at 11:26 PM
tried to respond under one of those fake names you yell that everyone else uses, and messed up your own profile yourself- now you call me low-life cause I pointed out what you said was wrong,? you have lost all cred with me now old guy
steve l November 28, 2011 at 02:15 AM
how many names do you have on here chuckie boy? wow, am i stunned now? you bet i am. i knew you were a moron, but accusing others of things you do yourself?shame shame chuckie boy, shame shame
Ben November 28, 2011 at 05:57 AM
I would be cool with getting a drink with Otiko even though he's a demo cause i'm not Otiko dude- would he know that Tynnete Campbell was my pick for hottest chick in school way more than Maria Baldi? Or that the old high school fountain always got senior pranked like with goldfish, or that a guy is now setting up christmas trees for sale second year in a row on the blvd? or when it rains brookside becomes the best place to take your pickup and rooster tail water into oncoming traffic or that new york pizza with max used to be in the new staters bros place and moved to sixth street with way less stuff to do? ya best ask Norris to start an investigation into this hack cause this site knows full well all our info - and get back to me with that apology cause defamation is whats lowlife told my dad at dinner thursday hey thanks dad for not naming me a real name and told him it came from you- wow he sure had lots and lots of real names for you
Manny Otiko November 28, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Please don't accuse me of something I have nothing to do with. I neither have the time or the energy to spend hacking people's accounts.

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