Books: All the President's Men

A new book says Abraham Lincoln was gay. Was he, or did he just have some really close male friends?

It's not something you see in John Ford movies, but in the 1800s it was common for men--frontier-taming, campfire-building, heterosexual men--to share a bed. Mattresses were an indulgence, central heating nonexistent and, for travelers, private lodging scarce. Double bunking was so common that it rarely aroused questions of one's sexual orientation. But a book due out this week asserts that Abraham Lincoln engaged in the practice rather too often and too enthusiastically to avoid the conclusion that he was homosexual.

In The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln (Free Press; 295 pages) sex researcher C.A. Tripp argues that the four years Lincoln...

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