Growing up in the Land of Lincoln (Illinois) I thought I knew quite a bit about our much revered President Abraham Lincoln. It was not until I read a special Time magazine book that I really appreciated the unique qualities that composed his true greatness. To say that Lincoln was a complex man is common knowledge, but to really understand his magnitude one must delve into a detailed examination of this truly great leader.
In order to avoid any copyright problems let me specifically state that this is a review of Time’s 2009 Home Entertainment publication titled “Abraham Lincoln - An Illustrated History of His Life and Times.” I do this specifically to prevent incarceration or financial penalty.
This book contains a wonderfully supportive pictorial presentation that enhances the text from the Introduction, Lincoln’s Youth, Illinois Lawyer, National Stage, and the Civil War. Each segment of the book contributes to an improved understanding and appreciation of Lincoln’s contribution to not only his country, but mankind.
Personally, I found the portion of the work titled “The Master of the Game” written by noted historian Doris Kearns Goodwin to be a pivotal contribution. She writes “When he arrived in Washington he didn’t have much political experience, but Lincoln’s emotional strengths made him a natural.” Kearns Goodwin lists several vital characteristics that made Lincoln highly successful in the long run. Empathy, Magnanimity, Generosity of Spirit, Perspective, Self-Control, A Sense of Balance, and A Social Conscience all contributed to making Lincoln the long honored figure he has become.
Personally I believe Lincoln’s magnanimity was a major contributor to his historical and long lasting achievements. His bold action in selecting his major opponents to fill his Cabinet is a perfect example of keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer.
Far be it from me to attempt to draw any comparisons of our current leadership to Lincoln, because the two are not even in the same league. Your Commander will state emphatically, however, that there was never a time in which we could benefit from a man with the qualities Lincoln presented and possessed. He truly deserves to sit peacefully in stone in our nation’s capitol. God truly blessed Abraham Lincoln, and he blessed The United States of America, too, when he brought him to our Presidency.