There is so much that can be said in honor of the birthday of America’s 16th and greatest President, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). Nothing I could write would be fitting enough.
I will, however, put in a plug for the book I’m reading now: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It’s a vast tome, but my only regret is that I waited so long to pick it up and delve into it. Goodwin skillfully and eloquently reminds us that at his heart, Lincoln was an ambitious and savvy politician who translated his skills into success – not in the mere service of political avarice and power but in the service of a large and maturing vision about the Declaration of Independence, free labor, and America’s role in the world. Or maybe I’ve read some of that into her book from my other readings.
Nonetheless, Team of Rivals deserves the attention of every serious reader of American history. In fact, not yet finished, I’m ready to add it to my earlier list of the greatest Lincoln books – by David Donald, Harry Jaffa, and Mark Neely.