Sunday, June 22, 2008

Team of Rivals

My summer reading, so far, has been mostly this interesting and convincing history by Doris Kearns Goodwin. While much of it is familiar, a couple of pieces of new information are appropriate to our study. I never realized how astute Lincoln was as a politician. The focus is on Lincoln and his cabinet rivals. His cabinet had many members with political ambitions of their own. He was able to maneuver the increasingly dangerous slavery issues in the political domain during the 1850's, and the Civil War, largely because of his political skills.

Goodwin says he was successful because of these skills and his understanding of human nature formed in his early years. I would add the importance of his early years in forming his views and understanding of American slavery. When these views were being formed, it was Galesburg that was in the forefront of the opposition to slavery. Lincoln's formative years had to be influenced by the forces of abolition that so swirled in and around Galesburg. The Lincoln Seminar rises in importance as we attach ourselves to the life of this man who came out of the state of Illinois to maneuver the country through the process of ending slavery and preserving the Union.

Charity for all

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