Sunday, February 11, 2007


This week's person who has been caught reading is an individual whose birthday is celebrated every February. Lincoln has been an icon in American History from the point when he took office as our President. Obviously, the source of much contraversy while in office, he soon became a figure representing all that is good in our society. Early on there were many melodramatic images of Lincoln: him reading books by the light of the fireplace, walking miles through the snow to return a book, etc. etc. As later historians have viewed his deeds in less emotional terms, his life and actions have grown in importance and respect. Donald Duncan's biography of Lincoln and Jean Baker's biography of Mary Todd have given us new insight into this great man and his family. Increasingly historians have viewed his life and presidency in terms of "what did he know and when did he know it?" and have come away with increasing respect. The latest biography which highlights the fact that he built a cabinet made up primarily of rivals and enemies, rather than building a cabinet of yes-men as many presidents have done, again shows that this man was huge, and not just in stature.

Even returning to our early images of him, it would do us well to copy his actions and get caught reading a book as we sit in our living rooms with the fireplace blazing.

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