Monday, February 20, 2006

Team of Rivals - Doris Kearns Goodwin

I am not yet finished reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," but the book does a stellar job of portraying a large part of what made Lincoln one of our greatest Presidents; the strength of character to seek out dissenting opinions and differing views, and the willingness to adjust his thinking when he was wrong or something did not work. The book is teeming with examples and serves as a dramatic contrast to a failing presidency that can only be characterized by its circle of like-minded voices and "yes men" who, especially the top dog, cannot admit error in any case and is wholly unwilling to change course.

One quote in the book, attributed to Fred Seward, the son of Secretary of State William Seward, sums up Lincoln's greatness and Bush's complete lack thereof. It reads: "Presidents and Kings are not apt to see flaws in their own arguments, but fortunately for the Union, it had a president (Lincoln), at this critical juncture, who combined logical intellect with unselfish heart."

Woe are we for our national lack of a Lincoln to steer at the helm of our current crises at home and abroad.

I highly recommend reading "Team of Rivals" if you are into U.S. history and the Civil War. It is a well written and detailed account of Lincoln and the other men who helped save this nation.

1 comment:

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