Lincolns Enduring Legacy - Perspective from Great Thinkers, Great Leaders, and the American Experiment

How much do I want to read more? 7/10

Nice book about Lincoln. I know only few about him, mainly from Steve Chandlers who has a fascination for him.
The most part I like is for him to love everyone including his enemies. He's certainly a mysterious character we can learn from.


A few collections of essays on Lincoln exist, but most are quite volumi- nous. As such, one of our goals was to produce a highly readable and access- ible collection of readings and perspectives on Lincoln’s legacy.

Part I - Introduction

Chapter One - What Would Lincoln Do?


Two centuries have passed since Abraham Lincoln was born, and it has been nearly a century and a half since he was assassinated. Yet our fascination with Lincoln remains.


Lincoln was the most unlikely of leaders—he was uneducated, suffered a hardscrabble upbringing, and hailed from the remote frontier. Yet Lincoln possessed an extraordinary set of characteristics for leadership—he was a skilled politician, enjoyed a near-photographic memory and healthy intellec- tual curiosity, and was an inspiring writer and rhetorician.

His was a compelling, if not Shakespearean, life of tragedy—he suffered the loss of numerous loved ones, including his mother, older sister, and two sons, was thought of as socially awkward and physically repulsive, and struggled with “melancholy” throughout his life. But, on a personal side, Lincoln was admired for his warm storytelling and jokes as well as for his formidable intellect, and touched those around him through his extraordinary empathy and humility.

Ultimately, the least-prepared president in 6 American history would emerge as arguably its greatest.


Although Lincoln lacked much in the way of a formal education, he was a voracious reader and, as noted by one biographer, “had the temperament of a thinker.”
Likewise, although Lincoln was, at heart, a judicious and prag- matic man, his actions were firmly rooted in convictions and philosophical ideas.

As a young man, Lincoln read—and reread—the Bible and Shake- speare—and was influenced by numerous philosophers, leaders, and ideas.

Part II - Lincoln’s Legacy with Great Thinkers and Leaders

Chapter Two - Tolstoy’s Lincoln


"He was a hero. He spoke with a voice of thunder; he laughed like the sunrise and his deeds were strong as the rock and as sweet as the fragrance of roses. . . . He was so great that he even forgave the crimes of his greatest enemies and shook brotherly hands with those who had plotted against his life. His name was Lincoln"

“Of all the great national heroes and statesmen of history,” Tolstoy claims, “Lincoln is the only real giant.” The reason for that, according to the novelist, lies in his “particular moral power and in the greatness of his character.”

"The greatness of Napoleon, Caesar or Washington is only moonlight by the sun of Lincoln. His example is universal and will last thousands of years. Washington was a typical American, Napoleon was a typical Frenchman, but Lincoln was a humani- tarian as broad as the world. He was bigger than his country—bigger than all the Presidents together. Why? Because he loved his enemies as himself and because he was a universal individualist who wanted to see himself in the world—not the world in himself."