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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lincoln And The Border States

Lincoln And The Border States - Preserving The Union by William C. Harris
Lincoln has often been quoted (whether true or not) as saying while he hoped to have God on his side in the Civil War, he must have Kentucky. And, no doubt, Missouri & Maryland as well. This book by Professor Harris (Univ. Of Kansas) is the story of how Lincoln accomplished the amazingly difficult and complex task.
Keeping the slave holding border states within the Union was the task for a great leader and in this case a masterful politician. Although that term has fallen into some disdain today, I use it in the best sense of the world now. Democracy rests, in part , on political leadership that is moral, wise, practical and inclusive above all. Lincoln had those qualities, perhaps, more than any President in the history of our country.
This book is not a history of the broader problems and events of the war. It requires some background to be fully appreciated. If political leadership is you interest though, the book is perfect. As a lesson in "how to do it" in the worst of times. That makes it well worth reading.
It’s not that much of politics today is lowbrow or even dirty. It was a bad then or even worse. Catering to the lowest common denominator and the politics of fear. Lincoln made the tough decisions, the moral decision but tempered it all with the possible and always an eye on the consequences for the future. We certainly could use a few more people like that in politics today.


Rae said...

Lincoln is well known as one of our greatest presidents, but I don't think people realize all the qualities that he possessed as a leader. His is a remarkable legacy and one that many of our current congressmen could take lessons from.

Shady Gardener said...

We recently spent part of the day in Springfield, IL at the "Big" Lincoln Museum. It was quite a wonderful experience. He truly had a "hard row to hoe" both publicly and personally, and is a leader worthy of better Study and emulation!

Loree Huebner said...

The book sounds good.

Lincoln made some real tough decisions during that time. He understood what needed to be done.

Grayquill said...

A tough person for a tough job... and now he is admired by all.

Vicki said...

Looks like a good read. Thanks for your review. Funny, that map of states and their political color hasn't changed in 150 years.

MadSnapper said...

these two cartoons just made my day, i missed them. Merry Christmas