I'm looking for a Huge Fan of Abraham Lincoln. Do we have any one here especially interested in history and in particular Abraham Lincoln??
We should be calling you Sir Plumbstraight then!!i have read a bit about abe. Too bad his life was cut short. I have a distant relative, nancy ann brumfield that married a lincoln. She was an aunt to abe. When the population was very small, talking 1607, the first one of my clan came ashore.
A few years ago I read the book Team of Rivals. For an American with even the slightest interest in your own history, I'd say it's required reading.
It's unbelievable from the level Lincoln came, you could barely be any lower. Educated himself while he worked his ass off on a farm as a young man. When he did get into politics he was incredibly loyal to his party and always put it first rather than his own ambitions. This loyalty was rewarded later down the track but if he pushed he could of run for the presidency years earlier but didn't. He was also constantly battling prejudice from his lowly background.
The thing I learned from the book was that a political rivals are usually just as bad, if not worse, from within your own "side". Ambition, ego and the perception of inherited privilege at the time was unbelievable. Problem was this got it the way of good governance then, as I'm sure it still does now. He appointed all these men who despised him and coveted his position when he did become president, he refused to have "yes men" around him and wanted debate and alternate views to help his decision making.
Can you imagine managing a young country, then trying to keep it together in a civil war, physically seeing the young men killed who you had a big part in sending to their deaths, managing the childish, squabbling (although talented) men who you appointed to help you run the government, a fruitcake wife and your dying children. I think he was a special person and a rare one that gets to the top from his background and character.
As the book moves on you can see in the letters from the men he appointed, a grudging admiration for Lincoln's intelligence, character and leadership. And nearly to a man, all these bastards cried like babies when they heard he died. The same old story with man's politics & leadership...if only they had all worked together during the good times...