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Abraham Lincoln

“Forged in Crisis:” Inspiration on the Power to Lead

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There are so many books on leadership it may seem there are no more “secrets” of leadership to be revealed to us. So for anyone writing on the subject, the challenge is: (1) make the subject more interesting, more vivid, and (2) give the reader the realistic reassurance that, yes, maybe I, too, can be a leader. In this, Nancy Koehn admirably succeeds in her work, Forged in Crisis: The Making of Five Courageous Leaders (Scribner). Koehn, a professor and historian at the Harvard Business School where she holds the James E. Robison chair of Business Administration, writes a historical narrative of five extraordinary people who mastered a crisis in order to prevail and became great leaders in the process: polar explorer…

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Lincoln and the Jews: Revealing Evidence from the Past

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In his role as the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln carved a place in history as a champion of African-Americans and one of our most illustrious presidents. Few, however, knew of Lincoln’s affinity for and admiration of American Jews—a people who, during his lifetime, were often treated as second-class citizens. But now we can learn how the president who delivered millions from slavery was himself a friend to a growing population of Jews in the United States. This previously little-known aspect of our 16th president’s life is on display in Lincoln and the Jews: A History (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), a comprehensive examination of photographs, letters and personal notes that show Lincoln in a way that he’s seldom been seen before.…

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Celebrating Abe & Fido and our staff pals on National Pet Day

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Ever wonder why so many dogs were named Fido? It may have something to do with President Abraham Lincoln’s beloved dog whom he adopted as a stray in Springfield, Illinois. Fido accompanied Lincoln on his rise from obscure country lawyer to the White House in 1861. It was the move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that separated Lincoln and Fido — the president knew the skittish dog hated trains and loud noises and was forced to leave him behind with friends. But Lincoln had many animal companions throughout his life including dogs, cats, horses, game animals and the family pig. In the spirit of Lincoln and his animal friends, we thought we’d share some of our own beloved animals for National…

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Legend has long overtaken truth when it comes to Lincoln

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“I would save the Union.  I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.”  If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them.  If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery.  If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and…

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“I would rather be assassinated on this spot…”: Daniel Stashower on Lincoln, Presidents Day, and secret plots

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by Daniel Stashower On the eve of the Civil War in 1861, Abraham Lincoln ignored a looming threat against his life and gave an emotionally charged speech in honor of George Washington’s birthday. “All imagination,” Abraham Lincoln was reported to say when confronted with threats against his life. “What does anyone want to harm me for?” But on the morning of February 22, 1861, as the newly-elected President raised a flag over Independence Hall in Philadelphia to honor George Washington’s birthday, he could not afford to be so cavalier. For thirteen days, as Lincoln traveled by train from Springfield to Washington for his inauguration, the air bristled with talk of an assassination plot. In Maryland, where his train would dip…

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