Sunday, June 21, 2009


I just finished a great book, We Are Lincoln Men: Abraham Lincoln and his Friends, by David Hebert Donald. This unique character sketch of Lincoln examines how his friends influenced his leadership and thus history. The work is such that Donald develops a framework or principal of Lincoln’s friendships based partly on Aristotle’s “typology of friendship” which holds that there are three fundamental kinds of friendships. There are “enjoyable” friendships, there are “useful” friendships, and then there are “perfect” friendships. Accordingly to be involved in a perfect friendship one is committed to an egalitarian relationship that is based upon a “free sharing of ideas, hopes, wishes, ambitions, fears…” Furthermore, such rare friendships can only exist between “good people.” Donald submits that Lincoln, like most of us, never achieved the perfect friendship with anyone, but he did enjoy many other less-perfect, but important and even profound friendships. This book provides captivating analysis of several such friendship, within the context of Lincoln’s extraordinary life and times… Itz really a great read, an amazing read, in that it gives such a human face to Lincoln.

For whatz it worth, I believe Lincoln to be the most “human” and “good” of all the Presidents. This is a highly recommended book…

No comments:

Post a Comment