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History Lessons by Jonathan Gifford

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ABRAHAM LINCOLN

(1809–1865)

Abraham Lincoln had most, and possibly all, of the qualities that are needed in a great leader. He had a sharp and enquiring mind, able to absorb large quantities of information. Helped by his study and practice of the law, he could consider every facet of an argument, and then present a closely-argued narrative that spelled out the most compelling interpretation of the salient facts. He was a great orator, speaking sometimes at length and in great detail, and at other times with a breathtaking concision and eloquence. He was prepared and willing to compromize, but held strong bedrock convictions from which he would not budge: he would compromize on the solution, but not on the principle. He had great mental toughness ...

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