Continuing our series on Knowledge and Humanitarianism, in the coming month, lets look at superlative people who lead from the front and changed the world forever for the better.
Abraham Lincoln “The Great Dude ” was born in a frontier state in United States in the 1800s in an improvised family. He was besieged with both personala nd professional setbacks in life ; lost his younger brother, aunt and his mother when he was a kid and sister when he was a young man. Although Abraham Lincoln had a caring step mother, he was particularly close to both his mother and sister. His mother died when he was very young while his sister died while giving birth. Abraham’s father did not encourage his penchant for knowledge and Abraham Lincoln had to struggle to gain access to books and had no formal education. During his childhood, his favorite books included Robinson Crusoe, The Pilgrim’s Progress and Aesops Fables to name a few. In his 20’s he lost his first romantic love Ann Rutledge which emotionally devastated him and loss of his son while he was President of United States of America took away a part of him. Until his death, his life is a story of personal and professional struggle with boundless courage and determination to bounce back in every adversity. Abraham Lincoln is known for his Melancholy look but few know him for his Wisecracking humor. Sadly The Great Man had a quintessential bad luck on personal level something which will fill any human’s heart with compassion…empathy & respect for the great man.
Abraham Lincoln will be forever be remembered for The 13th Amendment. On January 31, 1865, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery in the United States. The amendment became a law when Georgia approved the measure on December 6, 1865. ( three fourths majority was required in America for the bill to become a law). But the contributions of Abraham Lincoln is much more than The 13th Amendment which will be forever a feather in his cap. As you read about him you will surely fall in love with him regardless of your nationality or any other affiliation.
“This amendment is a king’s cure for all the evils,” he said. “It winds the whole thing up.” Abraham Lincoln on the day 13th Amendment was approved as a constitutional amendment.
In spite of personal set backs he went on to become a very successful lawyer, a debater par excellence ( his debates with Douglas are legendary), one of the most eloquent speakers of all time and went on to abolish slavery in America. As an astute statesman he used Emancipation Proclamation to end civil war by free slaves in southern states which in turn changed the tide in favor of the Union against the confederates. This declaration using his Presidential powers at the time of war paved the way for the 13th amendment. Emancipation Proclamation declared all slaves free in the southern states who could reach the union which resulted in many African Americans at that point of time to flee from their bounded masters and join the Union army. This was one of the most decisive, humane and well thought moves on part of the President since their enormous numbers would decisively end the civil war in favor of the Union.
There are more than 15000 books written on Abraham Lincoln, a testimony of Abraham Lincoln’s multi-facet talents and multi dimensional outlook. A man was born as a human inspired generations of people with deeds of a super human being.
I was always inspired by Abraham Lincoln but it is not until I started reading about him did it dawn that how remarkable he truly was. His determination, inquisitiveness for knowledge, oratory skills, angelic deeds and persona will forever define the legacy of statesmanship in United States of America and around the world. No wonder Americans built the best educational universities around the world wherein the research budget itself in many universities in America is more than USD 1bn. (1bn USD is 100 crore * exchange rate which would be about 6600 cr just to share a perspective). That is why United States still leads in patents around the world by a wide margin, a leader in technological know how with a judicious way to economize those patents.
Footprints of the great man are still felt but not known to many across the world.
His iconic speech The Gettysburg Address is mentioned below.
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”.
November 19, 1863
It will be great to google and see some of the most well known books about Abraham Lincoln and there are many out there. One book highly recommended to give true perspective about Abraham Lincoln is In the Footsteps of the Lincolns by Tarbell but it is out of print. If you would like to read about Lincoln’s leadership during civil war then Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson while Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln is President Obama’s favorite. Biographies highly rated are Michael Burlingame’s Abraham Lincoln: A Life , Ronald White’s “A .Lincoln : A Biography, Lincoln by David Donald among others.
Link below shares a good perspective on books on Abraham Lincoln considering myself have not read completely any of the above mentioned books. Best to share views of someone who seems to an expert on this subject. Hope this helps all you to decide on the book you want to read.
The one mentioned here has been rated as the best biography on Abraham Lincoln by many sources, although I have not read it.
I would be sharing over time, some anecdotes from the great man’s life. We will look at many other people from around the world who are/were outliers and their timeless legacy.
Abraham Lincoln’s life is so inspiring in terms of his personal struggles and achievements only (not including his deeds as a President which are timeless) which motivates people towards perfection. Not many people in the world are truly aware the extent of Abraham Lincoln’s greatness and well its time Hollywood take a cue out of the great man’s life and make an iconic biographical movie. The movie will not only receive the Oscars but become a great commercial success. The movie has to be very factual and could be a trilogy considering two hours will never do justice to Abraham Lincoln’s legacy. Steven Spielberg did a great job in portraying few years in Abraham Lincoln’s life (Events leading to the passage of The 13 Amendment) and sadly I did not watch the complete movie which needs to be corrected at my end. Stating that the world needs a complete biographical movie about Abraham The Great which will stand the test of time. The movie should encompass the panorama of America in the 1800s as a backdrop with Abraham’s up-bring, his personal and professional struggles, his rise as a national and international Statesman culminating in the passage of The 13th Amendment and his tragic assassination, which no movie has been able to do so before. The movie could use anecdotes including his legendary debates and oratory, his grievance when he lost his sister and other setbacks. It would give a very judicious portrayal of a man, experiences which shaped him and his Pursuit of Happiness not only for himself but also for his nation, humanity and brotherhood.
” I am a slow walker, but I never walk back”
Apart from Lincoln, there are some movies on the great man which I have not seen and must be exemplary in their own right esp. some TV series but we need something on a grand scale…An Epic Saga…A Timeless Classic...On big celluloid worldwide…
This is just a thought and a suggestion but sure that a trilogy will do a lot of good.
Assassination of Abraham Lincoln was the turning point in American and World history for the worse. On that unfortunate day, the heavens would have cried.