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Last week I was in Springfield, Illinois, ground zero of The Land of Lincoln. I learned more about Abraham Lincoln in two days than in all my years of studying American history and culture. But there’s so much more yet to learn. Lincoln it seems has become an industry unto itself. As one Lincolnphile pointed out to me, there are over 16,000 books on the man. Claiming Lincoln expertise appears to be an impossible task.

To me Lincoln has become the exemplary American enigma. His most personal thoughts and intimate views remain beyond the historical record; we can speculate and make much of the impressive public legacy in his speeches, letters, and other records he left, but he kept to himself his most private opinions.  Which leaves much to our imagination, and makes Lincoln available for whatever cause we wish to enlist his support for. ♨

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