Famous Lincoln Quotes

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Abraham Lincoln was in no way whatsoever a friend of Black people. He had little concern for our plight. In his famous reply to editor Horace Greeley in August, 1862, he openly stated: My paramount objective in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it and if i could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.
Assata Shakur (Assata: An Autobiography)
Let me share a famous life history with you. This was a man who failed in business at the age of twenty-one; was defeated in a legislative race at age twenty-two; failed again in business at age twenty-four; had his sweetheart die when he was age twennty-six; had a nervous breakdown at age twenty-seven; lost a congressional race at age thirty-four; lost a senatorial race at age forty-five; failed in an effort to become vice-president at age forty-seven; lost a senatorial race at age forty-nine; and was elected president of the United States at age fifty-two. This man was Abraham Lincoln.
Shiv Khera (You Can Win: A Step-by-Step Tool for Top Achievers)
Lincoln is not the only famous leader to have battled depression. Winston Churchill lived with the ‘black dog’ for much of his life too. Watching a fire, he once remarked to a young researcher he was employing: ‘I know why logs spit. I know what it is to be consumed.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
Abraham Lincoln famously noted, it is possible to fool some individuals all the time and all individuals some of the time, but it’s not feasible to fool all individuals all the time.
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic (Confidence: The Surprising Truth about How Much You Need - And How to Get It)
Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!" This cyclonic issue of secession was to be settled a third of a century later, not by the mighty Webster, the gifted Clay, or the famous Calhoun, but by an awkward, penniless, obscure driver of oxen
Dale Carnegie (Lincoln: The Unknown: Whatever you are, be a good one.)
In 1908, in a wild and remote area of the North Caucasus, Leo Tolstoy, the greatest writer of the age, was the guest of a tribal chief “living far away from civilized life in the mountains.” Gathering his family and neighbors, the chief asked Tolstoy to tell stories about the famous men of history. Tolstoy told how he entertained the eager crowd for hours with tales of Alexander, Caesar, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon. When he was winding to a close, the chief stood and said, “But you have not told us a syllable about the greatest general and greatest ruler of the world. We want to know something about him. He was a hero. He spoke with a voice of thunder; he laughed like the sunrise and his deeds were strong as the rock….His name was Lincoln and the country in which he lived is called America, which is so far away that if a youth should journey to reach it he would be an old man when he arrived. Tell us of that man.” “I looked at them,” Tolstoy recalled, “and saw their faces all aglow, while their eyes were burning. I saw that those rude barbarians were really interested in a man whose name and deeds had already become a legend.” He told them everything he knew about Lincoln’s “home life and youth…his habits, his influence upon the people and his physical strength.” When he finished, they were so grateful for the story that they presented him with “a wonderful Arabian horse.” The next morning, as Tolstoy prepared to leave, they asked if he could possibly acquire for them a picture of Lincoln. Thinking that he might find one at a friend’s house in the neighboring town, Tolstoy asked one of the riders to accompany him. “I was successful in getting a large photograph from my friend,” recalled Tolstoy. As he handed it to the rider, he noted that the man’s hand trembled as he took it. “He gazed for several minutes silently, like one in a reverent prayer, his eyes filled with tears.” Tolstoy went on to observe, “This little incident proves how largely the name of Lincoln is worshipped throughout the world and how legendary his personality has become. Now, why was Lincoln so great that he overshadows all other national heroes? He really was not a great general like Napoleon or Washington; he was not such a skilful statesman as Gladstone or Frederick the Great; but his supremacy expresses itself altogether in his peculiar moral power and in the greatness of his character. “Washington was a typical American. Napoleon was a typical Frenchman, but Lincoln was a humanitarian as broad as the world. He was bigger than his country—bigger than all the Presidents together. “We are still too near to his greatness,” Tolstoy concluded, “but after a few centuries more our posterity will find him considerably bigger than we do. His genius is still too strong and too powerful for the common understanding, just as the sun is too hot when its light beams directly on us.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals:The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln)
Before the Civil War, a group of Southerners came to visit President Abraham Lincoln at the White House to warn him that when it came to the coming conflict, the South would prevail, because God was on their side. Lincoln famously said in response, “It is more important to know that we are on God’s side.
Joshua DuBois (The President's Devotional: The Daily Readings That Inspired President Obama)
There’s an interesting story about Abraham Lincoln. During the American Civil War he signed an order transferring certain regiments, but Secretary of War Edwin Stanton refused to execute it, calling the president a fool. When Lincoln heard he replied, ‘If Stanton said I’m a fool then I must be, for he’s nearly always right, and he says what he thinks. I’ll step over and see for myself.’ He did, and when Stanton convinced him the order was in error, Lincoln quietly withdrew it. Part of Lincoln’s greatness lay in his ability to rise above pettiness, ego, and sensitivity to other people’s opinions. He wasn’t easily offended. He welcomed criticism, and in doing so demonstrated one of the strengths of a truly great person: humility. So, have you been criticised? Make it a time to learn, not lose.
Patience Johnson (Why Does an Orderly God Allow Disorder)
It is not that the historian can avoid emphasis of some facts and not of others. This is as natural to him as to the mapmaker, who, in order to produce a usable drawing for practical purposes, must first flatten and distort the shape of the earth, then choose out of the bewildering mass of geographic information those things needed for the purpose of this or that particular map. My argument cannot be against selection, simplification, emphasis, which are inevitable for both cartographers and historians. But the map-maker's distortion is a technical necessity for a common purpose shared by all people who need maps. The historian's distortion is more than technical, it is ideological; it is released into a world of contending interests, where any chosen emphasis supports (whether the historian means to or not) some kind of interest, whether economic or political or racial or national or sexual. Furthermore, this ideological interest is not openly expressed in the way a mapmaker's technical interest is obvious ("This is a Mercator projection for long-range navigation-for short-range, you'd better use a different projection"). No, it is presented as if all readers of history had a common interest which historians serve to the best of their ability. This is not intentional deception; the historian has been trained in a society in which education and knowledge are put forward as technical problems of excellence and not as tools for contending social classes, races, nations. To emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to de-emphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. It serves- unwittingly-to justify what was done. My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)-that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth. We have learned to give them exactly the same proportion of attention that teachers and writers often give them in the most respectable of classrooms and textbooks. This learned sense of moral proportion, coming from the apparent objectivity of the scholar, is accepted more easily than when it comes from politicians at press conferences. It is therefore more deadly. The treatment of heroes (Columbus) and their victims (the Arawaks)-the quiet acceptance of conquest and murder in the name of progress-is only one aspect of a certain approach to history, in which the past is told from the point of view of governments, conquerors, diplomats, leaders. It is as if they, like Columbus, deserve universal acceptance, as if they-the Founding Fathers, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, the leading members of Congress, the famous Justices of the Supreme Court-represent the nation as a whole. The pretense is that there really is such a thing as "the United States," subject to occasional conflicts and quarrels, but fundamentally a community of people with common interests. It is as if there really is a "national interest" represented in the Constitution, in territorial expansion, in the laws passed by Congress, the decisions of the courts, the development of capitalism, the culture of education and the mass media.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
Don't give up. Come on. Just keep on trying. Don't frown. Smile! You can do it. If you just try a little harder. I've got a feeling this whole thing might just work out okay. You'll see. Don't give up. Tomorrow is a brand new day. Now I want to see all of you get up on your feet and look like you're enjoying yourselves. Come on, let's see some of that famous ‘Pennsylvania optimism’ I've heard so much about...
Abraham Lincoln
The famous speech Martin Luther King Jr. delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, included the sentence: "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character". Today's left-wing, through identity politics, affirmative-action policies, and hiring quotas, has shattered that dream.
Tammy Bruce (The New Thought Police: Inside the Left's Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds)
It is the simplest phrase you can imagine,” Favreau said, “three monosyllabic words that people say to each other every day.” But the speech etched itself in rhetorical lore. It inspired music videos and memes and the full range of reactions that any blockbuster receives online today, from praise to out-of-context humor to arch mockery. Obama’s “Yes, we can” refrain is an example of a rhetorical device known as epistrophe, or the repetition of words at the end of a sentence. It’s one of many famous rhetorical types, most with Greek names, based on some form of repetition. There is anaphora, which is repetition at the beginning of a sentence (Winston Churchill: “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields”). There is tricolon, which is repetition in short triplicate (Abraham Lincoln: “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people”). There is epizeuxis, which is the same word repeated over and over (Nancy Pelosi: “Just remember these four words for what this legislation means: jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs”). There is diacope, which is the repetition of a word or phrase with a brief interruption (Franklin D. Roosevelt: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”) or, most simply, an A-B-A structure (Sarah Palin: “Drill baby drill!”). There is antithesis, which is repetition of clause structures to juxtapose contrasting ideas (Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”). There is parallelism, which is repetition of sentence structure (the paragraph you just read). Finally, there is the king of all modern speech-making tricks, antimetabole, which is rhetorical inversion: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” There are several reasons why antimetabole is so popular. First, it’s just complex enough to disguise the fact that it’s formulaic. Second, it’s useful for highlighting an argument by drawing a clear contrast. Third, it’s quite poppy, in the Swedish songwriting sense, building a hook around two elements—A and B—and inverting them to give listeners immediate gratification and meaning. The classic structure of antimetabole is AB;BA, which is easy to remember since it spells out the name of a certain Swedish band.18 Famous ABBA examples in politics include: “Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of men.” —Benjamin Disraeli “East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we mistrust each other.” —Ronald Reagan “The world faces a very different Russia than it did in 1991. Like all countries, Russia also faces a very different world.” —Bill Clinton “Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.” —George W. Bush “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.” —Hillary Clinton In particular, President John F. Kennedy made ABBA famous (and ABBA made John F. Kennedy famous). “Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind,” he said, and “Each increase of tension has produced an increase of arms; each increase of arms has produced an increase of tension,” and most famously, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Antimetabole is like the C–G–Am–F chord progression in Western pop music: When you learn it somewhere, you hear it everywhere.19 Difficult and even controversial ideas are transformed, through ABBA, into something like musical hooks.
Derek Thompson (Hit Makers: Why Things Become Popular)
People feel ashamed of being depressed, they feel they should snap out of it, they feel weak and inadequate. Of course, these feelings are symptoms of the disease. Depression is a grave and life-threatening illness, much more common than we recognize. As far as the depressive being weak or inadequate, let me drop some names of famous depressives: Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sigmund Freud. Terry Bradshaw, Drew Carey, Billy Joel, T. Boone Pickens, J. K. Rowling, Brooke Shields, Mike Wallace. Charles Dickens, Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, Ernest Hemingway, Herman Melville, Mark Twain.
Richard O'Connor (Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You)
Historians have been quick to pounce on the blind spots in Grant’s report. Less noticed is that he almost immediately recanted what he wrote. As early as January 12, 1866, Carl Schurz informed his wife that “Grant feels very bad about his thoughtless move and has openly expressed regret for what he has done.”102 When Schurz encountered Grant at a soldiers’ reunion in December 1868, Grant was still more regretful, admitting that on his southern tour “I traveled as the general-in-chief and people who came to see me tried to appear to the best advantage. But I have since come to the conclusion that you were right and I was wrong.”103 Here Grant echoed a famous line Abraham Lincoln had written to him, showing he was a big enough man to confess frankly to past error. In the future, he wouldn’t pull his punches about black-white relations in the South
Ron Chernow (Grant)
On September 2, the day the Democratic National Convention in Chicago nominated George McClellan for president, news flashed across the country of the fall of Atlanta to General William Tecumseh Sherman after a long siege. Just as the Democrats met to declare the war a failure and crafted a platform that would lead to a negotiated Confederate independence of some kind, Sherman famously sent a telegram to Washington: “Atlanta is ours and fairly won.” Confederates’ rising hopes plummeted, and many war-weary Northerners, represented by the famous New York diarist George Templeton Strong, saw victory now on the immediate horizon: “Glorious news this morning—Atlanta taken at last!!! It is . . . the greatest event of the war.”45 The Democrats’ peace platform put Lincoln’s apparent moderation in a different light; and Douglass had seen a devotion in the president’s heart and mind
David W. Blight (Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom)
Lincoln was raised in the thick of Old School Calvinism. In Kentucky and Indiana, his parents belonged to a fire-breathing sect called Separate Baptism, in which congregants heard—in the tradition of Jonathan Edward’s famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”—that they were bound for eternal hellfire, and nothing they could do or say or think would change their fate. Preachers did allow that a chosen few were ordained for grace and would be saved, but these fortunate ones had been selected by God before time began. As one Baptist preacher in Lincoln’s Kentucky explained it, “Long before the morning stars sang together . . . the Almighty looked down upon the ages yet unborn, as it were, in review before him, and selected one here and another there to enjoy eternal life and left the rest to the blackness of darkness forever.” Such Baptist ministers were so intense that it has been said that they “out-Calvined Calvin.
Joshua Wolf Shenk (Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness)
Westerners, not just Lincoln Steffens. It took in the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States. It even took in the Soviet Union’s own leaders, such as Nikita Khrushchev, who famously boasted in a speech to Western diplomats in 1956 that “we will bury you [the West].” As late as 1977, a leading academic textbook by an English economist argued that Soviet-style economies were superior to capitalist ones in terms of economic growth, providing full employment and price stability and even in producing people with altruistic motivation. Poor old Western capitalism did better only at providing political freedom. Indeed, the most widely used university textbook in economics, written by Nobel Prize–winner Paul Samuelson, repeatedly predicted the coming economic dominance of the Soviet Union. In the 1961 edition, Samuelson predicted that Soviet national income would overtake that of the United States possibly by 1984, but probably by 1997. In the 1980 edition there was little change in the analysis, though the two dates were delayed to 2002 and 2012. Though the policies of Stalin and subsequent Soviet leaders could produce rapid economic growth, they could not do so in a sustained way. By the 1970s, economic growth had all but stopped. The most important lesson is that extractive institutions cannot generate sustained technological change for two reasons: the lack of economic incentives and resistance by the elites. In addition, once all the very inefficiently used resources had been reallocated to industry, there were few economic gains to be had by fiat. Then the Soviet system hit a roadblock, with lack of innovation and poor economic incentives preventing any further progress. The only area in which the Soviets did manage to sustain some innovation was through enormous efforts in military and aerospace technology. As a result they managed to put the first dog, Leika, and the first man, Yuri Gagarin, in space. They also left the world the AK-47 as one of their legacies. Gosplan was the supposedly all-powerful planning agency in charge of the central planning of the Soviet economy. One of the benefits of the sequence of five-year plans written and administered by Gosplan was supposed to have been the long time horizon necessary for rational investment and innovation. In reality, what got implemented in Soviet industry had little to do with the five-year plans, which were frequently revised and rewritten or simply ignored. The development of industry took place on the basis of commands by Stalin and the Politburo, who changed their minds frequently and often completely revised their previous decisions. All plans were labeled “draft” or “preliminary.” Only one copy of a plan labeled “final”—that for light industry in 1939—has ever come to light. Stalin himself said in 1937 that “only bureaucrats can think that planning work ends with the creation of the plan. The creation of the plan is just the beginning. The real direction of the plan develops only after the putting together of the plan.” Stalin wanted to maximize his discretion to reward people or groups who were politically loyal, and punish those who were not. As for Gosplan, its main role was to provide Stalin with information so he could better monitor his friends and enemies. It actually tried to avoid making decisions. If you made a decision that turned
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty)
Growth was so rapid that it took in generations of Westerners, not just Lincoln Steffens. It took in the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States. It even took in the Soviet Union’s own leaders, such as Nikita Khrushchev, who famously boasted in a speech to Western diplomats in 1956 that “we will bury you [the West].” As late as 1977, a leading academic textbook by an English economist argued that Soviet-style economies were superior to capitalist ones in terms of economic growth, providing full employment and price stability and even in producing people with altruistic motivation. Poor old Western capitalism did better only at providing political freedom. Indeed, the most widely used university textbook in economics, written by Nobel Prize–winner Paul Samuelson, repeatedly predicted the coming economic dominance of the Soviet Union. In the 1961 edition, Samuelson predicted that Soviet national income would overtake that of the United States possibly by 1984, but probably by 1997. In the 1980 edition there was little change in the analysis, though the two dates were delayed to 2002 and 2012. Though the policies of Stalin and subsequent Soviet leaders could produce rapid economic growth, they could not do so in a sustained way. By the 1970s, economic growth had all but stopped. The most important lesson is that extractive institutions cannot generate sustained technological change for two reasons: the lack of economic incentives and resistance by the elites. In addition, once all the very inefficiently used resources had been reallocated to industry, there were few economic gains to be had by fiat. Then the Soviet system hit a roadblock, with lack of innovation and poor economic incentives preventing any further progress. The only area in which the Soviets did manage to sustain some innovation was through enormous efforts in military and aerospace technology. As a result they managed to put the first dog, Leika, and the first man, Yuri Gagarin, in space. They also left the world the AK-47 as one of their legacies. Gosplan was the supposedly all-powerful planning agency in charge of the central planning of the Soviet economy. One of the benefits of the sequence of five-year plans written and administered by Gosplan was supposed to have been the long time horizon necessary for rational investment and innovation. In reality, what got implemented in Soviet industry had little to do with the five-year plans, which were frequently revised and rewritten or simply ignored. The development of industry took place on the basis of commands by Stalin and the Politburo, who changed their minds frequently and often completely revised their previous decisions. All plans were labeled “draft” or “preliminary.” Only one copy of a plan labeled “final”—that for light industry in 1939—has ever come to light. Stalin himself said in 1937 that “only bureaucrats can think that planning work ends with the creation of the plan. The creation of the plan is just the beginning. The real direction of the plan develops only after the putting together of the plan.” Stalin wanted to maximize his discretion to reward people or groups who were politically loyal, and punish those who were not. As for Gosplan, its main role was to provide Stalin with information so he could better monitor his friends and enemies. It actually tried to avoid making decisions. If you made a decision that turned out badly, you might get shot. Better to avoid all responsibility. An example of what could happen
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty)
When Missouri congressman Henry Blow complained directly to Lincoln, the president famously replied, “I wish I knew what brand of whiskey he drinks. I would send a barrel to all my other generals.
Reid Mitenbuler (Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America's Whiskey)
If mutual decimation of the McLaughlins and the McLeans marked the end of Charlestown’s “gangster era,” a host of gangs endured in the Town. These were less criminal bands than expressions of territorial allegiance. Every street and alley, every park and pier had its own ragged troop which hung on the corner, played football, baseball, and street hockey, and defended its turf against all comers. The Wildcats hung at the corner of Frothingham and Lincoln streets, the Bearcats at Walker and Russell streets, the Falcons outside the Edwards School, the Cobras on Elm Street, the Jokers in Hayes Square, the Highlanders on High Street, the Crusaders at the Training Field. Each had its distinctive football jersey (on which members wore their street addresses), its own legends and traditions. The Highlanders, for example, took their identity from the Bunker Hill Monument, which towered over their hangout at the top of Monument Avenue. On weekends and summer afternoons, they gathered there to wait for out-of-town tourists visiting the revolutionary battleground. When one approached, an eager boy would step forward and launch his spiel, learned by rote from other Highlanders: “The Monument is 221 feet high, has 294 winding stairs and no elevators. They say the quickest way up is to walk, the quickest way down is to fall. The Monument is fifteen feet square. Its cornerstone was laid in 1825 by Daniel Webster. The statue you see in the foreground is that of Colonel William Prescott standing in the same position as when he gave that brave and famous command, ‘Don’t fire till you see the whites of their eyes.’ The British made three attempts to gain the hill …” And so forth. An engaging raconteur could parlay this patter into a fifty-cent tip.
J. Anthony Lukas (Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families)
Standing out from the (New York City) map's delicate tracery of gridirons representing streets are heavy lines, lines girdling the city or slashing across its expanses. These lines denote the major roads on which automobiles and trucks move, roads whose very location, moreover, does as much as any single factor to determine where and how a city's people live and work. With a single exception, the East River Drive, Robert Moses built every one of those roads. (...) Only one borough of New York City—the Bronx—is on the mainland of the United States, and bridges link the island boroughs that form metropolis. Since 1931, seven such bridges were built, immense structures, some of them anchored by towers as tall as seventy-story buildings, supported by cables made up of enough wire to drop a noose around the earth. (...) Robert Moses built every one of those bridges. (He also built) Lincoln Center, the world's most famous, costly and imposing cultural complex. Alongside another stands the New York Coliseum, the glowering exhibition tower whose name reveals Moses' preoccupation with achieving an immortality like that conferred on the Caesars of Rome. The eastern edge of Manhattan Island, heart of metropolis, was completely altered between 1945 and 1958. (...) Robert Moses was never a member of the Housing Authority and his relationship with it was only hinted at in the press. But between 1945 and 1958 no site for public housing was selected and no brick of a public housing project laid without his approval. And still further north along the East River stand the buildings of the United Nations headquarters. Moses cleared aside the obstacles to bringing to New York the closest thing to a world capitol the planet possesses, and he supervised its construction. When Robert Moses began building playgrounds in New York City, there were 119. When he stopped, there were 777. Under his direction, an army of men that at times during the Depression included 84,000 laborers. (...) For the seven years between 1946 and 1953, no public improvement of any type—not school or sewer, library or pier, hospital or catch basin—was built by any city agency, even those which Robert Moses did not directly control, unless Moses approved its design and location. To clear the land for these improvements, he evicted the city's people, not thousands of them or tens of thousands but hundreds of thousands, from their homes and tore the homes down. Neighborhoods were obliterated by his edict to make room for new neighborhoods reared at his command. “Out from the heart of New York, reaching beyond the limits of the city into its vast suburbs and thereby shaping them as well as the city, stretch long ribbons of concrete, closed, unlike the expressways, to trucks and all commercial traffic, and, unlike the expressways, bordered by lawns and trees. These are the parkways. There are 416 miles of them. Robert Moses built every mile. (He also built the St. Lawrence Dam,) one of the most colossal single works of man, a structure of steel and concrete as tall as a ten-story apartment house, an apartment house as long as eleven football fields, a structure vaster by far than any of the pyramids, or, in terms of bulk, of any six pyramids together. And at Niagara, Robert Moses built a series of dams, parks and parkways that make the St. Lawrence development look small. His power was measured in decades. On April 18, 1924, ten years after he had entered government, it was formally handed to him. For forty-four years thereafter (until 1968), he held power, a power so substantial that in the field s in which he chose to exercise it, it was not challenged seriously by any (of 6) Governors of New York State or by any Mayor of New York City.
Robert Caro
Lincoln was sent a letter by an eleven-year-old girl called Grace Bedell, in which she’d dissed his weird face and suggested he grow some whiskers if he wanted people’s votes. Lincoln did as he was told, and met her in her hometown a few months later, whispering: ‘Gracie, look at my whiskers. I have been growing them for you.’ It’s extraordinary that his iconic look was the result of a hilariously blunt child stylist.* However, though news of Lincoln’s new beard quickly spread, he didn’t immediately pose for an updated portrait, so newspaper artists were initially forced to improvise what they thought his bearded face looked like, making him a sort of e-fit president better suited to a ‘Wanted!’ poster.40
Greg Jenner (Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity from Bronze Age to Silver Screen)
I can never understand why Londoners fail to see that they live in the most wonderful city in the world. It is, if you ask me, far more beautiful and interesting than Paris and more lively than anywhere but New York—and even New York can’t touch it in lots of important ways. It has more history, finer parks, a livelier and more varied press, better theaters, more numerous orchestras and museums, leafier squares, safer streets, and more courteous inhabitants than any other large city in the world. And it has more congenial small things—incidental civilities, you might call them—than any other city I know: cheery red mailboxes, drivers who actually stop for you at pedestrian crossings, lovely forgotten churches with wonderful names like St. Andrew by the Wardrobe and St. Giles Cripplegate, sudden pockets of quiet like Lincoln’s Inn and Red Lion Square, interesting statues of obscure Victorians in togas, pubs, black cabs, double-decker buses, helpful policemen, polite notices, people who will stop to help you when you fall down or drop your shopping, benches everywhere. What other great city would trouble to put blue plaques on houses to let you know what famous person once lived there, or warn you to look left or right before stepping off the curb? I’ll tell you. None.
Bill Bryson (Notes from a Small Island)
Ask nоt whаt уоur соuntrу can dо fоr уоu – аѕk whаt you саn do for уоur соuntrу.
Mazimum C. Jerri (Biography of Top Famous People: Marilyn Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, & Queen Elizabeth II)
Freedom has mаnу dіffісultіеѕ аnd democracy is nоt реrfесt, but we hаvе nеvеr hаd tо put a wаll uр tо kеер our реорlе іn… All frее mеn, whеrеvеr thеу may lіvе, аrе сіtіzеnѕ оf Bеrlіn, аnd thеrеfоrе, as a frее mаn, I take рrіdе іn thе wоrdѕ “Iсh bin еіn Bеrlіnеr!
Mazimum C. Jerri (Biography of Top Famous People: Marilyn Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, & Queen Elizabeth II)
Despite Old Leatherman’s mystique, Edward Payson Weston was probably America’s most famous pedestrian. In 1860, he bet his friend that Abraham Lincoln wouldn’t win the presidency. In 1861, he walked nearly five hundred miles, from Boston to Washington, DC, for Lincoln’s inauguration, arriving a few hours late but in time to attend the inaugural ball. He launched his pro career a few years later, walking thirteen hundred miles from Portland, Maine, to Chicago in twenty-six days. Two years later he walked five thousand miles for $25,000. Two years after that, the showman walked backward for two hundred miles. He competed in walking events against the best in Europe. Once, in his old age, he staged a New York to San Francisco one-hundred-day walk, but he arrived five days late. Peeved, he walked back to New York in seventy-six days. He told a reporter he wanted to become the “propagandist for pedestrianism,” to impart the benefits of walking to the world. A devout pedestrian, he preached walking over driving. Unfortunately, he was seriously injured in 1927 when a taxicab crashed into him in New York, confining him in a wheelchair for the remainder of his life.
Ben Montgomery (Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail)
It wasn’t only benches, Charlie found, that bore names on them. There were rocks with names, buildings with names, parks with names, streets with names, even tables with names. Charlie thought it was a wildly large ask for a man to expect people to know who he was after he’d left. It’s too hard to compete with the excited men today who want to be remembered tomorrow. But no one could ever live that long. We don’t remember Lincoln every hour, or Jackie Robinson every meal. Charlie supposed the only solace a man could own is knowing he did plenty of good things in the time he had. It was all we got and a noble insufficiency was enough. He also figured if you were going to make a bench, not to inscribe your name on it, but instead something awesome like, “This Bench Was Made with One Hand.” No fool was going to remember your name, for God’s sake. But they might laugh at a spectacle such as a one-handed achievement.
Karl Kristian Flores (The Goodbye Song)
The key to Lincoln's famous employment of humor is not that he failed to appreciate the tragic aspects of human existence, but rather that he felt these with such keeness that some relief was required.
Elton Trueblood (Abraham Lincoln: Lessons in Spiritual Leadership)
As the Confederates were preparing, a Union army called the Army of Northeastern Virginia (not to be confused with Lee’s legendary Army of Northern Virginia) was being assembled under the command of 42 year old Irvin McDowell, who was promoted to brigadier general in the regular army on May 14, 1861, despite the fact he had never commanded soldiers in battle. McDowell got the spot as a result of politics, thanks to the influence of his friend and mentor Salmon Chase, Lincoln’s Treasury Secretary.
Charles River Editors (The Stonewall Brigade: The History of the Most Famous Confederate Combat Unit of the Civil War)
DARWIN’S “SACRED CAUSE”? Much ink has been dedicated to determining Charles Darwin’s role in “scientific racism.” The only way to empirically and scientifically determine his role is to organize the events as a timeline, and thus placing them into context of historical events. Political analysis without historical context is all sail and no rudder. In America we are constantly made aware that both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born on the same day, in the same year, February 12, 1809. Adrian Desmond and James Moore famous 2009 book, “Darwin’s Sacred Cause,” leverages this factoid in an effort to place Charles Darwin at par with Abraham Lincoln in the abolition of slavery. This fraudulently steals away credit from Abraham Lincoln, who took a bullet to the head for the cause, and transfers it by inference to an aristocrat whom remained in his plush abode throughout the conflict and never lifted a finger for the cause.
A.E. Samaan (From a "Race of Masters" to a "Master Race": 1948 to 1848)
Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765) was the most famous legal treatise of its time. It was originally delivered as a series of lectures at Oxford, and its ambitious aim was to put forward a coherent and comprehensive account of a notoriously unruly subject, the law as it had evolved historically in England.
Douglas L. Wilson (Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln (Vintage))
We were at last on the Lincoln Highway, the old road with the new name which runs from ocean to ocean and which is destined to be one of the famous highways of the world.
Effie Price Gladding (Across the Continent by the Lincoln Highway)
Abraham Lincoln on October 1, 1858, less than four months after his famous “House Divided” speech.
Albert Marrin (A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown's War Against Slavery)
A crowd of fifteen thousand had assembled in front of the speaker’s platform, which faced the unfinished cemetery’s temporary graves and the famous battlefield beyond. Edward Everett spoke for two hours as many in the crowd grew restless and wandered off to explore the battleground. Finally it was Lincoln’s turn. He rose from his seat, took two bits of paper from his pocket, put on his spectacles, and in his reedy voice said: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” A photographer in the crowd fiddled with his camera, preparing to take a picture of the president as he spoke. But before he could get the camera ready, the speech was finished.
Russell Freedman (Lincoln: A Photobiography (Houghton Mifflin social studies))
variation on the words of the famous American president Abraham Lincoln: God must love stupid people because He certainly made a lot of them.
Faye Kellerman (Straight into Darkness)
My experience has taught me that a man who has no vices has d——d few virtues. Good-day.
Alexander K. McClure (Lincoln's Yarns and Stories: a complete collection of the funny and witty anecdotes that made Lincoln famous as America's greatest story teller)
He says he is afflicted with headaches, at which I don't wonder, as it is a well-known fact that nature abhors a vacuum, and takes her own way of demonstrating it.
Alexander K. McClure (Lincoln's Yarns and Stories: a complete collection of the funny and witty anecdotes that made Lincoln famous as America's greatest story teller)
If Lincoln and Garfield, both farmer-boys, could come to the Presidency, then there is a chance for other farmer-boys.
Sarah Knowles Bolton (Lives of Poor Boys Who Became Famous)
The British bankers at that time also controlled the fledgling American banks which offered to loan Abraham Lincoln money to fight the war. Lincoln wisely refused and created the famous Lincoln greenbacks with which he financed the Civil War.38 Abraham Lincoln, in a famous address, declared: “At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up among us, it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die of suicide.” 39 Lincoln’s refusal to finance the Union through debt to the internationalists demonstrated his keen insight into their strategy for global dominion. Hence, he financed the Civil War by printing the Lincoln greenbacks. In both respects—with regard to the Civil War and the British bankers’ attempt to seize control of the economics of America—once again the aims of the globalists were frustrated. This is what caused Lincoln’s assassination. Nonetheless, America remained in control of her own credit. The result of this victory was low interest loans for entrepreneurs, which led to great business expansion. This great expansion in the post-Civil War era enhanced the fears of those who sought to bring the world into a One World Order. If America was allowed to continue to expand, she would be a major—perhaps insurmountable—obstacle in the way of their goal. For one hundred years, America was able to avoid total control of her capital by the international bankers. Lincoln was most certainly a great irritant and obstacle to the aspirations of the globalists. He was the last president to seek categorically a halting of the globalists’ drive toward a Global One World Government. It cost him his life; he was murdered by John Wilkes Booth, also an agent of the internationalists.40 America’s emergence from the Civil War as a great industrial power was due to the effective centralization of capital and credit within the Federal Government, thanks to Lincoln. It was America’s control over her own capital that was making her prosperous. It was the aim of the international bankers to change all that. Lincoln was the victim of a major conspiracy—a conspiracy so important that even the European bankers were involved. Lincoln had to be eliminated because he dared to oppose their attempt to force a central bank on the United States. He became an example to those who would later oppose such machinations in high places. Could it be that, one hundred years later, John F.
Kenneth B. Klein (The Deep State Prophecy and the Last Trump)
That small-minded brand of superiority women in Gatlin, like Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Asher, were so famous for.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures, #1))
Westerners, not just Lincoln Steffens. It took in the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States. It even took in the Soviet Union’s own leaders, such as Nikita Khrushchev, who famously boasted in a speech to Western diplomats in 1956 that “we will bury you [the West].” As late as 1977, a leading academic textbook by an English economist argued that Soviet-style economies were superior to capitalist ones in terms of economic growth, providing full employment and price stability and even in producing people with altruistic motivation. Poor old Western capitalism did better only at providing political freedom. Indeed, the most widely used university textbook in economics, written by Nobel Prize–winner Paul Samuelson, repeatedly predicted the coming economic dominance of the Soviet Union. In the 1961 edition, Samuelson predicted that Soviet national income would overtake that of the United States possibly by 1984, but probably by 1997. In the 1980 edition there was little change in the analysis, though the two dates were delayed to 2002 and 2012. Though the policies of Stalin and subsequent Soviet leaders could produce rapid economic growth, they could not do so in a sustained way. By the 1970s, economic growth had all but stopped. The most important lesson is that extractive institutions cannot generate sustained technological change for two reasons: the lack of economic incentives and resistance by the elites. In addition, once all the very inefficiently used resources had been reallocated to industry, there were few economic gains to be had by fiat. Then the Soviet system hit a roadblock, with lack of innovation and poor economic incentives preventing any further progress. The only area in which the Soviets did manage to sustain some innovation was through enormous efforts in military and aerospace technology. As a result they managed to put the first dog, Leika, and the first man, Yuri Gagarin, in space. They also left the world the AK-47 as one of their legacies. Gosplan was the supposedly all-powerful planning agency in charge of the central planning of the Soviet economy. One of the benefits of the sequence of five-year plans written and administered by Gosplan was supposed to have been the long time horizon necessary for rational investment and innovation. In reality, what got implemented in Soviet industry had little to do with the five-year plans, which were frequently revised and rewritten or simply ignored. The development of industry took place on the basis of commands by Stalin and the Politburo, who changed their minds frequently and often completely revised their previous decisions. All plans were labeled “draft” or “preliminary.” Only one copy of a plan labeled “final”—that for light industry in 1939—has ever come to light. Stalin himself said in 1937 that “only bureaucrats can think that planning work ends with the creation of the plan. The creation of the plan is just the beginning. The real direction of the plan develops only after the putting together of the plan.” Stalin wanted to maximize his discretion to reward people or groups who were politically loyal, and punish those who were not. As for Gosplan, its main role was to provide Stalin with information so he could better monitor his friends and enemies. It actually tried to avoid making decisions. If you made a decision that turned out badly, you might get shot. Better to avoid all responsibility. An example of what could happen
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty)
The situation was similar in the Soviet Union, with industry playing the role of sugar in the Caribbean. Industrial growth in the Soviet Union was further facilitated because its technology was so backward relative to what was available in Europe and the United States, so large gains could be reaped by reallocating resources to the industrial sector, even if all this was done inefficiently and by force. Before 1928 most Russians lived in the countryside. The technology used by peasants was primitive, and there were few incentives to be productive. Indeed, the last vestiges of Russian feudalism were eradicated only shortly before the First World War. There was thus huge unrealized economic potential from reallocating this labor from agriculture to industry. Stalinist industrialization was one brutal way of unlocking this potential. By fiat, Stalin moved these very poorly used resources into industry, where they could be employed more productively, even if industry itself was very inefficiently organized relative to what could have been achieved. In fact, between 1928 and 1960 national income grew at 6 percent a year, probably the most rapid spurt of economic growth in history up until then. This quick economic growth was not created by technological change, but by reallocating labor and by capital accumulation through the creation of new tools and factories. Growth was so rapid that it took in generations of Westerners, not just Lincoln Steffens. It took in the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States. It even took in the Soviet Union’s own leaders, such as Nikita Khrushchev, who famously boasted in a speech to Western diplomats in 1956 that “we will bury you [the West].” As late as 1977, a leading academic textbook by an English economist argued that Soviet-style economies were superior to capitalist ones in terms of economic growth, providing full employment and price stability and even in producing people with altruistic motivation. Poor old Western capitalism did better only at providing political freedom. Indeed, the most widely used university textbook in economics, written by Nobel Prize–winner Paul Samuelson, repeatedly predicted the coming economic dominance of the Soviet Union. In the 1961 edition, Samuelson predicted that Soviet national income would overtake that of the United States possibly by 1984, but probably by 1997. In the 1980 edition there was little change in the analysis, though the two dates were delayed to 2002 and 2012. Though the policies of Stalin and subsequent Soviet leaders could produce rapid economic growth, they could not do so in a sustained way. By the 1970s, economic growth had all but stopped. The most important lesson is that extractive institutions cannot generate sustained technological change for two reasons: the lack of economic incentives and resistance by the elites. In addition, once all the very inefficiently used resources had been reallocated to industry, there were few economic gains to be had by fiat. Then the Soviet system hit a roadblock, with lack of innovation and poor economic incentives preventing any further progress. The only area in which the Soviets did manage to sustain some innovation was through enormous efforts in military and aerospace technology. As a result they managed to put the first dog, Leika, and the first man, Yuri Gagarin, in space. They also left the world the AK-47 as one of their legacies. Gosplan was the supposedly all-powerful planning agency in charge of the central planning of the Soviet economy.
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty)
the second paragraph of the Declaration that is very much an expression of Jefferson’s imagination. It envisions a perfect world, at last bereft of kings, priests, and even government itself. In this never-never land, free individuals interact harmoniously, all forms of political coercion are unnecessary because they have been voluntarily internalized, people pursue their own different versions of happiness without colliding, and some semblance of social equality reigns supreme. As Lincoln recognized, it is an ideal world that can never be reached on this earth, only approached. And each generation had an obligation to move America an increment closer to the full promise, as Lincoln most famously did. The American Dream, then, is the Jeffersonian Dream writ large, embedded in language composed during one of the most crowded and congested moments in American history by an idealistic young man who desperately wished to be somewhere else.
Joseph J. Ellis (Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence)
From almost the moment the Civil War ended, Gettysburg has been widely viewed as one of the decisive turning points of the Civil War. As renowned Civil War historian described Gettysburg, “It might be less of a victory than Mr. Lincoln had hoped for, but it was nevertheless a victory—and, because of that, it was no longer possible for the Confederacy to win the war. The North might still lose it, to be sure, if the soldiers or the people should lose heart, but outright defeat was no longer in the cards.
Charles River Editors (The Stonewall Brigade: The History of the Most Famous Confederate Combat Unit of the Civil War)
McClellan knew that Jackson’s force was relatively small, so he only sent 16,000 men under the command of Major General Nathaniel P. Banks. A former Speaker of the House and Governor of Massachusetts, Banks was one of the many “political” generals Lincoln had raised to command at the beginning of the war, in spite of the fact that his only real military credentials were that his Massachusetts militia were considered some of the best in the North. Banks himself had no real combat experience.
Charles River Editors (The Stonewall Brigade: The History of the Most Famous Confederate Combat Unit of the Civil War)
After the Lincoln-Douglas debates made Lincoln a nationally recognized politician, Illinois papers began to mention Lincoln as a Republican candidate for President throughout 1859.  Lincoln was humbled, though a bit dumbfounded.  He thought himself more suited for the Senate, where he could orate and discuss ideas, and moreover there were Republicans of much greater national prominence on the East coast, particularly William Seward.  Lacking any administrative experience, he wasn't sure he would enjoy being President. 
Charles River Editors (Belle Boyd: The Controversial Life and Legacy of the Civil War’s Most Famous Spy)
The Civil War broke America’s democracy. One-third of American states did not participate in the 1864 election; twenty-two of fifty Senate seats and more than a quarter of House seats were left vacant. President Lincoln famously suspended habeas corpus and issued constitutionally dubious executive orders, though, of course, one notable executive order freed the slaves. And following the Union victory, much of the former Confederacy was placed under military rule.
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
Highly sensitive men who are famous include Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, and Jim Carrey.
Judith Orloff (The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People)
Switzerland is the closest to what Aristotle, Plato and Socrates had in mind when democracy was conceived. Americans proudly recite Lincoln’s famous democratic battle cry: ‘Government for the people, by the people and of the people, - but in fact this is a better description of the Swiss model.
R. James Breiding (Swiss Made: The Untold Story Behind Switzerland's Success)