Doris Kearns Goodwin shows a magnificant analysis of how Abraham Lincoln worked with his cabinet to get us from a point of disunion to a point of "with malice towards none and charity for all." By choosing his rivals from within his own political party (Republican - Chase, Seward, and Bates) to choosing a rival from the other political party (Democrats - Stanton), Lincoln was able to inspire loyalty and a sense of purpose in others in spite of some very strong differences early on. Barack Obama has read this book and guided him in choosing a Republican (Gates rhymes with Bates) and his strongest intra party rival (Hillary) to serve on his cabinet.
Family concerns were also presented by Goodwin so we saw a well rounded view of what many historians have called "our greatest president."
You will enjoy the machinations of Lincoln as he staved off resignations by cabinet members until he finally accepted one for good cause.
This was a summarized history of the countries making up Central America. Form the days of the Mayans to now, the area struggled to fulfill promise. Liberal and conservative forces were in constant struggle with each other and US involvement generally made things worse. It was after the Catholic church decided to support the many poor that they too ran into repressive reaction. The part that typified US involvement was about how Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, gave support to repressive right wing regimes to protect his interests as a shareholder and member of the board of the United Fruit Company. We called the oppressed native people communists which was a way to avoid helping the needy and support evil over good. The book was read by Harry Reasoner and he has a pleasant voice. Listening to it helped me prepare for an upcoming visit to Guatemala.
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