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David Herbert Donald Quotes

And, finally, Lincoln was not a good impromptu speaker; he was at his best when he could read from a carefully prepared manuscript. Though maybe a teleprompter could have helped that!

At the beginning, Lincoln was so inexperienced he had reverence for military expertise, not realizing that there wasn't any military expertise, that the most anybody had commanded up to that point had been somebody, some troops in the Mexican War, and it had been years ago.

But having said all of that, that still doesn't account for a lot of the increase in popularity which stems, I think, from Lincoln's personal characteristics.

But I have tried to go over it very carefully, not merely what the evidence is, but with psychoanalysts and psychologists, and I think we're just about all agreed that Lincoln and Speed did not have a homosexual relationship.

I love mysteries, and I read them every night before I go to bed.

I think, with the gay liberation movement has had need for heroes and heroines, and it would be rather nice to have Abraham Lincoln as your poster boy, wouldn't it?

I was able to sit at Lincoln's side and see how he thought and how he acted, and how he felt about what was going on around him. I felt the pressures that were on him. You can see what people were writing to him, how they were nudging him.

I'm not sure Lincoln would fare well if he were a presidential candidate today.

If you think about it, the historian's task is like that of the detective.

In Lincoln's day a President's religion was a very private affair. There were no public prayer meetings, no attempts to woo the Religious Right. Few of Lincoln's countrymen knew anything at all of his religious beliefs.

Lincoln had no such person that he could talk with. Often, as a result, he debated with himself, and he would draw up a kind of list of the pros and cons of an argument, and carefully figure them out, and he might test them in public.

Maybe I will write a memoir, perhaps I'll do some essays, or maybe I will write a mystery story.

The big biography of Lincoln necessarily had to do so much with his political career, his ambitions, his accomplishments in public, with less time to spend on his private life, his inner life, and I thought this might be a way of getting at that.

The more I have studied Lincoln, the more I have followed his thought processes, the more I am convinced that he understood leadership better than any other American president.

Well, it seems to me Lincoln, I suppose, is kind of a model of a particular sort of presidency, a presidency that first of all is elected by a minority of the votes.

What I thought we ought to try to do in a book like this is to focus closely on Lincoln, himself, to see what he knew, how he knew it, how he came to make the decisions that he did, and how he implemented them.