Been working my way through Doris Keans Godwin’s political biography of Abraham Lincoln for a few months now – it’s a long book that I am reading at night ( reading myself to sleep does not produce the quality of sleep tha t I would like to enjoy, but it’s a far better way to come down from stress than are many other activities), and this effort has kept me from writing many reviews. But seeing as my Kindle tells me I’m only 60% through the work (the Battle of Gettysburg just concluded – looks like the North is going to win the Civil War), it’s probably best if I give my impressions along the way.
Hadn’t known too much about Edward Stanton, Lincoln’s Secretary of War. He was in many ways the opposite of Lincoln – his bunt, no-nonsense demeanor was a sharp contrast to Lincoln’s affability. Stanton made plain that he had no time for the humor that Lincoln would interject during the most serious of Cabinet meetings. It is certainly a credit to Lincoln that he would provide so much authority to someone so different than him, especially given that Stanton had humiliated Lincoln years before during a legal proceeding in Cincinnati. Lincoln knew he needed someone with Stanton’s skills and drive for this critical position, and how Lincolnian it was of him to look past his personal grievances with Stanton when he asked him to fill this role.
There’s a quote about politicians that I need to write about at some point.