To Become Good and Great: Lincoln and Ethical Leadership

Lecture Description

At the age of fourteen, Abraham Lincoln wrote in one of his copybooks: “‘Tis Abraham Lincoln holds the pen / He will be good but God knows when.” We routinely ask our children what they want to be when they grow up. We don’t ask them how they want to be. Lincoln dedicated an important part of his life to political greatness; he dedicated the more important part to ethical goodness. The first time Lincoln met with his cabinet, each cabinet member thought himself a better man than Lincoln. A few months later, Secretary of State William Seward admitted to his wife with the flatness of fact: “The President is the best of us.” And indeed he was. In this lecture, Berry focuses on the moral biography of the sixteenth president of the United States and how his ethical life changed the nation forever.

CATEGORIES

Leadership Lincoln

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