In the face of such odds, he managed to create an army, win a war, and save a nation--setting the stage as commander-in-chief for Union military triumph but also, as national strategist and policy maker, tying war aims to larger purposes--creating the new birth of freedom of which he spoke, and which we are still realizing today. Perhaps this is why, in the season of his two-hundredth birthday, this remarkable president continues to mean so much to us. Abraham Lincoln is, quite simply, the greatest argument against despair in dark times that our history provides." -- Drew Gilpin Faust is president of Harvard University and the author most recently of This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War
... yes, but -- No matter the purity of his motives, he was stll the co-architect of unimaginable suffering that haunted the nation for a century. I do wonder if he'd known in '61 the depth of horror in store in the next 4 years, would he still have accepted the challenge? No one worshiping at his altar ever seems to raise the question.