Book Review – Abraham Lincoln: Philosopher Statesman by Joseph Fornieri

Philosopher StatesmanAn exceptional scholarly treatment. Author Fornieri examines the age-old question of what makes Abraham Lincoln great. His answer lies in the belief that Lincoln was a philosopher statesman, which he defines as being understood in terms of six dimensions of political leadership.

The six dimensions are Wisdom (i.e., theoretical wisdom), Prudence (i.e., practical wisdom), Duty, Magnanimity, Rhetoric, and Patriotism. Fornieri devotes entire chapters to each of these individual dimensions and provides substantial and substantive examples.

As might be expected, there is significant overlap between the various dimensions and the examples used to explore them. As suggested by the title, the writing is often philosophical and deeper than most treatments of Lincoln. The book is short – only about 170 pages of text – but as dense as a book twice its length.

While probably not amenable to a general audience, the book is highly recommended for Lincoln scholars, both professional and avocational.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for over thirty years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and the e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time. He is currently writing a book on Thomas Edison.

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