2018: Book #33
“What do you think of him?”
The man paused and then said, “He’s an inspiration.”
Those are the words of Robert Hitt, a stenographer who was often hired to follow Abraham Lincoln and record the trials of the future president. Hitt also recorded every single word of the Lincoln vs. Douglas debates.
For those who don’t know, Lincoln practiced law before entering politics. He eventually became the 16th President of the United States. Robert Hitt was the stenographer for one particular court case that according to authors Dan Abrams and David Fisher, changed the direction of a nation. Their book, “Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case that Propelled Him to the Presidency” centers on Lincoln, the acting defense attorney in this sensational case.
Newspapers across America carried news about the case on a daily basis. The whispers of Lincoln being a presidential candidate had already begun. There was something about Lincoln and his delivery that was enthralling. His ability to first capture a crowd and then win them over is evident in this book.
The book reveals Lincoln’s temper at times. It also shows his uncanny ability to ask questions to uncover the truth. The book is mesmerizing.
Did Lincoln win the case? Read the book.
Did this case propel him to the presidency? Read the book.
I’ll say this…it certainly didn’t hurt. The trial kept Lincoln’s name as well as his influence in the papers.
There is a truly moving portion of the book where Lincoln is approached about becoming a presidential candidate. Lincoln responds, “I am not up to the office of the presidency.”
As we know, Lincoln did in fact become president.
He won a war.
He kept a nation together.
He freed the enslaved.
All of this was done by a man who earnestly believed he couldn’t do the job.
Here’s the lesson: we are capable of so much more than we think we are.
An absolute 5 out of 5 stars!
This book is worth reading cover to cover.
That’s book #33 for 2018.
19 more to go before I reach 52 for the year.
Remember, all leaders are readers.
If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.