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05 April 2016

Marriage and politics in Abraham Lincoln's life

And here is a wonderful, and in places very moving, talk about Abraham Lincoln's private life, and especially his relationship with his wife, Mary (pictured right).

It focuses on the very unRussian idea that a leader's character and personal relationships are an important key to his performance in the public domain. The speaker describes the speech Lincoln made from the back of the train that took him from Springfield, Illinois, to Washington to be sworn in as President. He thanked all the people from his home town who had given him so much help over the years, including his neighbour "with whom he shared a house cow". That just about says it all about the United States as a social concept in comparison with the world of the Winter Palace in St Petersburg at the same time.

Though the title refers to his secretaries the talk is more about him and his wife.


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