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January 27, 2011
Gleaves Whitney – I study leaders. I search out the traits, virtues, upbringing, and challenges that make a few of the human beings among us great leaders. This evening, I’d like to do something that’s long been on my mind, and that is to compare two modern democratic statesmen whose deaths were separated by exactly 100 years – Abraham Lincoln, who died in 1865, and Winston Churchill, who died in 1965.
They do not make a natural pairing, these two. In some ways, they could hardly be more different. But that’s instructive because it shows the range of leadership that arises when a democracy is under stress and its survival is at stake.