The main idea of this book was to point out that great language skills including both writing and spoken language indicate great mind and should be developed by everyone who wants to be a successful and respected leader. This book stands out compared to many other biographies of Abraham Lincoln due to the author’s innovative approach. Fred Kaplan in his book “Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer” makes a profound research of Lincoln’s personal growth as a writer and orator, rather than a political leader. Lincoln’s early years of life and his political success are what most of the biographies of Abraham Lincoln are concentrated on. To the contrary, the research done by Kaplan is basically dedicated to analyzing the books read by Lincoln and making a link between them and his personal views.
The book “Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer” seems to be especially valuable due to its’ main point. Fred Kaplan highlights the importance of self-development and the importance of language skills in the life of a prominent person. This unusual approach undoubtedly has a lot of right in it. If the writer is to analyze a personality of somebody, the writer should dedicate special attention to things that contributed to his or her worldview. In most cases at this stage biographers concentrate on the surroundings of the person, some specific and impressive events in his or her life that could have shaped strong beliefs stipulating further steps in life that the person under discussion choose to take. Books which this person read in childhood, adolescence and adulthood are seldom mentioned or analyzed. This is, however a great omission as books certainly develop mind and contribute to one’s worldview. An impressive book can influence the decisions one is going to take in life by no means less than an impressive event. Fred Kaplan relates the book read by Lincoln to the formation of his philosophical views. He especially highlights the role of the Bible and Shakespeare’s plays in Lincoln’s worldview.
Besides the speculations on the topic what an important role literature plays in person’s life, the book by Kaplan contains a brilliant and fairly didactic thought that language skills are what a good leader should develop and perfect. Lincoln was both talented writer and orator and this was a great advantage of him that provided him with trust and support of his people. His speeches were especially notable for the flawless coherence of logical arguments, good structure and perfect language. He used to persuade his audience with his arguments rather than emotions which seems to be the only fair way to protect one’s point of view. Unfortunately not every politician can boast the same. Language is something that everyone should learn how to master – this is the conclusion one may make after reading this book. A talented writer has a developed mind and vice versa: a person who wants to develop his or her mind should develop language skills.
“Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer” is quite an interesting biography of the 16th President of the United States where Abraham Lincoln is mostly viewed not as a politician, but as a clever man who during all his life never ceased to developed his language skills. This book is didactic and contains brilliant analytic research that correlates the influence of literature to Lincoln’s actions as a president.