Tuesday, October 13, 2009

americana - amerikaner

A melancholy man subject to depression, he entertained friends and strangers alike with a limitless fund of humorous stories and apt anecdotes. Awkward with women, he experienced many ups and downs [...] A man of generous instincts toward political adversaries who famously called for "malice towards none" in his second inaugural address, he had also written many anonymous newspaper articles cruelly satirizing opponents in his early career. [...] Gregarious and a good listener, he had few close friends and made his most important presidential decisions in lonely contemplation.
James McPherson, "Lincoln off his pedestal" in NYRB, Vol. LVI, Number 14, p.58