And There Was Light Far Surpasses the Lincoln Challenge

let there be light by john meaham

Every reader will benefit from Jon Meacham’s latest book: And There Was Light. It will satisfy anybody who wants to better understand the man Lincoln, and will enlighten those who can appreciate that he saved and shaped our country in dire times. This biographical work offers learnings and insights that vitally matter in today’s state of American affairs.

The Lincoln Challenge

There is a challenge to writing about Lincoln – that of somehow making Lincoln fresh or even new as a topic. This book is of a caliber that meets the challenge. Meacham’s treatment of Lincoln stands out; it is distinct. It is not another rehash. It basically assumes to retain democracy, and it rationalizes America as a Christian nation.

Picture of my Lincoln library which now includes Meacham's latest book.

Of course, the book is meticulously packaged and masterfully written. This is Jon Meacham, after all. What makes me most glad to have invested in reading it? This: its cohesive examination of behavior and human nature under stress. Every chapter of this book contributes strongly. And I love the way he slips in what ‘somebody’s diary told us’.

Meacham has provided an exceptional history book, a vigorous tool for understanding as we experience today’s epic struggles with leadership and democracy. As history seems to be repeating itself, we can read this to better understand, to positively influence and improve. It provides excellent treatment of important nuance, like individual people’s ability to make a difference, and extremes of good and bad political behavior. Plus, racial insights that matter.

An abstract view of Lincoln, suggesting to consider what the man might be able to do for today.
We Venerate Lincoln Because He Personifies the Leadership That America Sorely Needs

Jon Meacham’s new book, And There Was Light, serves America today and will stand the test of time; aficionados and students of Lincoln will benefit. It is a vigorous treatment of the right topic at the right time to better understand today’s epic struggles with leadership and democracy. You might also appreciate this recap of Gore Vidal’s Lincoln.