It’s often tempting to surround ourselves with people who will tell us what we want to hear. Lincoln demonstrated courage and concern for country over his own sense of self-importance when he incorporated into his cabinet the very men against whom he’d run—all of whom had more political experience than Lincoln at the time of his election. This is the story of Lincoln’s ability to win unlikely hearts and minds to his cause, to mediate conflicts, and assuage the concerns of a torn and anxious nation.

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Leonardo da Vinci is an intimate examination of one of history’s greatest minds. Walter Isaacson’s sincere, humanizing account provides fuller context to Leonardo’s life: his humble origins, his growth as an artist and engineer, and the stories behind his masterpieces. Isaacson goes on to argue that more than simply admiring Leonardo’s qualities, we should strive to learn and emulate them. 

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“Well done is better than well said.” “You may delay, but time will not.” Ben Franklin is known for his witty homespun aphorisms and creative inventions, but there’s so much more to explore in the life of one of America’s most influential sons.

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