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Get Ready for a Great Debate

By Edward Epstein

Washington, D.C.

Sept. 28, 2021

Attention Lincoln Group members: Mark your calendars for Tuesday, Dec. 7, when the group will hold a different kind of program. Instead of the usual author's talk that has long been a staple of our monthly dinner-hour programs, the group will hold a debate/discussion with lots of member participation on the topic: "Was Lincoln an audacious leader as president or was he a cautious president?"

We will follow rules that will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen an Oxford Union debate. The program will begin with everyone joining in the program asked to vote: was Lincoln cautious or audacious?

That will be followed by brief presentations by two members, each presenting one side of the argument. Ed Epstein will make the case for Lincoln as a cautious leader while Richard Margolies will present the argument for Lincoln as a man of audacity. Each will get up to 10 minutes to make their case. The floor will then be thrown open for members to ask questions or briefly make the case for which side they support.

At the end of the discussion period, everyone will be asked to vote again, to see if any minds were changed by what we hope will be an informed, insightful debate among our members.

The program, which at this point is being planned as a Zoom-only event, will begin at 6 p.m. with the Lincoln Group's regular monthly business meeting. Things should wrap up by 8 p.m.

The genesis for the program was a presentation to the Lincoln Group in May by Richard Striner, author of the 2020 book "Summoned to Glory: The Audacious Life of Abraham Lincoln," in which the author maintains that the traditional view of Lincoln as a moderate, step-by-step president fails to take into account "his fiery will and capacity for manipulation," among other attributes.

So keep an eye on your email for information on the event and how to RSVP. (Such information also will be displayed on this site)

See you on Dec. 7!


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