"We say that a man can be known by the company he keeps. So I say that a nation, a people, can be known and be judged by its heroes, by whom it honors above all others."
Abraham Lincoln was the greatest of our presidents. He saved the Union, and because he saved the Union, he was able to free the slaves. But he did more than this. Without him, we might have had no reason to celebrate the bicentennial first of the Declaration of Independence and then of the Constitution. It is therefore altogether fitting that we mark the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth.
Walter Berns is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a professor emeritus at Georgetown University. A renowned scholar of political philosophy and constitutional law, he is the author of numerous books on democracy, patriotism, and the Constitution.
The Bradley Lecture Series
Lincoln at Two Hundred was presented on February 9, 2009, as part of the American Enterprise Institute's Bradley Lecture Series, which aims to enrich debate in the Washington policy community through exploration of the philosophical and historical underpinnings of current controversies.