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The Great Communicator was shy up close, but on paper he opened his heart

What would my father say, if he could, about the just published volume of his letters? You first notice its heft--almost 900 pages, if you count notes and acknowledgments. He might shrug, smile mischievously and say something like, "Gee, these editors must have had too much time on their hands to spend so much of it collecting my letters." Lifting the book, I thought about the weight of a life. We leave imprints of ourselves on this earth: memories, relationships, accomplishments as well as mistakes. All have weight. So do letters; they mark the paths between human beings.

I can so...

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