From his obscure birth to his shocking death, Abraham Lincoln provided all the ingredients for a myth that grows with each passing generation. A hardworking, self-taught farm boy grows up to become President, leads the nation through a wrenching cataclysm and is killed at the moment of victory.
Behind those bare facts are many Lincolns: lawyer, master politician, storyteller, warrior, jokester and man of near constant sorrow.
General WilliamT. Sherman, no soft touch, provides one epitaph: "Of all the men I ever met, he seemed to possess more of the elements of greatness, combined with goodness, than any other."