In the fall of 1959, I bought my father a birthday gift of a three volume, boxed set of Carl Sandburg’s Lincoln. When he opened the wrapping paper, he raised the books to his lips and kissed them, as if he were kissing his Sabbath prayer book. He read through the volumes slowly, penciling in comments in the crowded margins. “What extraordinary prose,” he wrote on one page. “A poet, a thinker, a deep soul,” he wrote on another. Lincoln was his idol, the great man who had saved the union.