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Publishers WeeklyThough the unofficial Lincoln Bicentennial Publish-palooza is a crowded field, this stultifying leadership primer may be the most egregious entry to date. Switching off writing duties, Griessman (author and Lincoln portrayer) and Williams (public speaker and senior VP of the NBA's Orlando Magic) manage in 20 chapters to nullify the power of Lincoln's writing, reduce his accomplishments to a checklist of office to-dos, and yoke the 16th president's voice to tired self-help-speak like, "If you want to be successful... you must will that success into existence." Frequent, tone-deaf passages written by Griessman in Lincoln's voice aren't helped by his professional experience; in-character lines include "My name is Lincoln-Abraham Lincoln. And I've been dead for well over a century"; "I am a possibility thinker"; and "I began to learn to value diversity in the little settlements of the frontier." (Excerpts from Lincoln's own writing serve only to show up Greissman's act.) Williams, meanwhile, recounts stories from the front offices of various basketball teams, bizarrely synthesizing Lincoln's ideas with his own advice about visualization, thinking things through, and staying positive. Like unwelcome carpetbaggers in the reconstruction South, these authors seem less interested in spreading the word of Lincoln than in exploiting his moment.
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