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Excerpts from Harold Holzer’s 2009 AASLH Annual Meeting keynote address in which he discusses at length the unlikely journey of Abraham Lincoln from boyhood to presidency.

He then parallels Lincoln’s and Obama’s journey to the White House. He says that both presidents have provided a light of hope to a divided country and an assurance for a different future.

They tell us of the power of words, conviction, and hope and that together we can finish the work that needs to be done to usher in a new birth of freedom.

Holzer also remarks on the similarities between Lincoln and Obama’s campaign and significance as Presidents of the United States.