6 December 2012 6:28 AM, PST | Huffington Post | See recent Huffington Post news »

In her biography, "Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," Doris Kearns Goodwin recounts an anecdote that at first seems impossible to link to a man who never left the United States. In 1908, Leo Tolstoy, by then a famous writer, traveled to what he called a “wild and remote” part of the North Caucasus, a tribal region in Russia between the Caspian and Baltic Seas. On the request of a local chief, Tolstoy told a gathered group there stories of the great men of history. As he wound to a close, the chief demanded that he not forget the “greatest general and greatest ruler of the world,” Abraham Lincoln. Taken aback, Tolstoy obliged, and for his efforts was presented with the gift of an Arabian horse, as well as another request: could he find them a photograph of Lincoln?

“This little incident proves how largely the name of »


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