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Lincoln Fiction & Fact
A new novel about Lincoln examines questions about civil liberties in wartime, staff loyalties and disloyalties, and especially, Lincoln’ spriorities
December 1987 | Volume 38, Issue 8
The Justice Department in 1861 consisted of eight people. So, yes, scale has changed. And a lot is lost in an enormous executive bureaucracy. The benefits of having a small cabinet nearby are considerable. But any department heads you surround yourself with have their differing motivations and their jealousies and sometimes their hatreds. What we have now in place is a White House palace guard, which I think institutionally is worse than a cabinet that you manipulate or that tries to manipulate you. Yes, my life with Nixon was most instructive when it came to writing about Lincoln.