Lessons from Lincoln
After reading literally hundreds of books and articles on Abraham Lincoln for my writing projects and Lincoln Live performances, I don't expect to learn much that's new on the topic ["Lincoln to the Rescue," Nov. 5]. But your adaptation of David Von Drehle's book is an exception. It's wise, beautifully written, deeply informed, full of insights--a joy to read.
Gene Griessman, ATLANTA
One great secret of Lincoln's success was to give in or agree on everything that was of lesser importance or on which two sides had equal claim. This helped him establish himself as fair. I think that lesson could be learned by today's talking heads, who always claim everything is a victory. At the risk of being partisan--I am a Mitt Romney supporter--I saw not a Romney loss in the third debate but a Lincolnesque quality to his agreeing with Barack Obama. And I think among those who are not diehard Democrats, there was a sense that Romney carried the points he needed to carry.
kenhbradshaw1, ON TIME.COM
As a longtime professor, I appreciated your "Reinventing College" package, with essays by Romney and Obama [Oct. 29]. Unfortunately, both missed the key point of a college education: to sharpen students' minds so they become independent thinkers. Both stressed the importance only of science and engineering to serve the needs of corporations. If we don't provide equal support for liberal arts and the humanities, who will uphold and maintain our democracy?
Winberg Chai, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Wyoming, LARAMIE, WYO.
The odds of a student's taking out loans vary widely from school to school. A report we released in October, "Student Debt and the Class of 2011," found that individual colleges had borrowing rates as low as 12% of students and as high as 100%, with average debt for graduates ranging from $3,000 to $50,000. A critical and still underutilized tool is Income-Based Repayment (IBR), a federal program available since 2009. IBR caps monthly payments for federal loans at a manageable share of income and forgives remaining debt after up to 25 years of payments (or as little as 10 years for those in public or nonprofit jobs). And enrolling in IBR just got easier with a new online application at studentloans.gov
Lauren Asher, President, The Institute for College Access & Success, OAKLAND, CALIF.
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