While doing research on Abraham Lincoln and his prophetic dreams, Jeff
meets Annie, herself experiencing the Civil War in sleep, and tries to
help her find meaning to her dreams.
I know next to nothing about
the American Civil War, but it did not hinder me from enjoying Connie
Willis' "Lincoln's Dreams". Annie's experience was gripping, and the
We are conditioned to look up to our heroes on
their pedestals, but we need to remember that they were human too. Even
though they inspire us by their courage and with their triumphs, they
also suffered loss and failure.
Jeff, turning down a job
opportunity on studying the effects of the Vietnam War, says, "I haven't
figured out the long-term effects of the Civil War yet." It seems that
mankind has not even recovered from one war before he becomes involved
in another. In the last century alone, we had World War I, World War II,
Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, with Afghanistan at the start of this
century. Does no one understand that war does not solve anything? It is a
waste of human lives and material resources. War does not resolve
conflict, it only postpones it until the "losing" side musters strength
to fight again. Which is a lesson mankind, sadly, seems slow to learn.