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"Had not Lincoln been a great president-elect ... not only wouldn't he have been a great president, I'm not sure there would have been a country to preside over," mused Abraham Lincoln scholar and author Harold Holzer in a July 9 lecture, "Lincoln: Candidate, Campaigner and President-elect," in Alice Statler Auditorium.

The lecture was the first event to highlight Cornell's 2008-09 New Student Reading Project, through which first-year students will read and discuss Garry Wills' "Lincoln at Gettysburg."