As everybody now knows, 2009 marked the 200th anniversary of the births of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. A coincidence, yes, but one that, teased out, can teach us something, as Adam Gopnik shows in Angels And Ages (Knopf, $24.95). Just when you think there is nothing more to say about either of these two founders of the modern world, Gopnik, in his inimitable way, shows us some intriguing links between the two men. Both were great communicators and their mastery of rhetoric was a key to the spread of their ideas. Gopnik is a graceful narrator, and the book makes a good introduction to both the statesman and the scientist.
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