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Other titles in the Library of America Paperback Classics series:
Abraham Lincoln: Selected Speeches and Writingsby Abraham Lincoln
Synopses & Reviews
In time for the upcoming election season, Penguin presents a series of six portable, accessible, and—above all—essential reads from American political history, selected by leading scholars. Series editor Richard Beeman, author of The Penguin Guide to the U.S. Constitution, draws together the great texts of American civic life, including the founding documents, pivotal historical speeches, and important Supreme Court decisions, to create a timely and informative mini-library of perennially vital issues.
As president, Abraham Lincoln endowed the American language with a vigor and moral energy that have all but disappeared from today's public rhetoric. His words are testaments of our history, windows into his enigmatic personality, and resonant examples of the writer's art. Renowned Lincoln and Civil War scholar Allen C. Guelzo brings together this volume of Lincoln Speeches that span the classic and obscure, the lyrical and historical, the inspirational and intellectual. The book contains everything from classic speeches that any citizen would recognize—the first debate with Stephen Douglas, the "House Divided" Speech, the Gettysburg Address, the Second Inaugural Address—to the less known ones that professed Lincoln fans will come to enjoy and intellectuals and critics praise. These orations show the contours of the civic dilemmas Lincoln, and America itself, encountered: the slavery issue, state v. federal power, citizens and their duty, death and destruction, the coming of freedom, the meaning of the Constitution, and what it means to progress.
Contains Early Speeches, Springfield Speech, Cooper Union Speech, Inaugural Addresses, Gettysburg Address, Selected Letters, Lincoln's Lost Speech.
?Alone among American Presidents, it is possible to imagine Lincoln, grown up in a different milieu, becoming a distinguished writer of a not merely political kind.?
Ranging from finely honed legal argument to wry and some sometimes savage humor to private correspondence and political rhetoric of unsurpassed grandeur, the writings collected in this volume are at once a literary testament of the greatest writer ever to occupy the White House and a documentary history of America in Abraham Lincoln?s time. They record Lincoln?s campaigns for public office; the evolution of his stand against slavery; his electrifying debates with Stephen Douglas; his conduct of the Civil War; and the great public utterances of his presidency, including the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address.
Library of America Paperback Classics feature authoritative texts drawn from the acclaimed Library of America series and introduced by today?s most distinguished scholars and writers. Each book features a detailed chronology of the author?s life and career, and essay on the choice of the text, and notes.
The contents of this Paperback Classic are drawn from Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1832- 1858 and Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1859-1865, volumes number 45 and 46 in the Library of America series. They are joined in the series by a companion volume, number 192s, The Lincoln Anthology: Great Writers on his Life and Legacy from 1860 to Now.
About the Author
Gore Vidal was born Eugene Luther Vidal in 1925, later adopting the surname of his grandfather, Senator Thomas Gore, as his first name. He is the author of numerous novels—the first, Williwaw, written when he was twenty-one—as well as scripts for film, television and the stage, including the extremely successful The Best Man and Visit to a Small Planet. He is perhaps best known for his historical novels, including Burr (1973), 1876 (1976), and Lincoln (1984). He won the National Book Award in 1993 for his book of essays, United States (1952-1992).
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