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Abraham Lincoln: Selected Speeches and…

Abraham Lincoln: Selected Speeches and Writings (Library of America… (edition 2009)

by Abraham Lincoln

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Title:Abraham Lincoln: Selected Speeches and Writings (Library of America Paperback Classics)
Authors:Abraham Lincoln
Info:Library of America (2009), Paperback, 550 pages
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Abraham Lincoln: Selected Speeches and Writings (Library of America Paperback Classics) by Abraham Lincoln



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This little volume contains all of the works essential to understanding Lincoln as a man and a president. Don Fehrenbacher, himself a Pulitzer Prize winner for his book "The Dred Scott Case," did a superb job selecting the right texts. Everything important ever written or spoken by Lincoln is included: from his address 'To the People of Sangamo County' to his 'Speech on the Kansas-Nebraska Act at Peoria' to his 'House Divided' speech to the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address to the First and Second Inaugurals.

The only thing missing is a serviceable introduction that provides a basic guide to understanding the politics and issues addressed in these works. The brief and historically feeble introduction by Gore Vidal really only addresses the quality of Lincoln's prose and even then in such a rambling and random way as to provide but an inkling of why that is so. A better introduction would have provided some understanding of the qualities that made Lincoln a first rate political theorist and practical politician in addition to his qualities as prose writer. But Vidal is a fiction writer not a historian, so don't expect too much of him.

As an affordable and accessible volume of the most essential works of Lincoln, this book is a successful offering. For more context in understanding Lincoln's substance, the reader is advised to supplement this volume with 'The Impending Crisis' by David Potter, 'Battle Cry of Freedom' by James McPherson, and 'Lincoln's Constitution' by Daniel Farber. ( )
  Osorio | Dec 13, 2009 |
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