Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$25.80
Qty:1
  • List Price: $34.95
  • Save: $9.15 (26%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 12 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Tuesday, April 22? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Trade in your item
Get a $3.53
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason Hardcover


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$25.80
$24.69 $11.14
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Frequently Bought Together

Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason + Euclid's Elements
Price for both: $44.15

Buy the selected items together
  • Euclid's Elements $18.35

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Savas Beatie (November 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932714898
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932714890
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #769,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
12
4 star
3
3 star
2
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 18 customer reviews
After reading the text of the book, I found these to be very interesting and informative.
Carl H
David Hirsch & Dan Van Haften seek to use classical analysis and rhetoric to understand Lincoln's work and gain a greater understanding of what makes a good speaker.
Midwest Book Review
This book will appeal to Lincoln scholars and mathematicians but is an informative read for our Civil War community.
James W. Durney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dan_K on March 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason is a comprehensive study of how Lincoln developed his command of logic, reason and argument both as an attorney and political giant. I always thought Lincoln, like many politicians, had an innate ability to communicate ideas. The book contends that such skills can be learned. Portions of the book require deep thought regarding the mathematical concepts needed to understand Lincoln's approach, but the authors effectively break the materials into reasonable portions. As a litigation attorney, I really appreciated the historical detail of practicing law in the mid-1800's and would highly recommend the book to other attorneys, especially younger attorneys who wish to understand the roots of the profession and how to develop the timeless art of persuasion from one of the best. A fascinating read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By James W. Durney TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Saying Abraham Lincoln is a brilliant writer will cause few arguments. Lincoln increased our vocabulary of phrases while defining how we see ourselves. His words are as fresh now as when spoken, the appeal to our better nature has not diminished. Many theories exist on how a self-education person could write such inspiring words. This book presents a compelling argument that Euclidean Geometry is the answer.

The book opens with a look at Lincoln as a student. Lincoln recalled his education as "readin, wrttin, and cipherin' and everything else learned "under the pressure of necessity". The authors maintain in "Unlocking Lincoln" that Lincoln transferred geometry into speech. The balance of the book looks at specific speeches and or incidents from Lincoln's life illustrating the development or application of this theory. The book's Appendix contains a series of Lincoln's speeches where the author's apply their idea illustrating how Lincoln applied Euclidean Geometry in each speech.

This is a serious and complex book. One author is an attorney and co-author of the technology column for the American Bar Association Journal. The other has a MS in mathematics and a PHD in electrical engineering. There is a series of charts and tables summarizing their ideas throughout the book. While not an easy read, it is not an impossible one. I followed the text with little difficulty for this type of book. The book is fully footnoted, indexed and contains a full bibliography.

This book will appeal to Lincoln scholars and mathematicians but is an informative read for our Civil War community. While not for everyone it is an above average book.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Vince Treacy on March 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In "Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason," authors David Hirsch and Dan Van Haften write that Lincoln used Euclid's principles of geometry to structure many of his speeches, legal arguments, and writings. In Chapter 3, "Honest Abe?," they write that Lincoln misused Euclid in his 1860 speech at Cooper Union by misconstruing the votes cast by three of the Framers of the Constitution on the issue of the power of the federal government to control slavery in the federal territories.

The authors recite a long list of problems with Lincoln's arguments. The question mark after "Honest Abe" in the chapter's title seems to imply that he was less than honest. The authors make this implication explicit, over and over. Lincoln, they write, "confused the issue" and "stretched the math" (p. 48). He "finessed" the votes of three of the Framers (p. 50). He "employed a verbal shell game" by "overstating his conclusion" (p. 50). There was "weakness in Lincoln's argument" (p. 51). The genius of his speech was in "the skillful stretching of the context of the facts" (emphasis in original, p. 51). He "manufactured three votes" by giving them "a significance they did not have" (p. 51). He used "sleight of hand" (p. 53). Lincoln "slyly manipulated the counting" (p. 52). There was "carefully orchestrated equivocation" (p. 53). The facts Lincoln presented at Cooper Union were not in dispute, but the "stretch" he made was in "the legal effect of those undisputed facts" (p. 54). The authors suggest a possible violation of the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

Lincoln was not dishonest. The authors write that "the issue Lincoln addressed was whether the Constitution forbids the federal government from regulating slavery in the territories.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rush Nigut on September 22, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a lawyer I've long been fascinated with how speakers and writers persuade others. I can't imagine anyone else that persuaded others in more difficult circumstances than Abraham Lincoln. This book was terrific in explaining how Lincoln structured his arguments and speeches. Written in a clear and effective manner, I gained enough insight to start using some of Lincoln's techniques in my own writings and arguments. Lincoln was a master of persuasion and I am thankful I had the opportunity to read this book. I highly recommend this book if you wish to improve your skills of persuasion or if you just want to learn more about the mastery of Abraham Lincoln.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Book Shark TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason by David Hirsch, Dan Van Haften

"Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason" makes the compelling argument that it was Lincoln's application of Euclid's first six books on geometry that provided the structure for his reason. The authors show how Lincoln embedded this knowledge of the structure of geometry into some of his most important narratives. Despite the authors' strong arguments in favor of their thesis, I sense this book will be of interest to mostly Lincoln scholars and enthusiasts of the law. The book has flashes of brilliance but it is also a tedious and repetitive read. This long 249-page book is composed of the following sixteen chapters: 1. Lincoln the Law Student, 2. Unlocking Lincoln, 3. Honest Abe?, 4. Lawyering Like Lincoln, 5. Attorney and Client: Matchmaking, 6. Credibility, Credibility, Credibility, 7. Fact Check: Confirming Truth, 8. Legal Check: Confirming Law, 9. Pleadings and Discovery: Specifying Issues and Facts, 10. Moving Targets: Judges and Motions, 11. Demonstration: The Elements of Trial, 12. Appeal, 13. Jefferson and Lincoln, 14. Euclid, the Apple of Newton's Eye, 15. How Does a Speech Mean?, and 16. Abraham Lincoln: The Great Demarcator.

Positives:
1. A unique book that provides an interesting take of what was behind Lincoln's sound reasoning.
2. Generally well written with a consistent format. Does a good job of consistently comparing the legal practice to Lincoln's day to how it compares today with a recurring section titled, "From Lincoln to Now".
3. Those interested in Lincoln's practice of law and how it compares today will thoroughly enjoy this book. "Litigation is persuasion; it is communication with combative purpose.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa4afa7ec)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?