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The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 150th anniversary Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0195339420
ISBN-10: 0195339428
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert W. Johannsen is J. G. Randall Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Illinois. He is the author of Stephen A. Douglas (O.U.P., 1973; Francis Parkman Prize); To the Halls of the Montezumas: The Mexican War in the American Imagination (O.U.P., 1985); The Frontier, the Union, and Stephen A. Douglas; and Lincoln, the South, and Slavery: The Political Dimension.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 150th anniversary edition (March 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195339428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195339420
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #885,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
"The Lincoln/Douglas Debates" is a collection of speeches and debates that two candidates for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, held in the summer and fall of 1858. This edition is a fantastic anthology of transcribed debates that focused on the issues of slavery, popular government, and popular sovereignty. It is interseting to notice how Lincoln gains in prominence as the debates progress and the extent to which both of these men discuss important moral and constitutional issues in the setting of small towns in Illinois. This text is absolutely essential for understanding the Civil War as well as American history and politics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Frances C. Fowler on January 7, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title of this book--"The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858"--rather accurately reflects its contents. Based on verbatim contemporary newspaper accounts of the debates (as recorded by shorthand reporters), it provides not only an accurate version of the speeches as delivered from the platform, but also some of the audience response. In addition to the twenty-one speeches given during the seven joint debates, the book also includes Lincoln's "House Divided" speech of June 16, 1858 and Douglas' speech delivered in Chicago on July 9, 1858.

The editor, Douglas expert Robert Johannsen, also includes a page long discussion of the basis for the text and a ten-page introduction that provides the reader with background information. A few notes at the end of each joint debate identify individuals mentioned in the speeches. In addition, the 43rd anniversary edition begins with a foreword by James Huston. It is an interesting and valuable critical review of the historiography of the debates.

Two shortcomings led me to give this book four stars instead of five. First, it lacks an index. This makes it difficult to determine to what extent each speaker's expressed views shift during the course of the debates. This is important for interpreting the debates as one of Stephen Douglas' chief charges against Lincoln was that he delivered different messages in different parts of Illinois. Second, a map of Illinois in 1850, showing the location of each of the debate sites, would have been helpful for the same reason.

This book is not easy reading even for a person with a good knowledge of antebellum politics, Lincoln, and/or Douglas. However, it is an excellent source for the texts of the debates and for that reason would make a good addition to the library of Civil War and nineteenth century history buffs.
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By Darrin Anderson on March 23, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book for anyone interested in the debates between Lincoln and Douglas. Would recommend to Lincoln and history buffs.
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By Gina on March 21, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
got this for school but it was pretty good.
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3 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is really bad. Dry, long, small type, Don't buy it
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