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Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America (Simon & Schuster Lincoln Library) Paperback – November 14, 2006
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"Dazzling . . . Wills is at his best, and his best may be the best that has ever been written about the Gettysburg Address as literature. Boldly revisionist and intoxicatingly original." -- Chicago Tribune
"Garry Wills' glowing reconstruction of Lincoln's words and the circumstances gives us a real understanding of what we rote-memorized as school children. This is what history is all about." -- Studs Terkel
"True to its historical antecedents and politically triumphant . . . A brilliantly creative reading of a critically important, indeed, culturally transforming, political document." -- The Philadelphia Inquirer
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
One of the first topics Wills addresses is the myth that the man who spoke before Lincoln, Edward Everett, impositioned the audience with a two-hour long speech that bored the listeners. Wills notes long speeches were common, and expected for the day. He gives reference to the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, which illustrate that Lincoln himself was capable and comfortable speaking at length before groups of people. Willis also emphasizes that Everett was the invited speaker for the dedication, and Lincoln had been asked simply to give some remarks. Wills also demystifies the story that Lincoln wrote the address on a napkin, or while sitting on the stand during Everett's speech.Read more ›
It's broken into 5 chapters and an Epilogue:
1) Greek funereal oratory
2) Rural cemetaries
3) Trancendentalism and the Declaration of Independence
4) Revolution in Style - why the 272 words of the Address carried so much power, and why such a short speech was radical
5) Revolution in Thought - why the ideas in the Address, many considered part and parcel of the American identity now, were a change in Civil War
E) A brief look at Lincoln's other masterpiece (the Second Inaugural)
It also considers the different versions of the Address with more detail in the Appendices. All versions are included, as is some additional relevant material (including Edward Everett's "keynote" at the dedication of the Gettysburg cemetary).
Brilliant, compact book, with a tremendous amount to stimulate the reader's thinking and interest.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lincoln at Gettysburg is a tour deforce, laying out the social and cultural significance of death and graveyards in mid-19th century America, the political landscape Lincoln was... Read morePublished 1 month ago
Remarkable insights into our arguably greatest president. It's an easy read that is both captivating and informative. I've given it as a gift several times.Published 2 months ago by Parsifal
All I can say about this short volume is that it was a privilege to have read this book. A must read.Published 2 months ago by Rachel Rose
"Lincoln at Gettysburg" --Gary Wills correctly places Lincoln and his speech at Gettysburg. Lincoln was NOT the featured speaker, Edward Everett, President of Harvard and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Steven J. Torrey
Nobody unlocks history like Garry Wills! His Lincoln won the Pulitzer Prize, about the greatest speech in American history! Must read, printed and digital.Published 8 months ago by Larry Keeter
I really enjoyed this book. As a long-time Civil War student and admirer of Lincoln, the accessible scholarship in this book added so much to my understanding and appreciation of... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Doug Bradley