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brian stouder

Excellent! Beautiful!!

Isn't it amazing how much he said, in so few words?

Gary Wills wrote an interesting book about that 300 word speech; since then books have been written about his Second Inaugural Address (in my opinion his greatest oration) and more recently an excellent book by Harold Holzer about his pre-presidential tour de force Cooper Union speech. The Cooper Union one was a lengthy exposition, incorporating a large amount of reall historical heavy lifting; Lincoln had spent months researching and then composing his Cooper Union speech, and indeed it was the first look that the sophisticated eastern establishment got of the prairie lawyer with the funny twang and the high-pitched voice....and it can fairly be said that Cooper Union formally launched his presidential campaign, and indeed (between it, and the Brady image he had made while in NYC) made him president.

The lawyer/poet/political trimmer/populist/whig/spouse of a strong-willed woman/indulgent father/ice cold son/commander-in-chief/re-inventor of America Lincoln is a subject which has never bored me, and I suppose never will.


Brian! You made it over. Great! Welcome!

Wills' book is one of my old favorites. I missed the Holzer book but I'll go find it now. Another good book you might enjoy is actually a novel. Abe. By Richard Slotkin. Does a beautiful job of depicting the young Lincoln's intellectual and emotional growth toward the Lincoln we know, and a really fine and subtle job of showing him acquiring his Lincolnesque command of language.

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