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The Gettysburg Address (Penguin Great Ideas) [Paperback]

Abraham Lincoln
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 Aug 2009 Penguin Great Ideas

The Address was delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, during the American Civil War, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the decisive Battle of Gettysburg. In just over two minutes, Lincoln invoked the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and redefined the Civil War as a struggle not merely for the Union, but as "a new birth of freedom" that would bring true equality to all of its citizens, and that would also create a unified nation in which states' rights were no longer dominant.

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141043903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141043906
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 11.1 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"McCurdy brings the important words of America's sixteenth president to life for a new generation of children bombarded by violent acts." School Library Journal, Starred --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) was the 16th President of the United States. He successfully led the country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserving the Union and ending slavery. As the war was drawing to a close, Lincoln became the first American president to be assassinated. Before his election in 1860 as the first Republican president, Lincoln had been a lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, a member of the United States House of Representatives, and twice an unsuccessful candidate for election to the U.S. Senate.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rightly Famous 28 May 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It may be short, and there are more than one version of what Lincoln actually said, but it has become famous, and rightly so. In this day and age the true art of oration seems to have been forgotten, but until not long ago politicians still knew how to do it properly - think of Winston Churchill, or Martin Luther King.

Who would have thought that something that takes less than a couple of minutes to read would have such an impact? Lincoln gave hope for a new beginning and to live up to the Founding Fathers when he gave this, at a time when the US badly needed a purpose and dream. What he gave was something stirring and inspiring that rose above a simpe political jibe or speech.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address for Kindle 31 Dec 2012
By Erewash
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To my mind this is what America is all about, fighting for the rights of mankind. It stands, not only as a reminder of a brutal civil war that cost so so many lives, but of why it was fought and is as relevant today as it ever was. We are reminded that rich or poor we should all enjoy the freedom to live our lives to their full potential. Many say this battle was the turning point in the war and it had been a close run thing. I would recommend this product not just for its historical value but for its content as one of the greatest speeches of any president or leader of a country.
In recent history I think the nearest speech we have in Britain to compare, is Winston Churchill's epic: we'll fight them on the beeches, speech, at the start of World War Two.
President Lincoln's final lines: government of the people, by the people, for the a fitting memorial to all those lost lives.
Awesome and inspiring!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gettysburg Address 28 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good record of a great speech. Short and easily read. Apparently I need 7 more words to continue reading it though.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars where did they go wrong. 13 Jun 2014
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Everyone should read this, it's a declaration of how people should live together more than anything else. When you finish you find yourself asking the question "If Lincoln arrived on Capital Hill today what would the great man think of the state of the nation?" Not a lot I believe.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 9 April 2014
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this although all the highlighting made it not the best experience to follow.
By now you would think the beautiful words are obvious and people should not need to highlight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Some great words from a great man 12 Jan 2014
By Sebastian Palmer TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lincoln is justly famous as a great orator; his brief spell of home-tuition as a child and his lifelong self-education, with his years of work in law and politics, sure paid off! To start my review, here's just one example of his typically pithy yet vivid style: 'Military glory - that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood.' So brilliantly and poignantly succinct! As an avid reader of military history that really struck me powerfully.

Most of the texts here are reasonably lengthy, not so much in themselves (it is, after all, a very slim book), as in relation to the famous nugget of a speech that gives this brief collection it's name: the Gettysburg address itself is but one page! The moment of its declamation passed so quickly that a photographer on hand was unable to get a decent picture of Lincoln. Renowned orator Edward Everett was the main scheduled speaker at the event, the dedication of the cemetery housing the dead of the battle of Gettysburg.

To his great credit - the immediate reaction in the popular press to Lincoln's brief oration was predominantly negative - Everett had the sense and good grace to commend Lincoln with words to the effect that Abe had said better in two minutes what he'd attempted to say in two hours! There is of course also the famous irony, re Lincoln saying 'The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here', as he was so right respecting Everett's lengthy disquisition, and so wrong in terms of his own words.

How sad it is that his death, after his momentous steering of the Union along a path both righteous in intent and successful in execution, should come in a way foreshadowed in his own words, as when he spoke of 'the assassination of kings and emperors.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A PIECE OF HISTORY OWNED 27 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The words here are part of World History. The rating cannot be anything less. It is a piece of prose which all should have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless 25 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In my younger days we were required to learn the opening passages of this and documents like Magna Carta off by hert. Do prep schools still do this and if not why not? This is an old friend come to life in a knew digital format.
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