Today Abraham Lincoln's political views are often misrepresented in many ways. Some claim he was a great forward-thinking emancipator (he originally planned to let the southern states have until 1900 to abolish slavery on an individual-state basis), while others claim he was never really interested in ending slavery at all (in fact, as early as 1838 Lincoln made it clear that he thought the only practical way of ending slavery was to contain it where it already existed, so that it would then eventually die out). These are only examples. These speeches, however, are Lincoln's definitive statement, from his own mouth, of what he did and did not stand for. They are a bit tedious to read (and would obviously work better as speeches), but anyone who is interested in Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War should read this book.