- Hardcover: 898 pages
- Publisher: Library of America; Bicentennial Jacket ed. edition (16 Oct. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1598530372
- ISBN-13: 978-1598530377
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.8 x 20.8 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,600,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1832-1858: Bicentennial Jacket Hardcover – 16 Oct 2014
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aThe best selection of Lincolnas writings available today, perhaps the best ever.aa"Christian Science Monitor"
The best selection of Lincoln s writings available today, perhaps the best ever. "Christian Science Monitor"
?The best selection of Lincoln's writings available today, perhaps the best ever. "Christian Science Monitor"
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The letters are quite interesting and cover a range of topics. It is interesting to note his private correspondence on various topics such as the Mexican War and compare those notes to his public speeches. While he is clearly a politician and aware of the need to garner votes, he uses his powerful intellect to find the line that will hold to his principles and still be convincing to the electorate.
This volume culminates with the seven famed Lincoln - Douglas debates when those two candidates contended for a seat in the Senate representing Illinois. Remember, this was before Senators were directly elected. These were debates to win popular support, but also to show political viability so when the public selected the legislature, the legislature would choose the preferred candidate for the Senate. These debates received national attention, which pleased both candidates. The format was this: first speaker for one hour, response by the second speaker for an hour and a half, the first speaker responds for a half hour. They alternated who spoke first with each debate. They went after each other directly with challenges, personal attacks, interruptions, and appeals to the crowd. Can you imagine any of our candidates even attempting such a risky format nowadays?
As I read the debates, Douglas seems to be a panderer and clearly supporting slavery in a way that seems odd for someone seeking office in Illinois. However, he was really positioning himself for the Presidency. Stephen Douglas did become Senator while Lincoln did not. However, two years later, Douglas did not get nominated as a candidate for President and Lincoln won the Presidency.
This great volume has a chronology of Lincoln's life and notes on the texts and an index.
Now as for the volumes on Lincoln, don't get me wrong; they are also extremely good. As with all of these books, it is a rewarding reading experience to peruse collections of un-edited letters and speeches in their chronological order.
These volumes have every conceivable bit of correspondence imaginable. Lincoln apparently preferred the short letter, as there are several single paragraph letters to generals on the field and the like. He also wrote with simplicity and suprising bluntness. Volume 1 has a number of early speeches and famous debates which give you a sense of the lawyer turned politician. These of course are very lengthy. But also in volumes 1 and 2 there are numerous short letters which include urgent notes to General McClellan and others that would have made me quit the post had I been the receiver! In contrast there are letters revealing Lincolns more sensitive personal side.
I'm rating Lincoln's volumes just behind those of Jefferson and Franklin because there are no references detailing the circumstances for each writing. I felt a little lost not knowing what the impetus was behind the letters and correspondence. This is a departure from the Jefferson and Franklin books, which provide very detailed notes.
Finally I should say that Library of America's books are of very high quality for more than their authorship and reading content. All are bound nicely and printed on bible paper-like acid free paper. They are of exceptional quality just as books. I would say they are the best quality available.
Additionally, Library of America is a non-profit organization with the aim of distributing the work of America's essential writers without commercial gain.
Lincoln was quite the gifted writer and it definitely shows through in this work. His writing was clear, articulate, and very logical. Readers can really learn a lot just from his ability to construct a sentence.
This first volume covers a broad range of topics prior to his presidency from 1832-1858. The writings appear in chronological order and encompass his private correspondence, as well as his public speeches/addresses. Some of these important/famous writings included in this volume (1 of 2) are his ADDRESS TO THE YOUNG MEN'S LYCEUM OF SPRINGFIELD, ADDRESS TO THE WASHINGTON TEMPERANCE SOCIETY, His proposal for the abolition of slavery in D.C, SPEECH ON THE KANSAS-NEBRASKA ACT, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and the infamous House Divided Speech.
His speech in the House against the Mexican-American War is included and is interesting to read. After expressing his sentiment about the war, he was voted out of office and went into retirement. Also, his Eulogy on Henry Clay is interesting to read. Clay was a considerable influence on Lincoln intellectually.
Overall, this volume is a delight to own. It contains a number of smaller speeches, etc. that were not discussed that are equally as good as the more famous speeches. Lincoln was an interesting man, and that interest is reflected in his writings. I highly recommend this product.