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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 January 2014
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. An enthusiast broods over the oppression of a people till he fancies himself commissioned by Heaven to liberate them.' When I watched Ken Burns' superb ACW documentary, Lincoln's assassination moved me to weep... and then order this and Ronald White's biography A. Lincoln!

Some of the speeches, such as the Peoria address, are much longer, wordier, complex and therefore potentially confusing. One can see an evolution in Abe's position across the years, but it always remained one founded upon a very broadly humane position. This means that much of this book is effectively context-setting around the titular address, or rather around the key concepts that run through all the speeches. This slim volume is very handy as a quick and easy way of reading some of the often sonorous words - 'the mystic chords of memory' - that issued from the mind, hand and lips of this most memorable and venerable of US presidents.

PS - Like Lincoln's face itself, this book benefits also from a very striking design.
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on 31 December 2012
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 people...is a fitting memorial to all those lost lives.
Awesome and inspiring!
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VINE VOICEHALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 28 May 2011
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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on 13 June 2014
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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on 25 April 2013
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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on 19 May 2015
As good an argument for the rule of law as any other on record a truly inspired speech. Awesome in it integrity humble to man in its delivery.
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on 9 April 2014
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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on 8 June 2015
remarkable
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on 14 August 2015
Great!
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on 27 October 2013
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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