The Gettysburg Address : perspectives on Lincoln's greatest speech /

It remains without question the most memorable and memorized speech in American history. In 272 words, spoken on November 19, 1863, among the freshly dug graves of the Union dead at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Abraham Lincoln evoked and distilled the profound significance of the terrible war in which...

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Bibliographic Details
Other Authors / Creators:Conant, Sean, editor.
Holzer, Harold, editor.
Format: Book
Language:English
Imprint: New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2015]
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Summary:It remains without question the most memorable and memorized speech in American history. In 272 words, spoken on November 19, 1863, among the freshly dug graves of the Union dead at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Abraham Lincoln evoked and distilled the profound significance of the terrible war in which the nation was engaged. This volume aims to place Lincoln's words in their full context. Edited by the country's leading scholars, including Sean Wilentz, Craig L. Symonds, and Harold Holzer, it approaches the Address from a number of fresh perspectives. Taken together, they show why in the century and a half since it was delivered, the Gettysburg Address has proven a seemingly inexhaustible source of somber reflection and soaring hope, its language echoed by those seeking meaning for their own struggles and sacrifices.
It is the most famous speech Lincoln ever gave, and one of the most important orations in the history of the nation. Delivered on November 19, 1863, among the freshly dug graves of the Union dead, the Gettysburg Address defined the central meaning of the Civil War and gave cause for the nation's incredible suffering. The poetic language and moral sentiment inspired listeners at the time, and have continued to resonate powerfully with groups and individuals up to the present day. What gives this speech its enduring significance? This collection of essays, from some of the best-known scholars in the field, answers that question. Placing the Address in complete historical and cultural context and approaching it from a number of fresh perspectives, the volume first identifies how Lincoln was influenced by great thinkers on his own path toward literary and oratory genius. Among others, Nicholas P. Cole draws parallels between the Address and classical texts of Antiquity and John Stauffer considers Lincoln's knowledge of the King James Bible and Shakespeare. The second half of the collection then examines the many ways in which the Gettysburg Address has been interpreted, perceived, and utilized in the past 150 years. Since 1863, African Americans, immigrants, women, gay rights activists, and international figures have invoked the speech's language and righteous sentiments on their respective paths toward freedom and equality. Essays include Louis P. Masur on the role the Address played in eventual emancipation; Jean H. Baker on the speech's importance to the women's rights movement; and Don H. Doyle on the Address's international legacy.Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg in a defining moment for America, but as the essays in this collection attest, his message is universal and timeless. This work brings together the foremost experts in the field to illuminate the many ways in which that message continues to endure.
Physical Description:xvi, 350 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography:Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN:9780190227456
0190227451
9780190227449
0190227443
Author Notes:Sean Conant is an American filmmaker and the writer, director, and producer of the 2015 documentary film The Gettysburg Address.