Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Re-Made America

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9780671769567: Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Re-Made America

An account of Lincoln's revolutionary speech describes how, in the space of a mere 272 words, the President brought to bear the rhetoric of the Greek Revival, the categories of transcendentalism, and the imagery of the Rural Cemetary Movement. 25,000 first printing.

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Review:

A former professor of Greek at Yale University, Wills painstakingly deconstructs Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and discovers heavy influence from the early Greeks (Pericles) and the 19th century Transcendentalists (Edward Everett). The author also probes Lincoln's decision to rely more on the Declaration of Independence than the U.S. Constitution, a decision Wills says represented a "revolution in thought." He speaks effusively of the 272-word address: "All modern political prose descends from [it]. The Address does what all great art accomplishes. [I]t tease[s] us out of thought." Wills' book won the 1992 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.

About the Author:

Garry Wills, former Henry R. Luce Professor of American Culture and Public Policy at Northwestern University, is the author of Inventing America and Explaining America, as well as Reagan's America, Under God, Nixon Agonistes, The Kennedy Imprisonment, and other books. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

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