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In a work of extraordinary scholarship and intellectual power, acclaimed by critics across the country, Wills lays bare the true meaning and intent of Lincoln's historic speech--272 words that changed the future of our country.
"Dazzling . . . Wills is at his best, and his best may be the best that has ever been written about the Gettysburg Address as literature. Boldly revisionist and intoxicatingly original." — Chicago Tribune
"Garry Wills' glowing reconstruction of Lincoln's words and the circumstances gives us a real understanding of what we rote-memorized as school children. This is what history is all about." — Studs Terkel
"True to its historical antecedents and politically triumphant . . . A brilliantly creative reading of a critically important, indeed, culturally transforming, political document." — The Philadelphia Inquirer
Posted March 8, 2009
Quite a boring read. I'm not into history or linguistics, so I did not enjoy this at all, but I guess if you're into that kind of stuff, you might find it enjoyable. But nevertheless, I found it to be a very dull read and I had trouble getting through it.
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Posted May 30, 2004
I learned a lot more about the Gettysburg Address from reading this book than I had learned from studying it in various stages of my schooling, including graduate school in American Studies. Yet the book did not really solve for me the mystery of Lincoln's and this speech's greatness. Perhaps I am completely wrong but my feeling is this book did not capture the cadence of Lincoln, and the Biblical undertone of his incantation.
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Posted May 22, 2009
Wills places the Gettysburg Address in social context and makes its importance for how Americans understand the meaning of the Civil War clear. His insightful analysis of the speech helps explain what the speech did, and how the speech came to stand for the meaning of the Civil War and American national identity. Wills describes the classical origins of eulogies, and compares Lincoln's speech to Pericles' funeral oration, and explains the neo-Classical movement in the nineteenth century and its importance to the cemetary and the speech. The book includes reproductions of all of the known drafts of the speech, and Wills examines the importance of the changes made by Lincoln and others. He also includes contemporary responses to the speech as well as its use and re-evaluation by critics and historians. The book compares favorably to longer works, such as David Blight's Race & Reunion or Drew Gilpin Faust's This Republic of Suffering.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 22, 2009
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