The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The First Complete, Unexpurgated Text / Edition 1

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The seven debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas held during the Illinois senatorial race of 1858 are among the most important statements in American political history, dramatic struggles over the issues that would tear apart the nation in the Civil War: the virtues of a republic and the evils of slavery. In this acclaimed book, Holzer brings us as close as possible to what Lincoln and Douglas actually said, Using transcripts of Lincoln's speeches as recorded by the pro-Douglas newspaper, and vice-versa, he offers the most reliable, unedited record available of the debates. Also included are background on the sites, crowd comments, and a new introduction.A vivid, boisterous picture of politics during our most divisive period.This fresh, fascinating examination.. deserves a place in all American history collection.-Library Journal

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Those who have read the debates between Lincoln and Douglas that took place during the 1858 Senate race in Illinois may not have read what was actually said. The authenticity of the texts has always been in dispute, with the political presses of the day polishing the prose of their candidate and Lincoln himself publishing a sanitized version two years later. The editor of this volume (coeditor, with Mario Cuomo, of Lincoln on Democracy , LJ 10/15/90), claims to present the first authentic texts of the seven confrontations. Interspersed are shouted comments from the crowds, background on the sites, and renditions of how the debates may have appeared. What emerges is a vivid, boisterous picture of politics during our most divisive period: the dull ineloquence of Lincoln and his interplay with hecklers, the blatant bigotry and slashing humor of Douglas, and the small degree to which campaigning has changed in 135 years. This fresh, fascinating examination of a significant step in our march toward the Civil War deserves a place in all American history collections. For public, school, and academic libraries.-- James Moffet, Baldwin P.L., Birmingham, Mich.
According to editor and Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, the numerous previous editions of these legendary debates have all used corrupted text from the partisan print media of the time. Holzer and colleagues have now reconstructed the debates from transcriptions assembled for the first time since 1858. Holzer's colorful introduction sets the debates in political and historical context. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823223428
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 3/23/2004
  • Edition description: 2
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 394
  • Sales rank: 1,016,117
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Harold Holzer, Senior Vice President for External Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is one of the nation's leading authorities on Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. He served as co-chairman of the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and has written, co-written, or edited 35 books.

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Table of Contents

The first joint debate at Ottawa, August 21, 1858 40
The second joint debate at Freeport, August 27, 1858 86
The third joint debate at Jonesboro, September 15, 1858 136
The fourth joint debate at Charleston, September 18, 1858 185
The fifth joint debate at Galesburg, October 7, 1858 234
The sixth joint debate at Quincy, October 13, 1858 277
The seventh joint debate at Alton, October 15, 1858 321
App Lincoln vs. Douglas : how the state voted 371
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