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The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The First Complete, Unexpurgated Text
     

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The First Complete, Unexpurgated Text

by Harold Holzer
 

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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

Overview

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

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.
Gilbert Taylor
Though the world might little note, nor long remember, what is writ here, it can never forget what was declaimed, there in Illinois, from the seven platforms on which the Rail Splitter and the Little Giant appeared in 1858. History has given Douglas the worse part of the arguments over the rights, if any, to be accorded black Americans, but history also jabs at Lincoln with charges of bigotry. Delivered amid country-fair-like hoopla, the debates were instantly printed in newspapers and pamphlets. But the newspapers, partisan to the core, naturally enough put the most favorable gloss on their particular candidate's speeches, although somewhat at the expense of precisely what was said, thereby inspiring Holzer to edit the celebrated verbal sparrings anew. The "verbatim" accounts subtly differ, and Holzer hopes his expedient of printing the text according to the opposition's stenographer, with emendations by the supporter's notetaker, will achieve historical accuracy. When Lincoln-mania is reaching one of its periodic fever pitches, libraries might be foolish to ignore the Holzer versions.
Booknews
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 (booknews.com)
Author of Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend. - James I. Robertson
“These thirteen essays are all products of the annual and acclaimed Lincoln Forum. While the Union president is the central theme, the topics range far afield and offer a tasty hors d’oeuvre for Civil War scholars and students alike.”
former Governor of New York - Mario Cuomo
“Abraham Lincoln’s life and work produced a cornucopia of provocative ideas, analyses and opinions. John Y. Simon and Harold Holzer have made it easier for us to share in that abundance with a volume of carefully selected works from the Lincoln Forum.”
Author of Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend. - —James I. Robertson
“These thirteen essays are all products of the annual and acclaimed Lincoln Forum. While the Union president is the central theme, the topics range far afield and offer a tasty hors d’oeuvre for Civil War scholars and students alike.”
former Governor of New York - —Mario Cuomo
“Abraham Lincoln’s life and work produced a cornucopia of provocative ideas, analyses and opinions. John Y. Simon and Harold Holzer have made it easier for us to share in that abundance with a volume of carefully selected works from the Lincoln Forum.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823223411
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
Publication date:
08/25/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
422
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Harold Holzer is Roger Hertog Fellow at the New-York Historical Society and one of the nation’s leading authorities on Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. He is chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and has written, co-written, or edited forty-seven books, most recently Lincoln and the Power of the Press.

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