This Fiery Trial: The Speeches and Writings of Abraham Lincoln

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Oxford University Press, Jan 1, 2002 - History - 236 pages
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The most eloquent president in our history, Abraham Lincoln's literary ability was extraordinary. In This Fiery Trial, William Gienapp has brought together more than one hundred pieces by Lincoln, ranging from his first published political statement, printed in the Sangamo Journal in 1832, to his final public address, delivered just before his assassination.
Here are some of the greatest speeches in American history, including the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address. Other pieces include Lincoln's "A House Divided" speech to the Republican State convention in 1858, excerpts from his famed debates with Stephen Douglas, and the text of the Emancipation Proclamation. The writings provide a documentary account of Lincoln's thought and how it evolved over time. Students can trace, for instance, how his thoughts on slavery and emancipation changed through the course of the war, from a rather limited view (free slaves for military purposes only) to his ringing endorsement of the Thirteenth Amendment, which ended slavery forever. Gienapp has provided detailed introductory headnotes for each piece, and the book includes an extensive chronology of Lincoln's life.
Often eloquent, frequently amusing, and occasionally profound, these writings offer an intimate portrait of Lincoln--in his own words.

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This fiery trial: the speeches and writings of Abraham Lincoln

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Not taking much stock in the genre, Lincoln tried to shield himself from biography by guarding his private self and carefully crafting his public words and image. Of course, so complex a man, who ... Read full review

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From Lincoln's personal letters to the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, and many more, this vital collection of speeches and writings gives listeners a uniquely intimate view of ... Read full review

About the author (2002)

William Gienapp grew up in Iowa and California and was educated at the University of California, Berkley, and Yale University. He received his Ph.D. from Berkeley in 1980. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, The University of Wyoming and Harvard University, where he is Professor of Harvard College. He is the author of The Origins of the Republican Party, 1852-1856 (1987), which received the Avery O. Craven Award from the Organization of American Historians, and co-author of Nation of Nations, a U.S. history textbook. A specialist on the Civil War era, he recently published a documentary collection on the war and reconstruction and is currently writing a history of the Civil War. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Studies Center.

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