Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President

Front Cover
Simon & Schuster, Nov 7, 2006 - History - 368 pages
16 Reviews
Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Lincoln at Cooper Union explores Lincoln's most influential and widely reported pre-presidential address -- an extraordinary appeal by the western politician to the eastern elite that propelled him toward the Republican nomination for president. Delivered in New York in February 1860, the Cooper Union speech dispelled doubts about Lincoln's suitability for the presidency and reassured conservatives of his moderation while reaffirming his opposition to slavery to Republican progressives.

Award-winning Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer places Lincoln and his speech in the context of the times -- an era of racism, politicized journalism, and public oratory as entertainment -- and shows how the candidate framed the speech as an opportunity to continue his famous "debates" with his archrival Democrat Stephen A. Douglas on the question of slavery.

Holzer describes the enormous risk Lincoln took by appearing in New York, where he exposed himself to the country's most critical audience and took on Republican Senator William Henry Seward of New York, the front runner, in his own backyard. Then he recounts a brilliant and innovative public relations campaign, as Lincoln took the speech "on the road" in his successful quest for the presidency.

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Review: Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President

User Review  - Goodreads

Abraham Lincoln's speech at the Cooper Union in 1860 turned him into a serious presidential candidate. This book is a marvelous look at the speech's content, context, and effect. It starts with the ... Read full review

Review: Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President

User Review  - Goodreads

I really enjoyed this examination of Lincoln work at Cooper Union. Holzer has placed the book within the historical context in which it was arranged, delivered, and later remembered. There are a ton ... Read full review

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References to this book

A Thinking Reed
Barry Jones
Limited preview - 2006
A Thinking Reed
Barry Jones
Limited preview - 2007
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About the author (2006)

Harold Holzer, a leading authority on Lincoln and the Civil War, is Chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and a Roger Hertog Fellow at the New York Historical Society. Widely honored for his work, Holzer earned a second-place Lincoln Prize for Lincoln at Cooper Union in 2005 and in 2008 was awarded the National Humanities Medal. Holzer is Senior Vice President of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and lives in Rye, New York.

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