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

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Nov 7, 2006 - History - 368 pages
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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User Review  - msaucier818 - LibraryThing

A surprisingly great read about the narrow topic of Abraham Lincoln's speech at Cooper Union in 1860. The book is very well written, and does a great job of telling the story of Lincoln, the country ... Read full review

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User Review  - bezoar44 - LibraryThing

This was a smartly-paced, narrative history of Lincoln's February 27, 1860 speech at the Cooper Union in New York, which - along with the following two weeks of repeating much of the speech all over ... Read full review

Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition
Chapter One Abe Lincoln Must Come
Chapter Two So Much Labor as This
Chapter Three Some Confusion in the Arrangements
Chapter Four Much the Best Portrait
Chapter Five Nothing Impressive About Him
Chapter Six The Strength of Absolute Simplicity
Epilogue
Acknowledgments
Copyright

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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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