The Presidency and the Power of WordsBook - 2006
Abraham Lincoln now occupies an unparalleled place in American history, but when he was first elected president, a skeptical writer asked, "Who will write this ignorant man's state papers?" Literary ability was, indeed, the last thing the public expected from the folksy, self-educated "rail-splitter," but the forceful qualities of Lincoln's writing eventually surprised his supporters and confounded his many critics. Since his assassination in 1865, no American's words have become more familiar or more admired, and their enduring power has established him as one of our greatest writers. Now, in a groundbreaking study, the distinguished Lincoln scholar Douglas L. Wilson demonstrates that exploring Lincoln's presidential writing provides a window onto his presidency and a key to his accomplishments. Lincoln's Swordtells the story of how Lincoln developed his writing skills, how they served him for a time as a hidden presidential asset, how it gradually became clear that he possessed a formidable literary talent, and it reveals how writing came to play an increasingly important role in his presidency. "By the time he came to write the Gettysburg Address," Wilson says, "Lincoln was attempting to help put the horrific carnage of the Civil War in a positive light, and at the same time to do it in a way that would have constructive implications for the future. By the time he came to write the Second Inaugural Address, fifteen months later, he was quite consciously in the business of interpreting the war and its deeper meaning, not just for his contemporaries but for what he elsewhere called the 'vast future.' " Illustrated with reproductions of Lincoln's original manuscripts,Lincoln's Swordaffords an unprecedented look at a distinctively American writer.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
Branch Call Number: B LINCOLN ABRAHAM
Characteristics: 343 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.