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Youngstown OhioThe Eloquent President: A Portrait of Lincoln Through His Words
Published: 11 January, 2005
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As of: February 11th, 2007 03:04:38 AM

Author: Ronald C. White Jr.
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Customer comments on this Youngstown Ohio Book

Youngstown Ohio With Malice Toward None

This was really well done, and certainly can be appreciated not just by admirers of Lincoln, but readers interested in the process of writing and speaking - especially for the purpose of winning an argument.

Some earlier posts are correct in noting that the book is superior to some other efforts that focused on single speeches, such as Garry Willis' book on the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln at Cooper Union. I haven't read White's Lincoln's Greatest Speech.

However, my feeling is the book could have taken an even longer view. That is pick up Lincoln as a speaker at a much earlier point in his life and follow him from his days as a country lawyer to the Second Inaugural Address. As it is, starting at a point in his life when Lincoln was already an accomplished speaker, we see him go from very good to great.

Also, while I thought the Mr. White's argument that the Bible was a strong influence on Lincoln's speaking style has merit, it also often seemed forced. I would have taken Lincoln's comments that both sides were praying to the same God as the view of a religous skeptic, for example.

Youngstown Ohio Lincoln the Eloquent President

Wonderful analysis of this remarkable and sensitive wordsmith and President

Youngstown Ohio An excellent look at Lincoln's developing eloquence

In this book, White expands the focus from his previous work on Lincoln's Second Inaugural ("Lincoln's Greatest Speech" published in 2002). White looks at the progression of Lincoln's thought and the increasing greatness and eloquence of his speeches and public letters during his presidency that leads to that final and considered by many to be his greatest major speech.

In the process of examining these speeches, White looks at them each individually, but also looks at their relationship to one another as "a string of pearls" (a term he uses more than once in the book). White uses this visual description of the speeches stating that while each pearl is beautiful in its own way and can be examined separately, they also come together and one pearl connects to others in the string that can best be understood by comparing them to each other and examining the ways they are connected. In many of the speeches, White demonstrates that Lincoln leaves the audience with thoughts and ideas that his mind is still wrestling with that are picked up again in a later speech and developed more fully as his thoughts on those subjects have matured over time.

White has also done an excellent job in selecting the best and most memorable speeches and public letters from Lincoln's presidency. He begins with Lincoln's farewell remarks at Springfield on February, 11, 1861 and includes remarks from his journey to Washington. Also included are both of Lincoln's Inaugural Addresses, his reply to Horace Greeley's "Prayer of Twenty Millions," the 1862 Message to Congress, Conkling Letter, and Gettysburg Address. As I read each chapter on each of the speeches, I got a sense of the growth of Lincoln and the development of his thought until it reached its twin climaxes of the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural.

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