Abraham Lincoln, public speaker /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Braden, Waldo Warder, 1911-
Imprint:Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c1988.
Description:viii, 119 p. : map ; 24 cm.
Subject:Lincoln, Abraham, -- 1809-1865 -- Oratory
Lincoln, Abraham, -- 1809-1865.
Format: Print Book
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/917388
Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:0807114332 (alk. paper)
Notes:Includes bibliographies and index.
Review by Choice Review

Braden, a well-known and well-published speech communication professor (emeritus, Louisiana State) analyzes Lincoln and his speaking from the view of a speech teacher and critic. Because Lincoln neither explained his rhetorical theory and practice nor "pontificated on eloquence in general," Braden has comprehensively researched writings by and about Lincoln in an effort to define Lincoln's rhetorical principles. Braden first analyzes Lincoln's careful cultivation of his persona as a speaker of humble ability until the 1860 Cooper Union speech, after which Lincoln began to formalize his image and demonstrate his ability as a polished rhetorician. Braden then discusses the 1854-60 years, during which William Herndon, Lincoln's friend and law partner, termed Lincoln's ambition "a little engine that knew no rest." The period encompasses 4 elections and 175 speeches, including the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Braden discusses Lincoln's speech preparation (greatly influenced by the Bible, Shakespeare, Burns, and Holmes); Lincoln's voice (penetrating and far-reaching); and Lincoln's appearance and delivery (a western man). In separate chapters Braden analyzes the persuasive powers and literary qualities of the First Inaugural Address, Gettysburg Address, and the Second Inaugural Address. Braden also discusses in great detail Lincoln's House Divided speech of June 16, 1858 (Lincoln's most carefully prepared speech), and the Cooper Union address of February 27, 1860 (the apex of Lincoln's political rhetoric). This small but important book is well researched and well written. Although Lincoln did not explain his rhetorical theory or practice, Braden has presented an explanation that gives students an understanding of Lincoln's preparation and presentation. -R. L. Fischer, University of North Dakota

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review