Four score and seven years ago Are any six words better known, of greater import, or from a crucial moment in our nation s history And yet after 150 years the dramatic and surprising story of how Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address has never been fully told Until now Martin Johnson s remarkable work of historical and literary detection illuminates a speech, a man, and a moment in history that we thought we knew Johnson guides readers on Lincoln s emotional and intellectual journey to the speaker s platform, revealing that Lincoln himself experienced writing the Gettysburg Address as an eventful process that was filled with the possibility of failure, but which he knew resulted finally in success beyond expectation We listen as Lincoln talks with the cemetery designer about the ideals and aspirations behind the unprecedented cemetery project, look over Lincoln s shoulder as he rethinks and rewrites his speech on the very morning of the ceremony, and share his anxiety that he might not live up to the occasion And then, at last, we stand with Lincoln at Gettysburg, when he created the words and image of an enduring and authentic legend Writing the Gettysburg Address resolves the puzzles and problems that have shrouded the composition of Lincoln s most admired speech in mystery for fifteen decades Johnson shows when Lincoln first started his speech, reveals the state of the document Lincoln brought to Gettysburg, traces the origin of the false story that Lincoln wrote his speech on the train, identifies the manuscript Lincoln held while speaking, and presents a new method for deciding what Lincoln s audience actually heard him say Ultimately, Johnson shows that the Gettysburg Address was a speech that grew and changed with each step of Lincoln s eventful journey to the podium His two minute speech made the battlefield and the cemetery into landmarks of the American imagination, but it was Lincoln s own journey to Gettysburg that made the Gettysburg Address....
|Title||:||Writing the Gettysburg Address|
|Publisher||:||University Press of Kansas Reprint edition April 10, 2015|
|Number of Pages||:||334 pages|
|File Size||:||575 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Writing the Gettysburg Address Reviews
This is a masterful work. Johnson gets to the nub of why Lincoln changed the address after touring the battlefiled, especially the spot where General Reynolds died. It was simply this:the emotion of the tour led him to change the address, to delete the static language about "standing" where the soldiers stood, to the strong and active verb of "dedicating" here. He also does a superb job of examining the various versions of the Address and making educated guesses on which is more accurate(yes, it is likely that Lincoln said "under God"). Lincoln also called a few audibles while delivering the address and Johnson writes with a sure hand about these as well. Worth the time.
A good book for those with an intense interest in knowing more about the several drafts and reported versions of the Gettysburg Address and how they relate to one another. Professor Johnson dispels a number of myths about that famous day and anchors the actual speech given by President Lincoln to his visit to the battleground of Gettysburg and his political vision for the nation to have a "new birth of freedom."
I have read all of the usual suspects on the fascinating topic of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Yes, Garry Wills won the Pulitzer for his book, and an amazing read it is. Boritt's classic is also very well done. There are others that deserve acclaim, but for my money, Johnson's book is the definitive resource on this topic. Like a trained forensic examiner, Johnson wades through an 150 year-old accretion of myth and hearsay to find truth in the many primary sources available to scholars. He approaches his topic without bias, and although he has read all the important books on the subject, he lays them all aside to focus on tracing Lincoln's every step in the days, hours, and minutes leading up to this iconic moment. The result, in the hands of a lesser historian and writer, could be methodical and stilted; yet Johnson's book is a pleasure to read. If you want to know what really happened at Gettysburg on November 18 and 19, 1863, read this book. I only had a few minor issues with Johnson's statements about the other featured speakers, but they did not detract at all from his primary purpose. I read the hardcover version on high quality cream paper at the library and finally decided to purchase that version, after seeing the paperback version in stark white paper, which I personally do not prefer.
Martin Johnson provides the best single volume to understand the history surrounding the Gettysburg Address. This book helps one appreciate why the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address are the components of the DNA that makes the United States of America what it is. A job well done by Professor Johnson.
It's my fourth read on the GA, and it's terrific. The research is off the charts, and each chapter is like being fed another course at the dinner table. I highly recommend for those who love Lincoln, the GA, or just those who like a good detective story.
This is a well researched. extensively footnoted and meticulously explained story of the development, presentation and impact of Lincoln's epic speech. Unfortunately, it is not an easy read. I had to force myself to finish it.
Martin Johnson thoroughly covers personalities, politics and events at Gettysburg Nov. 18-19, 1863, as well as Lincoln's process of writing THE speech. And, he quells the myth that Lincoln wrote it on an envelope while on the train to Gettysburg., and addresses why there's more than one version of the speech.
Few American texts, and no other so short, have received the reverent attention spent upon the Gettysburg Address. Since Lincoln died, there has been no completely reliable eyewitness to its composition. The circumstances of its composition were unusual for Lincoln in that Nicolay and Hay, his clerks, were remote, if not removed, from the process. Hence, like a play of Shakespeare or even a New Testament text, getting right the exegesis of the Gettysburg Address promises a glimpse of the spark of genius.