Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President  -     By: Harold Holzer
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Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President

Simon & Schuster / 2004 / Hardcover

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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.
he Cooper Union speech, which was carefully researched by Lincoln and refers often to the Founders and authors of the Constitution, is an antislavery lecture, capped by a ringing warning to would-be secessionists in the South. It reaches its climax with the assurance that "right makes might." Long held, inaccurately, to be an appeal to the conservatives, Holzer presents Lincoln's speech as a masterly combination of scholarship, a brief for equality and democracy, and a rallying cry to the country and the Republican party.
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 the brilliant and innovative public relations campaign, as Lincoln took the speech "on the road" in his successful quest for the presidency.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2004
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.13 (inches)
ISBN: 0743224663
ISBN-13: 9780743224666
Availability: Available to ship on or about 05/07/14.
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Publisher's Description

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.

The Cooper Union speech, which was carefully researched by Lincoln and refers often to the Founders and authors of the Constitution, is an antislavery lecture, capped by a ringing warning to would-be secessionists in the South. It reaches its climax with the assurance that "right makes might." Long held, inaccurately, to be an appeal to the conservatives, Holzer presents Lincoln's speech as a masterly combination of scholarship, a brief for equality and democracy, and a rallying cry to the country and the Republican party.

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 the brilliant and innovative public relations campaign, as Lincoln took the speech "on the road" in his successful quest for the presidency.

Author Bio

Harold Holzer has authored, coauthored, and edited twenty-two books on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, including The Lincoln Image, Lincoln Seen and Heard, Dear Mr. Lincoln: Letters to the President, Lincoln as I Knew Him, and Lincoln on Democracy. Holzer, who is vice president for communications and marketing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, lives in Rye, New York. Visit his website at www.haroldholzer.com.

Editorial Reviews

Garry Wills

The Lincoln of myth is a simple and plainspoken fellow. The real Lincoln was the master of a calculated rhetoric. There is no better proof of that important fact than Harold Holzer's important book.
James M. McPherson

Lincoln said that his speech at Cooper Union in New York on February 27, 1860, made him president. In this definitive account, Harold Holzer shows how and why that was true. Long overshadowed by other famous Lincoln speeches, the Cooper Union address is now finally getting the attention it deserves as a pivotal event in American history.
Michael Beschloss

With great sensitivity, elegance, and his vast understanding of Abraham Lincoln, Harold Holzer has done a splendid job of showing us the lasting importance of what Lincoln said at Cooper Union. Holzer's book has much to teach us -- not only about Lincoln and his era but about issues that are still alive almost a century and a half later.

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