Analysis of Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address"
In his NYT article "The Sydney Awards, Part 1," David Brooks cites Diana Schaub's analysis of Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address":
For . . . uplifting reading, consider Diana Schaub's "Lincoln at Gettysburg" from National Affairs. It is a close reading of the Gettysburg Address. Did you know the address is only 272 words and because of repetitions contains only 130 distinct words? Moreover, the address exists in its own universal sphere. There is no mention of America, nor North or South, nor even a single proper noun, except the word God [unless one counts "Liberty," capitalized by Lincoln].I've read it now, and it is worth your time - especially in our time of civil unrest.
Schaub parses every phrase, showing where Lincoln got it, and the philosophical depths and strategic thinking contained in each sentence. For example, Lincoln's use of the word "conceived" evolved over the years, as his worldview deepened. The address was not just a masterpiece, it was the careful summation of a lifetime of reflection.
Labels: Abraham Lincoln