Sunday, December 28, 2014

Analysis of Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address"

Abraham Lincoln
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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].

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.
I've read it now, and it is worth your time - especially in our time of civil unrest.



At 3:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff, CPH here--happy holidays, for starters!

Thx for the Gettysburg post, interesting. Leigh and I happened to watch an old (1935 I believe it was) movie a few nights ago that neither of us had ever heard of, much less seen, "Ruggles of Red Gap" starring Charles Laughton. We frankly just about didn't give it a chance, but it proved to be one of the best comedies either of us have ever seen, like literally top five or so, say. At any rate, just for good measure there is a key sequence in the movie that features the Address, which is very not-funny and absolutely crucial to the overall success of this extraordinary movie. It drove home its value like nothing I've seen or heard anytime lately. Check it out if you can.

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

My friend Steve Honeywell wrote a review of "Ruggles" here. Another thumbs-up for you.

At 3:21 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Pete. Also Kevin. I'll look into "Ruggles" sometime.

Jeffery Hodges

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