Abraham Lincoln was one of America's greatest public orators. The cadence, argument and power he brought to his speeches, like those of the Gettysburg address almost every American learns in school, still stir the hearts of not only Americans, but countless millions around the world.
This series of 24 lectures examines Lincoln's rhetoric - the public messages in which he evolved his views on slavery and the preservation of the Union and by which he sought to persuade others.
By tracing significant moments in Lincoln's career from the fresh perspective of his use of public persuasion, you'll learn how Lincoln was able to navigate the constraints imposed by both audiences and situations, and you'll understand exactly how he was able to take advantage of creative opportunities.
You also see the extent to which Lincoln's public career developed through his public speeches and writings, and gain valuable insight into the importance of both thinking rhetorically and reasoning with specific audiences and situations in mind.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©1999 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1999 The Great Courses
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"A master class in rhetoric from the man himself"
This recorded course from the spectacular Great Courses series serves as both a master class in the art of rhetoric, and a deep dive into the evolving philosophies of Abraham Lincoln through his remarkable career. Listening to this course will forever change your view about the 16th president, the civil war, and the state of the union and racism in the mid-19th century.
Perhaps it's because my interest was more about the latter than the former, but I will admit that I didn't really get seriously into this course until about halfway through, when we got to Lincoln's presidency, the Civil War, and his most famous speeches.
The Lincoln Douglas debates during his early Senatorial race are fascinating, but they took up a lot of this course and the discussion around them was as much about Lincoln's debating style and tactics as it was about the substance of his developing philosophy. All that being said, I must admit that understanding how his philosophies developed over time is critical to understanding the man in his later years (and critical for understanding how his 1858 "House Divided" speech was misunderstood then and still today).
Professor Zarefsky is passionate about the subject and is clearly among the foremost Lincoln scholars.
It is worth noting that this course is one of the oldest of The Great Courses recordings, dating back to the 1990s. It's introduced as "The Great Courses on Tape"(!) and Professor Zarefsky can actually be heard flipping pages of notes as he speaks. This of course takes nothing from the excellent presentation of the material.
"political leader, in the best sense of the word"
? do you have an enduring fascination with abraham lincoln
? do today's modern political candidates seem cheap by comparison
? would it be helpful to know the origins of lincoln's words and thoughts
david zarefsky been a university professor of lincoln's rhetoric for a generation
it's probably very appropriate that he teaches at Northwestern in Chicago, Illinois
his insightful familiarity with all of lincoln's writings and speeches is self-evident
zarefsky's examination of the term rhetoric was, for me, particularly useful
rhetoric, by its' very nature, is speech that tries to convince or persuade
it keeps in mind, at all times, the nature and prejudices of its' intended audience
lincoln's emancipation and inaugural and gettysburg addresses are familiar
but, the memorable themes of those speeches are found in his earlier discourses
zarefsky has the ability to connect those dots in a profound and indelible way
"First Great Courses experience; highly recommend!"
I listened to this after reading Team of Rivals, which made this quite a bit more enjoyable. It was a great listen and I thoroughly enjoyed the content and deliver.
"informative and Entertaining"
I listened to this twice. there are great lessons within that teach us much not only about history but also about how we ought to approach problems
"Great insights into Lincoln and American history"
Fantastic course! There is a lot of info on Lincoln here that you won't get taught in diluted high school curricula. One of the most interesting figures in human history and one of its greatest speakers, brought to light through his own words. Way beyond the simplistic "he freed the slaves" line.
This was an excellent presentation of Lincoln in his own words. I learned far more about Lincoln than previously had known and have a much better understanding of Lincoln, his times and his significance in the history of our nation.
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