David S. Reynolds on 'Lincoln's Selected Writings'

'Lincoln's Selected Writings'
'Lincoln's Selected Writings' edited by David S. Reynolds
Book cover courtesy of publisher

Abraham Lincoln told us that the world would little note nor long remember his famous speech at the dedication of a battlefield at Gettysburg (delivered 151 years ago next week).

One of his secretaries and later biographer, John Nicolay, praised his "remarkable power of literary expression" and called it a "constant puzzle to many men of letters."

Even in an era of powerful orators, Lincoln's speeches and letters stand the test of time more than most of his contemporaries. What did Lincoln know about the power of language that writers and speakers can still learn from today? Scholar David S. Reynolds is the editor of a new collection titled "Lincoln's Selected Writings." He's on the faculty of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

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