Lincoln On The Civil War: Selected Speeches, Abraham Lincoln, Penguin Books, 130pp., hardcover, $13.00, 2011.
The nine speeches presented in Lincoln On The Civil War: Selected Speeches are reprinted from The Portable Abraham Lincoln published in 2009 by Penguin Books. This collection reprints the speeches in their entirety and covers the years 1838 to 1865. Known in the book trade as a Keepsake Edition, the cover is attractive and the binding is firm. The text is printed on archival quality, acid free paper that also contains 30% recyled postconsumer waste.
Both inaugural speeches and the Gettysburg Address are included. Lincoln's 1838 Lyceum Address, entitled 'The Perpetuation Of Our Political Institutions', begins the collection. Lincoln recounts with sorrow the passing of the Revolutionary generation and pledges to follow their teachings and examples by relying on 'cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason'. The 1858 'House Divided Speech' and the 1860 Cooper Union Address follow. The Cooper Union Address elevated Lincoln to national prominence in the minds of the eastern Republicans. This speech is essential because it is a legal brief directed toward the relationship between the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and slavery.
The January 1, 1863 Emancipation Proclamation is not a speech but is included. The document leaves no doubt that Lincoln issued the proclamation as the commander-in-chief who invoked the judgment of mankind and the favor of Almighty God. The collection concludes with the Reconstruction speech of April 11, 1865, which peaked the ire of J.W. Booth.
CWL plans to place his copy of Lincoln On The Civil War: Selected Speeches in his haversack that travels to Gettysburg every November for Remembrance Day. The Selected Speeches will be read aloud in front of the Pennsylvania Reserve monuments.