Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President
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Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  251 ratings  ·  22 reviews
"Lincoln at Cooper Union" explores Lincoln's most influential and widely reported pre-presidential address -- an extraordinary appeal by the western politician to the eastern elite that propelled him toward the Republican nomination for president. Delivered in New York in February 1860, the Cooper Union speech dispelled doubts about Lincoln's suitability for the presidency...more
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Published April 27th 2004 by Simon & Schuster
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Joe
A few months back I had finished Harold Holzer's "Lincoln: President-Elect" and therefore anticipated another five stars. I was not disappointed. If I were to read these two books again however, I would read this book first.

Lately, I have been trying to better familiarize myself with some of the most important documents and speeches of our nation's history, and Lincoln's Cooper Union ranks pretty close to the top. Lincoln basically summarizes the north/south conflict with slavery, and presents h...more
Donna
Feb 02, 2009 Donna rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people interested in Lincoln's speeches
Lincoln's speech at Cooper Union was the event which secured him the Republican nomination in 1860. This speech was unlike many of his prior ones in that he did much more research and used a lot of statistics to prove his his point that the founders intended slavery to be "in the course of ultimate extinction." It was an overwhelming success in front of a sophisticated New York City audience. The other important event of this trip was a Matthew Brady portrait which became the iconic image for th...more
Bill
In this book the author makes a convincing argument that this speech helped to make Lincoln president. More important he provides good evidence that without this speech and everything that grew out of it Lincoln would not even have been nominated.
The author makes good use of the different sources available in telling the story in chronological fashion. The use of letters, newspaper headlines and quoted dialog provide a variety that gives some pace to narrative history that some authors make dull...more
Steve
The speech Lincoln gave at New York's Cooper Institute in February of 1860 made him President. Harold Holzer tells the story of how Lincoln came to be invited to make this trip East, his research into the speech, and its immediate and longer-term aftereffects. He also includes the speech itself, of course, and good analysis of what was in the speech and why it was so important.

The speech had three parts: the first was an answer to some comments Stephen Douglas had made about the founders and sla...more
Brent
An awesome book that I've now read twice: once a few years ago and now a second time after borrowing it from my son (conveniently I gave it to him ). It is not simply a discussion of the speech at New York's Cooper Union that helped Lincoln become nominated and elected, but almost a biography of Lincoln covering the time period from October 1859 until his election in November 1860. Besides including the entire speech in an appendix and using a chapter to discuss and analyze the speech, there are...more
Chelsea
I loved this. Harold Holzer, another brilliant Lincoln historian (if you need proof, he was one of the on-call references for the recent Lincoln movie by Spielberg), narrates the events surrounding Lincoln's masterful Cooper Union speech. This is one of Lincoln's most famous speeches, because it propelled him into the limelight of politics and essentially secured his place on the Republican ballot in 1860, which then led to his election. If you're interested in history, especially the history an...more
Russell
Everything a history buff needs to get to know how Lincoln came up with the message being sent in his famous Cooper Union speech. The research that went into this book is incredible, but the content is somewhat dry for those who aren't absolutely in love with Lincoln. I, myself, have a great appreciation for all of Lincoln's work but lost interest a few times while reading the book. Most importantly there is valuable information abound in this book.
Gabriel
Really enjoyed this book! It was interesting to learn about this speech and how it brought Lincoln from a backwoods long shot, not even in the minds of the eastern Republicans, to being able to upset William Seward in achieving the nomination for the Republican Party in 1860. Highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn about the more intellectual and cunning side of Lincoln.
Kathleen
A fantastic story that I had never heard before. All historians should read this book; not only because of the interesting subject, but because of the writing style. This book is a perfect example of how history should be recorded. The book was part of a required reading list in my historical methods class.
Alyson Bowers
I would need to read this book again, because I got very interrupted while I was reading it. It did fascinate me the speech debate with Stephen Douglas, and his speech that he gave at Cooper Union. It was a very powerful speech to read, evening reading.
Michael Armstrong
Anyone who is interested in Lincoln will find this a good read. Lincoln in all his homespun aura understood more than anyone the importance of celebrity and his image to the masses. This speech put him over the top. I'm going to read it again.
Richard Campbell
Fascinating minute-by-minute account of Lincoln's travel to NYC for his "Cooper Union" speech, a final rebuttal to the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and the response that essentially won him the Presidency. Detailed and engrossing.
Rod Zemke
This is a clssic for anyone who wants to have more than a beginners knowledge of American History. The book is well written by an eminent Lincoln scholar who is not an academic--sometimes the best combination.
Wendy
Holzer is an engaging author. His narrative focuses mainly on Lincoln's speech and a Matthew Brady photograph, yet he crafts a compelling story. But, then again, I'm a bit of a Lincoln nerd . . .
Tomk
A good read and very informative. Little has been made about this speech up until now which is curious given the attention it received in the aftermath. A good image of 19th century New York...
Dorothy
Aside from the details of poor old Abe's frumpy wardrobe in NYC, there isn't much in this book that would be new to even a casual Lincoln reader. This one is strictly for die-hard fans only.
Wayne
Excellent! Not only gave great insight into Lincoln's character before his election, but is a wonderful snapshot into America in 1860.
Don Dennis
Jun 01, 2013 Don Dennis rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: many friends
Fascinating delineation of the lead-up to the most important speech Lincoln ever made. A real nugget of a book.
Brandon
Dec 09, 2008 Brandon marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
I've started this a couple times, but haven't gotten around to finishing it.
Maire
Jul 28, 2009 Maire marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I've read the speech; curious about the book.
Tammy Perri klemens
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