Sean Wylie's Reviews > Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates That Defined America

Lincoln and Douglas by Allen C. Guelzo
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Feb 29, 12

Read in February, 2012

Absolutely must read for anyone interested in American History or Political History. In these 7 debates Abraham Lincoln (a no name 1 term former congressman) challenged the 3-time elected Stephen Douglas for his Senate seat of Illinois. Judge Douglas was the leading political man of the age known as 'The Little Giant'.

These debates are considered the birth of the modern politics and were the first set of debates captured word-for-word by journalists and published nation-wide. The debates would vault Lincoln on to the national stage. And while he would lose the Senate battle to Judge Douglas, he would ultimately have the final word when he defeated Judge Douglas for President of the United States. His victory would launch the Civil War and the rest is history with Lincoln becoming our greatest president.

We may think our politics of today are the most divided of all time. That is not true. Today's political debates are simply the most VISIBLE because of the horror of the 24-hour news cycle. Our most vicious debates in Congress today revolve around the percentage of taxes we pay and the whether certain medical procedures should be legal. In these debates between Lincoln and Douglas the candidates are debating whether the black population were closer to cows or fellow human beings. Now that is a true 'house divided which cannot stand'.

As many of you know I am an audiobook fanatic. This is a great opportunity for you to try out an audiobook for the first time. These were speeches and the whole perception is different when you hear it spoken. Plus they star David Strathairn as Abraham Lincoln and Richard Dreyfuss as Stephen Douglas, which is wonderful casting.
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