Jeremy's Reviews > Speeches and Writings, 1832-1858

Speeches and Writings, 1832-1858 by Abraham Lincoln
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Jul 19, 2014

it was amazing
bookshelves: politics

Even after reading the letters and speeches here and from later in his life, Lincoln remains inscrutable and aggravating. When digging into his writing, I found it almost impossible to tell when to take him at face value, and when to try and read between the lines. Even reading the old standards like the Gettysburg Address or the Cooper Union speech, I found myself just utterly mystified by what exactly he was or wasn't trying to say or imply. On one level, I kind of want to hate him for being so cloyingly sanctimonious, but on another level, I almost admire just how weirdly he tries to communicate so much of his thought. It's weird to go back and read these sort of classically American texts and to just think about how disconcerting their ideas are, even when wrapped in such poetic language. Lincoln really can be a beautiful writer, but I always just found myself sort of confused to to what the exact intentions of anything he said was.
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