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The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  340 ratings  ·  72 reviews
The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation is a full-color illustrated look at Abraham Lincoln’s most famous speech, the bloody battle of the Civil War that prompted it, and how they led to a defining point in the history of America.
Most of us can recall “Four score and seven years ago,” but much of what we know about Abraham Lincoln’s oration has been forgotten after h
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published October 1st 2012)
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ken by: Jeffrey Seglin
Shelves: graphic-novels
I found this book revelational. Broken down into chapters named after passages of the Gettysburg Address, the book covers much more than the titular speech, from the founding of our country to the motivations and consequences of the Civil War. My education in American history is sorely lacking, and The Gettysburg Address taught me many things that I'd never spent much time thinking about: the discrepancies between the Declaration and the Constitution; why slavery abounded in the South but not th ...more
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: americana
An incredibly informative, nuanced, and comprehensive take on slavery, Lincoln, and the Civil War. I went into this book prepared to vet it as a potential middle school teaching volume, and put it down having been illuminated and engaged by the facts presented within. Hennessey's book on the Gettysburg Address represents a terrific potential for the graphic novel form to engage and teach readers. Highly recommended!
L. McCoy
(Sigh) I’m interested in history and I like comics. I should like this book... but holy shit, it has problems.

What’s it about?
This is a comic that is meant to teach readers about the American Civil War and The Gettysburg Address.

The book’s subject matter is interesting.
The art is fantastic. It’s all well drawn and uses a wide variety of art styles so yeah, I would say that the art is without a doubt the thing that this book has going for it.

The storytelling style kind of... okay, I’ll
Jan 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
My first experience with a graphic book and most likely my last. The authors lectured me throughout the book cramming US history from prehistoric times to the present with a "bullet point" approach attempting to take a neutral "academic" position. Their use of Lincoln's speech was the highlight of the book but there are too many great books on the Civil War to waste time with this graphic presentation. (Note the map of Alabama on p. 125).
Patrick Sherriff
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An engrossing, surprisingly intelligent analysis of the US Civil War, its causes and continuing impact on modern American life, and all through the prism of the 272 words that Lincoln spoke at the site of the battle that decided the outcome of the war. A few key points that I came away with from the text: philosophically there is a contradiction between the Declaration of Independence's stress on equality "All men are created equal" and the Constitution's rules for limited government; that is, y ...more
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History fans & those who want to be but are usually bored
Recommended to Jamie by: Bobby Bermea
Wonderful, truly. Very carefully researched; thoughtful, balanced presentation of the larger picture - careful to not polish up either side; viscerally illustrated; concise yet thorough - distillation of essential facts. Easy to read, serious page turner, most fun I've ever had reading about such painful things.
Adam Shields
Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short Review: The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation - great art, sophisticated history and political science, clear direction. A great example of non-fiction graphic novel that is appropriate both for high school students and adults.

My full review is on my blog at
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-buy
Read this, read this, read this.
Matt Kelland
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, history
Superb. Like their adaptation of the US Constitution, it explains the issues well, sets them in their historical context, shows the effects today, and does it all in a way that's accessible, entertaining, and memorable. A remarkable achievement.
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Too often, the Civil War is both viewed (and taught) and as a very clear-cut, simple matter of the "good-guy northerners" fighting the "evil and rebellious southerners" over slavery. This book does a wonderful job of going far beyond that shallow dichotomy and instead looks at the many issues and influential events which culminated in the Civil War. This book is not an analysis of the Gettysburg Address, though some analysis is included. Instead, it systematically goes through the famous Address ...more
CJ Jones
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a history major, I loved this book. I'm fairly certain this would be a satisfying read if you weren't a history major, though. The graphic presentation helps to break things down into digestible paragraphs rather than imposing blocks of text, and if you have a more visual learning style and found history boring and impenetrable, there's that too. The art is pretty good, the pages have a nice weight to them that says 'this is kind of important'. The book covers the American Revolution through ...more
This is quite an amazing work. I picked it up thinking I would find an accessible history of the Gettysburg Address, or at most, the Civil War. Instead it's a sophisticated argument about politics in the early days of American history. It's excellent and invigorating to read. It's amazing in its brevity of words and appropriateness of the graphic novel form.

If I was teaching an early American history class, I would assign this right alongside the more "traditional" history texts. While many of
I learned so much from this book. It is much more than the speech, but how the origins of Lincoln's GA came about. The beginnings of slavery, why it flourished in the South, Lincoln's beliefs in the union as accordance the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, strong positions of big vs small government, union vs. state's rights, are we whole or are we separate? Arguments going on in the political landscape of today. I've never been more appreciating of Lincoln's thoughtful wondering ...more
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, graphic
A fantastic book that traces the Civil War from the founding of the country to today. You know how people say that history repeats itself? After reading this book, I see how many of the political battles we see today have already happened, often multiple times. I came in thinking I knew a decent about the Civil War, and I left realizing that I knew next to nothing. Highly recommended to everyone.
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
For an introduction to the Civil War, I think this book is excellent. This should not be the end point of learning about it, but maybe for a reluctant reader who just wants to build a little background knowledge I could not think of a better way to start.

One of the things that I really liked about it, was how it did not shy away from introducing some of the more complex issues.
Vincent Migliore
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation is an amazing book about the civil war which clearly had a lot of research and commitment put into it. The art is phenomenal and it is very educating that should be taught in both high school and middle school due to the information being easy to digest, but very thorough. This is a good quick read and if you get the chance should definitely read it.
This would be a superb work to use for a review of all of US History for an advanced placement student getting ready for the examination.
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very compelling and clear explanation of the politics of the time. The organisation of the "chapters" around the words of the Gettysburg Address is a brilliant idea.
Ben Truong
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation is a graphic novel written by Jonathan Hennessey and illustrated by Aaron McConnell. This graphic novel probes the implications of history through incisive analysis and compelling art.

The graphic novel examines possibly the most famous and influential speech in American history. It's not too long, being 271 words long and most Americans could regurgitate the speech verbatim, but few know the deeper meaning of the speech and the words used to craft it.
Dakota Morgan
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps the best of Hennessey's graphic adaptations of the literature you studied in high school Civics class. Here, Hennessey dissects the lines of the Gettysburg Address, using each as a jumping-off point for a quick lesson about American history. From pre-Revolutionary War times to now, it's amazing to see how potent the Gettysburg Address was and still is in how it touched on what it means to be American. I definitely learned more about our country's founding, the Civil War, and the Reconstr ...more
Mike Higgins
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An absolute treasure of a book. It takes the Gettysburg Address, line by line, and ties it to the Nation’s past, present, and future in a succinct and well-reasoned way. On top of that, the artwork is top-notch, and really advances the general themes and arguments of the book in a stellar way. Highly, highly recommended.
Sean McGrath
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Utterly brilliant, nuanced, honest, and factual portrayal of American history through the lens of the Gettysburg Address. Perhaps too high of a reading level for most middle schoolers - initially why I started reading it - but a worthwhile and fascinating read for adults (and high schoolers if you’re into that sorta thing).
Dave Mevis
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. I learned a lot! Wish they would have pushed a little further into what life was like for African Americans post emancipation and how the federal government helped whites with land grants and grant colleges, that were not available to blacks, essentially making a case for reparations. Nonetheless, an important, approachable work.
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This book was great and really informative. I was able to visit the Gettysburg battlefield on my way home to Chicago from Philadelphia while reading it, which was awesome. I would recommend the book, but also visiting the battlefield!
Emily Schmader
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This book was an excellent way to review American history and contemplate the ways the Civil War has and still does impact our country. I definitely recommend reading history in graphic novel form.
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. I feel like all the kids I know should read this. I've bought copies for some of them even.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really interesting way to tie together various strands of history and illuminate the words of one of the most important speeches in American history.
Kathleen Nalley
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
While not a graphic novel fan, I love learning something new with brevity of words.
Marini Drobish
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great source of background information to explain the text of the address and it's historical context.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Most excellent!
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