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This Fiery Trial: The Speeches and Writings of Abraham Lincoln

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  197 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The most eloquent president in our history, Abraham Lincoln's literary ability was extraordinary. In This Fiery Trial, William Gienapp has brought together more than one hundred pieces by Lincoln, ranging from his first published political statement, printed in the Sangamo Journal in 1832, to his final public address, delivered just before his assassination.
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 17th 2002 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 1979)
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Laurie DelaCruz
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was definitely difficult to read all the way through this book, but it's important to be familiar with these larger-than-life historical figures. Now I need to find a biography about him!! ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have always had conflicting thoughts on Abraham Lincoln. He freed the slaves, not out of want, but out of necessity, which never sat well with me looking through my 21st century tinted glasses. Reading his writings helped me understand the dire situation he was in during the war, the decisions he made, and where he morally stood (as best I can).
Young Kim
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So the President was called Abram Lincoln like Abraham was actually Abram until he changed his name according to the Genesis. That's just one of many I've learned after I read this "collection" of the President's all public speeches and writings.

I only knew his Gettysburg Address (Nov. 19, 1863) until I read this collection. What I've learned from this collection seems disappointing, yet understandable, at the beginning of his speech since I had read Martine Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book traces Lincoln's thoughts and attitudes through his letters and speeches. It's clear he was a great orator, and what shines through is his commitment to personal honesty and basic human decency as policy. ...more
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written for a generation before the internet and Doris Kearns Goodwin.

It had the following effects on me:

1. It really made me appreciate Team of Rivals. All the sources and letters and notes that she must have sorted through are not among his most popular.

2. It also deepened my appreciation of Lincoln as a student and as a human being who would admit to his own mistakes.

3. The notes from the editor really confirmed to me that we struggle with a positive bias towards some past figures. Not th
Paul Gibson
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has been an amazing book to read during the 2016 US election season. The parallels are striking. More on that below.
Here we have a fairly complete (the book is about 850 pages) collection of Lincoln’s writings and speeches. Like several other of the books I have read lately, instead of reading a history, reading the words of Lincoln in real time like this provides a new sense of urgency as events are quickly unfolding.
For me the book really begins at about page 200 (much of the earlier lett
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Abe Lincoln is viewed as one of the most important presidents this country has ever had. This sentiment is largely true. Bt you cant quite appreciate his service to the country until to read some of his speeches and letters. Get into his head in this book and you're love for him will grow even more. What a champ. ...more
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clear your mind, you need all your focus for this.
Go over it again and again, it will take some time for his prose to sink in.
This is an audiobook that contains writings and speeches by Abraham Lincoln. It is performed by Alan Sklar, who does a damn fine job capturing the gravitas and humor of the United States' greatest president. Lincoln was fine writer and this is an excellent showcase of his use of the English language.
My only reason for giving it 4 stars out of 5 is that this edition does not contain a table of contents. I would like to easily be able to find certain speeches.
Marilla Kay
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow, I hadn't realized how racist 'good ole Abe' was until I read his speeches and I was horrified to find that he was not quite the gentle, kind-hearted president I had imagined. ...more
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I return to Lincoln regularly, as should (I firmly believe) every American reader. His unique command of the English language, arising out of his roots as a frontier autodidact, is absolutely spellbinding. To this he adds a depth of thought that places him among the greatest of political philosophers. To these already prodigious talents we must also add his extraordinary career (cut horribly short) as a statesman -- arguably the greatest American statesman.

The famous speeches are mostly all here
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
I really like this book because of the original source selections, i.e., all of the selections included were Lincoln's own words. A practicing lawyer, Lincoln was a skilled orator and politician, so while these selections warrant consideration in the context of other perspectives, it is very interesting to get his perspective "straight from the horse's mouth", as it were. I think there is other valid perspective that might "defy the myth", but nonetheless, I really appreciate these original sour ...more
Edward Weiner
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of civil war history of which the best book is Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson. However, no matter how much you read in history books, there is no better way to understand what really happened and how people felt about the events than to read what was written by contemporary participants and observers. This book, free from Tantor Media or, really fills in the gaps. Why did Lincoln issue the Emancipation Proclamation when he did? This audi ...more
I simply cannot get over the eloquence of this guy... I mean, how in the world could he write this poetic stuff for the ages without a word processor? His metaphors are so understandable that we ought to all them parables.
The way his writing style as well as some key aspects of his philosophy matured over time is striking. He's sorta my Jesus -- thoroughly flawed, completely human, but all in all, a pretty cool dude.
Oct 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I am reading excerpts from this for my American Political Thought class that I am taking this fall. So far, so good. I finished my class tonight and I loved reading Lincoln's own words. Check out his speech at Copper Institute. Great stuff. ...more
Apr 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What a writer. What a human being.
Aug 24, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
(WSJ B2 Haymowitz 6/30/08)
Oct 20, 2010 marked it as to-read
Shelves: history, npr
As heard on "Fresh Air" on WYPR. ...more
Amellia Hansen
Mar 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'll be honest I didn't read this whole book, only sections. It was a required text that wasn't used for the "entire" book but rather important areas in Lincoln's life. ...more
May 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Real OG
Mar 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four score and seven years ago.....this book helps you really digest what Lincoln was saying.
Very interesting to read many of Lincoln's letters, speeches and fragments. The heft of the book sort of ruined the joy of reading though! ...more
Deeann Westbrook
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Devan Lane
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Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1861 until his assassination. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States, Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was elected president later that year. During his term, he helped preserve the United States by leading the defeat of the secessionist Confederate Stat ...more

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