Lincoln at Cooper Union by Harold Holzer
The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President

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Synopsis

Winner of the Lincoln Prize

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 and reassured conservatives of his moderation while reaffirming his opposition to slavery to Republican progressives.

Award-winning Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer places Lincoln and his speech in the context of the times -- an era of racism, politicized journalism, and public oratory as entertainment -- and shows how the candidate framed the speech as an opportunity to continue his famous "debates" with his archrival Democrat Stephen A. Douglas on the question of slavery.

Holzer describes the enormous risk Lincoln took by appearing in New York, where he exposed himself to the country's most critical audience and took on Republican Senator William Henry Seward of New York, the front runner, in his own backyard. Then he recounts a brilliant and innovative public relations campaign, as Lincoln took the speech "on the road" in his successful quest for the presidency.
 

About Harold Holzer

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Harold Holzer, one of the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era, serves as chairman of the Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation. He has authored, coauthored, and edited forty-two books, including Emancipating Lincoln, Lincoln at Cooper Union, and three award-winning books for young readers: Father Abraham: Lincoln and His Sons, The President Is Shot!, and Abraham Lincoln, the Writer. His awards include the Lincoln Prize and the National Humanities Medal. He lives in New York City.
 
Published November 7, 2006 by Simon & Schuster. 368 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, War, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lincoln at Cooper Union

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On New Year’s Day 1863, Lincoln steadied himself before signing the document whose culture-changing significance he well understood: “If my name ever goes into history it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.” Today Lincoln’s image as “the Great Emancipator” has eroded—too politically...

Jan 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Lincoln at Cooper Union: The ...

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From his inauguration to his assassination, Lincoln fulfilled the role of commander in chief so skillfully as to become a model for succeeding presidents—reason enough, Holzer (Lincoln and New York, 2009, etc.) argues, to understand clearly the Lincoln record.

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Holzer, author and editor of numerous books on the Civil War and Lincoln (The Lincoln Mailbag, not reviewed, etc.), has assembled another collection for those with insatiable appetites for information about the 16th president.

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Award-winning Lincoln scholar Holzer (Lincoln at Cooper Union, 2004, etc.) meticulously examines the ominous period between the 16th president’s election and his swearing in.

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Had it not been for his “right makes might” speech on Feb. 27, 1860, at New York’s Cooper Union college, Abraham Lincoln might well have remained a rustic lawyer and back-country raconteur.

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Publishers Weekly

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This illustrated volume, companion to the Library of Congress Bicentennial Exhibition, collects Lincolns' letters, speeches, pages from childhood notebooks, ruminations and reactions, including his inaugural addresses, his 1859 autobiographical sketch and his famous reply to a pre-Emancipation Pr...

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Publishers Weekly

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Holzer, who won a prize for his analysis of Lincoln’s 1860 speech at Cooper Union, now examines the Emancipation Proclamation.

Dec 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Lincoln at Cooper Union: The ...

Publishers Weekly

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Lincoln historian Holzer (Father Abraham: Lincoln and His Sons) offers a cogent young readers' companion to Steven Spielberg's film, Lincoln.

Dec 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Lincoln at Cooper Union: The ...

Deseret News

The most famous Lincoln speech is "The Gettysburg Address," given to commemorate the Union lives lost in that famous Civil War battle.

May 30 2004 | Read Full Review of Lincoln at Cooper Union: The ...

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