100 Books for America: Lincoln at Gettysburg:

With 79 days until the election, let us continue looking at the 100 books every American should read. These write-ups will be short and not incredibly comprehensive looks at some books and novels that will help you become a better citizen. Check out all of the books that have been picked.

If you’re going to do a series on books that Americans should read, you’re going to have to include a couple that deal with one Abraham Lincoln.

The question is what facets of the man do you cover? There are so many books, several of which are good, about him.

You might as well start with Garry Wills’ “Lincoln at Gettysburg.”

The book focuses on the Gettysburg Address, easily the most reciteable great American Speech.

That’s of course partly because it clocks in at just 272 words.

But it’s also because it is a brilliantly written piece of rhetoric that touches on several great points so efficiently.

Wills takes you on a historical voyage through the many layers of the words. We see precisely why Lincoln says what he does, where he drew his inspiration from, and how it still resonates today.

The great thing about Wills book is that he’s like Lincoln – he doesn’t waste time getting to the point.

“In the crucible of the occasion, Lincoln distilled the meaning of the war, of the nation’s purpose, of the remaining task, in a statement that is straightforward yet magical.”

You’ll find other works on Lincoln that are impressively researched and written, but Wills’ precise focus makes this a necessary read.

*****

Previously, we looked at the story of an American family; next we will tackle the life of America’s most powerful woman.

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