For all his other remarkable gifts, America’s 16th President was perhaps most talented of all in the art of political persuasion—both in person and in print. During the dark days of the Civil War, Lincoln truly functioned as America’s “communicator-in-chief,” reaching out to an anxious, divided, tearful nation with warmth, humor, and great eloquence in order to seal the endurance and loyalty of the people. Lincoln used a rare combination of eloquence and technological know-how to reach the most people in the fastest way possible—perhaps doing as much to preserve the Union with his words as his armies did with their bullets. Lincoln Prize winner Harold Holzer takes a new look at this extraordinary communicator as well as both his most famous and most neglected messages.
Harold Holzer, the author, co-author, or editor of more than 50 books on Lincoln and the Civil War era, is Jonathan F. Fanton Director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College.
Presented as a part of the Presidential Historical Commission at New-York Historical Society
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