February 10, 2010

Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America
Garry Wills

Of, By and For the People – Read this superior book to better understand a pivotal moment in American history, to delve into a delicious study of some of the most delectable rhetoric in the English language, to gain greater insight into the elegant thinking of a true giant in American politics, and to gather many gems of practical advice: “This, surely, is the secret of Lincoln’s eloquence,” Wills writes. “He not only read aloud, to think his way into sounds, but wrote as a way of ordering his thought. He had a keenness for analytical exercises. He was proud of the mastery he achieved over Euclid’s Elements, which awed Herndon and others. He loved the study of grammar, which some think the most arid of subjects … He was also, Herndon tells us, laboriously precise in his choice of words. He would have agreed with Mark Twain that the difference between the right word and the nearly right one is that between the lightning and a lightning bug.”


Post a Comment

<< Home