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354CIVIL WAR HISTORY Ford's Theater] just as the first massive and mechanized war had torn open the domestic security of thousands of American homes" (145). Yet these are minor and forgiveable flaws for a work that quite convincingly connects dramatic creativity and the historical record through an adept blend of literary analysis, cultural history, psychobiography, and historiographical interpretation. The fact that Furtwangler manages to shed so much new light on an incident that has suffered no lack of either scholarly analysis or popular interest in recent years is no mean achievement. The result is a book that offers as much fresh insight to students of Shakespeare and nineteenth-century theater as to those of Lincoln and the Civil War. John C. Inscoe University of Georgia Building the Myth: Selected Speeches Memorializing Abraham Lincoln. Edited by Waldo W. Braden. (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1990. Pp. 259. $34.95.) Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution. By James M. McPherson. (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. Pp. xiii, 173. $17.95.) "As man can say things that are true of Abraham Lincoln, but no man can say anything that is new of Abraham Lincoln" (Braden, 98). So declared the noted black editor and abolitionist Frederick Douglass in 1876. Douglass's warning may have been off the mark. In any event it was disregarded, for as anyone who follows publishers' lists knows, efforts—successful or not—to say something new about Lincoln have never ceased. Waldo Braden's collection of speeches memorializing Lincoln , delivered from 1865 to 1986, demonstrates the persistence of the theme itself, while James M. McPherson's recently written essays, all of them originally presented as public lectures, evidence the continuing endeavor to comprehend the meaning of Lincoln's life. From the thousands of addresses delivered about Lincoln, Braden, a retired professor of speech at Louisiana State University, has selected twenty-three which meet his rigidly applied criteria: each was created by an important person recognized as eloquent; each was delivered on a memorable occasion; each met high rhetorical and literary standards; each demonstrated rhetorical originality. Thus, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Ward Beecher, Phillips Brooks, George Bancroft, and Matthew Simpson—worthies all—speak as Lincoln's funeral train makes its way from Washington to Springfield. Frederick Douglass and James A. Garfield celebrate emancipation; Shelby M. Collum and Jonathan P. Dolliver address Republican party gatherings; William Jennings Bryan, BOOK REVIEWS355 Joseph H. Choate, and Booker T. Washington commemorate Lincoln's birth; Theodore Roosevelt, William E. Borah, and Woodrow Wilson address gatherings at the Kentucky birthplace; William Howard Taft dedicates the Lincoln Memorial; Elihu Root speaks in London and David Lloyd George in Springfield on Lincoln's international significance. The most recent entries are speeches by Ida M. Tarbell (whose notable career lasted well past her early exposé of Standard Oil), Adlai E. Stevenson, and Mario M. Cuomo, each of whom gave addresses that the editor believes were intended to reshape the Lincoln image for a generation far removed in time from the Civil War. Despite the fame of their authors, most of these speeches are unfamiliar ; all are brief. Such celebrated examples of the genre as the lengthy eulogy by Walt Whitman, a far more extended oration by George Bancroft than the one printed here, and Henry Waterson's well-known address are not included. As one would expect of eulogies, all are intensely appreciative of their subject—all, that is, except Douglass's. A dominant note in nearly every early speech is Lincoln's commitment to freedom and equality, his leadership in emancipation. Douglass alone dissents. At the unveiling of the Freedmen's monument in Lincoln Park, Washington, D.C, Douglass speaks for the Freedmen, whose financial contributions made the monument possible. He expresses the ex-slaves' "grateful sense of the vast, high, and pre-eminent services rendered to ourselves . . . and to the whole world by Abraham Lincoln." He honors "the exalted character and great works of . . . the first martyr President." Then with frankness exceeding that of any other, he reminds his listeners "that President Lincoln was a white man, and shared the prejudices common to his countrymen towards the colored race." But at...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 354-356
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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