Tue, Oct 17|
The Gettysburg Address at 160 Years – Parsing Lincoln’s Words and Meaning
Join a research-based, deep dive discussion into the speech that Lincoln used to define the purpose of the war and destiny of the nation.
Oct 17, 2023, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT
About the Event
The 160th anniversary of Lincoln’s seminal Gettysburg Address is this November 19. To mark the occasion the Lincoln Group plans a member-led discussion, “The Gettysburg Address at 160 – Parsing Lincoln’s Words and Meaning.” Lincoln’s address revolutionized American political rhetoric and oratory. And Lincoln’s artistry shows what all writers know, that simplicity is very difficult and hard to pull off.
This Zoom event will come in four parts. Member Tom Peet will discuss Lincoln’s use of the Declaration of Independence as his lodestar, rather than the Constitution, in challenging America to live up to its promise. Why was Lincoln so enthralled by the Declaration and its invocation of equality for all and the “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?” What does this tell us about how Lincoln viewed the Civil War? John O'Brien will discuss Lincoln’s use of religious imagery in the speech – conception, birth, death of a nation and the rebirth of freedom – powerful concepts all. He also relied on biblical cadences and phraseology in the address. Ed Epstein will talk about how the surface simplicity of Lincoln’s brief speech hid several layers of deeper meanings.
The program will begin at 6 p.m. Eastern Time with a business meeting and social time. The actual program will start at 6:30 p.m. and end by 8 p.m. After the three presenters finish, we will have lots of time for other members to offer their thoughts or ask questions. That’s the aim of this program – to get you involved in a stimulating discussion about Lincoln.