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Today, March 4, 2015, marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address.

I have been studying presidential inaugural addresses in great detail lately, therefore, I could not let the anniversary escape without comment.

A nice article commemorating the 150 year old address can be found here:

And, of course, you can read the address here:
Paige, thanks for this thread. So many memorable 150th anniversary events and the second inaugural is up there at the top. It is indeed a masterpiece as Harold Holzer's article explains in the Wall Street Journal Feb. 27, 2015 4:13 p.m. "Multiple Threads to Bind up a Nation"

And this in today's NY Times Opinionator Blog: "And the End Came" By Ted Widmer March 3, 2015 9:00 pm
Many thanks, PB and Anita!
Right before an Inauguration is to be given --

Here we are, so many years in the future - The battles, bloodshed, and generations lost to the Civil War were critical at the time - but what most-handily remains are leaders' recorded words.

Did Lincoln sense how dependent future generations would be on his words when faced with a crisis-of-identity? 

The Atlantic: What Lincoln's Second Inaugural Meant

Mr. Ignatieff pretends he can get into Lincoln's head.  Several assumptions made early in the article seem improbable. (Lincoln didn't write a short speech to disappoint; he was in the habit of being concise.)
The conclusion of the editorial is great, "We can reach back... to whatever deep wisdom we have ever been taught, and can find out, once again, who we are, where we are, what we must accept, and what we must do." ...
For some months I've been reading Shakespeare's Sonnets - I apologize if I've already flagged this -
Can I ask - Does this analogy make sense in reference the North and South? Was a reference to Shakespeare in the Second Inaugural purposeful?
Might anyone have suggested reading, for good analysis of Lincoln's important addresses?

Sonnet 144: Two loves I have of comfort and despair
By William Shakespeare

Two loves I have of comfort and despair,
Which like two spirits do suggest me still
The better angel is a man right fair,
The worser spirit a woman coloured ill.
To win me soon to hell, my female evil
Tempteth my better angel from my side,
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,
Wooing his purity with her foul pride.
And, whether that my angel be turn’d fiend,
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell,
But being both from me both to each friend,
I guess one angel in another’s hell.
Yet this shall I ne’er know, but live in doubt,
Till my bad angel fire my good one out.
Ronald White wrote a book called "Lincoln's Greatest Speech" specifically about the second inaugural. Also, Douglas Wilson wrote "Lincoln's Sword" which is a more generalized study of his use of words. Those are the two that immediately come to mind.

Thank you, Rob!
I think I shall add this Doug Wilson book to my wish-list.
Do you know, do both books go into some detail about the influence of Shakespeare's work?
(I assume Lincoln simply stored ideas and imagery from what he had read in his subconscious, and retrieved it as it occurred to him. I'm vaguely under the impression that S's Sonnets were not very popular with the public until the 1900s... That the book of poems was republished not more than ten times from 1609-1900...)

Lincoln's Sword has only one reference in the index to Shakespeare, and it covers Lincoln's favorite quote. In the whole mess of putting up my bookcase, I have evidently misplaced some of my Lincoln books, including White's book (not to mention Sandburg's Prairie Years). Looking online, there are references in White's book to Shakespeare, but the preview omitted those pages. If I can find the book I'll let you know.

I forgot that there was a book published in 2015 by Michael Anderegg called Lincoln and Shakespeare. I haven't read it, and I just browsed through the index, so I can't tell you what he covers, but you might consider adding that as well.

Here is a podcast featuring Anderegg that the Folger Library did in 2020.

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