Abraham Lincoln, the greatest of all American presidents, left us a vast legacy of writings, some of which are among the most famous in our history. Lin-
coln was a marvelous writer--from the humblest letter to his great speeches, including his inaugural addresses, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Gettysburg Address. His sentences were so memorably crafted that many resonate across the years. "Fourscore and seven years ago," begins the Gettysburg Address, "our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
In 1940, the prolific author and historian Philip Van Doren Stern produced this volume as a guide to Lincoln's life through his writings. Stern's "Life of Abraham Lincoln" is a full biography of the man and includes a detailed chronology. Stern has collected all the essential texts of Lincoln's public life, from his first public address--a stump speech in New Salem, Illinois, in 1832 for an election he went on to lose--to his last piece of public writing, a pass to a congressman who was to visit the president the day after Lincoln went to Ford's Theater on April 14, 1865. Some 275 such documents are collected and placed in their historical context. Together with the "Life" and the Introduction, "Lincoln in His Writings," by noted historian Allan Nevins, they give a full and vivid picture of Abraham Lincoln.
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.
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