The Gettysburg Address

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, ten sentences long, delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg after the Union forces had won an important battle with the Confederates. Opening with “ Four score and seven years ago,” it became one of the most influential statements of national purpose, asserting that America was “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” and “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Among those inspired were Martin Luther King Jr whose “I have a dream” speech, delivered at the Lincoln Memorial 100 years later, echoed Lincoln’s opening words.

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  • Catherine Clinton No other episodes
    Denman Chair of American History at the University of Texas and International Professor at Queen's University, Belfast
  • Susan-Mary Grant 3 episodes
    Professor of American History at Newcastle University
  • Tim Lockley 4 episodes
    Professor of American History at the University of Warwick

Reading list

  • The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech that Nobody Knows
    Gabor Boritt (Simon & Schuster, 2006) Google Books →
  • Lincoln: A life of Purpose and Power
    Richard Carwardine (Knopf Publishing Group, 2006) Google Books →
  • The Gettysburg Address: Perspectives on Lincoln's Greatest Speech
    Sean Conant (ed.) (Oxford University Press, 2015) Google Books →
  • Writing the Gettysburg Address
    Martin P. Johnson (University Press of Kansas, 2013) Google Books →
  • Gettysburg Replies: The World Responds to Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
    Carla Knorowski (ed.) (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, 2015)
  • The Long Shadow of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
    Jared Peatman (Southern Illinois University Press, 2013) Google Books →
  • Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America
    Garry Wills (Simon & Schuster, 1992) Google Books →

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Programme ID: b07c2w5j

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Auto-category: 973 (United States history during Civil War and Reconstruction period)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. On the 19th of November 1863, President Abraham Lincoln spoke briefly at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg on the site of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War.