The Lincoln-Douglas debates remain our culture's model of what
public political debate ought to be. This new edition of the
complete transcripts of the debates and eyewitness interpretations
of them (previously published under the title "Created Equal?")
includes a new Foreword by David Zarefsky.
Zarefsky analyzes the rhetoric of the speeches, showing how Lincoln
and Douglas chose their arguments and initiated a debate that shook
the nation. Their eloquent, statesmanlike discussion of the
morality of slavery illustrates the masterful use of rhetorical
strategies and tactics in the public forum: a form of discourse
that has nearly disappeared from the political scene today.
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