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Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President

Recorded on May 20, 2004

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

A century-and-a-half ago, presidential campaigns routinely inspired massive rallies, stem-winder speeches, protracted debates (without reporters asking questions!), and 80% voter participation. The era before sound bites, negative ads, overnight polls, and ad buys required candidates to possess writing ability, research skills, and - in the age before amplification - lungpower. One of the most memorable achievements of that vanished political culture was Abraham Lincoln's Cooper Union speech - his introduction to New York, combining a final attack on the likely Democratic presidential candidate, Stephen A. Douglas, and a crippling blow against the Republican front-runner for his own party's nomination, William Seward. How did Lincoln seize this moment - with both his works and the most felicitous photo opportunity in presidential campaign history - to prove his electability, refinement, passion, moderation, anti-slavery bona fides, and grasp of American history? Author Harold Holzer will probe this extraordinary effort, which proved so successful Lincoln was not required to say another word for the rest of that long campaign season. And, of course, he was elected.

Books will be available for purchase and to be signed by the author.