Lexicon Valley: The Enduring Beauty of the Gettysburg Address

A show about the mysteries of English.
June 4 2012 2:10 PM

Was Honest Abe a Poet?

How Lincoln’s speaking style evolved from overly ornate to the brilliant simplicity of Gettysburg.

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Listen to Lexicon Valley Episode No. 12: The Eloquence of Plain English

Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address may be the most eloquent two minutes in the history of American political speechifying. But the literary voice we now attribute to the Great Emancipator was carefully cultivated during the course of his public life. As with any skill, he honed it over time. Listen as Bob Garfield and I discuss the enduring, resonant power of Lincoln’s most poetic words.

You'll find every Lexicon Valley episode at slate.com/lexiconvalley, or in the player below:

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Mike Vuolo is a radio and podcast producer and the host of Lexicon Valley.

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