by Tim Davidson (ed.)
The Essential Lincoln: The Finest Speeches and Writings of Abraham Lincoln collects the seminal speeches, letters, proclamations, debate performances, and miscellaneous other writings, spanning over thirty years of Lincoln's life. The entire text of each document or speech is included, rather than a short excerpt, to put into context the most commonly quoted Lincoln passages and to fully demonstrate the lawyerly elegance of his longer speeches and addresses. The book contains both the best-known (the Gettysburg address and the Emancipation Proclamation, the Second Inaugural, etc.) and some rarely-included pieces (a first draft of the Gettysburg address, the full text of a debate with Stephen Douglas, letters to Mary Todd Lincoln before and after his election as President, etc.) in simple chronological order.