The speeches of Abraham Lincoln are well known for their enduring importance in the history of the United States. But they also remain incredibly significant as texts—works of political rhetoric that have much to teach us about the nature of politics and the American regime. In this Conversation with Bill Kristol, Diana Schaub, a professor of political science at Loyola University Maryland and a preeminent scholar of American political thought, demonstrates the depth of Lincoln’s speeches through an interpretation of two of his greatest orations: “The Lyceum Address” (1838) and “The Gettysburg Address” (1863). Schaub considers “The Lyceum Address” as a profound reflection on the dangers of democracy and why “rational reverence” for the law will be indispensable for the perpetuation of America’s political institutions. In a magnificent interpretation of the “The Gettysburg Address,” she explains how, for Lincoln, the Civil War was a trial not only about the future of the United States, but about the very possibility of self-government. This is a must-listen Conversation for anyone interested in American history, political philosophy, and statesmanship.

You can also watch this conversation at

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  1. Gary Robbins Reagan

    What a superb podcast about Lincoln!

    • #1
    • July 27, 2019, at 5:07 PM PDT
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