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Word Count: 1,101
The two hundred seventy-two words of President Lincolns Gettysburg Address are as significant today as they were six score and seventeen years ago Garry Wills Lincoln at Gettysburg The Words That Remade America explicates these two hundred seventy-two words and paints a new picture that gives us the historical context of the Presidents speech It was short enough for generations of people to remember yet at the same time long enough to have a great impact on the ways we think of this great republic Wills argues that through his speech Lincoln remade the American history in that Americans would interpret the Civil War and the Constitution through the kaleidoscope of the Declaration of Independence It is an extraordinary argument that with just two hundred seventy-two words Lincoln changed the American history and forever altered the ways we interpret the American Revolution With a rhetorical approach Wills like Lincoln persuades his readers through evidence and interpretation to be convinced that at Gettysburg Lincoln revolutionized the Revolution giving people a new past to live with that would change their future indefinitely Wills begins with a vivid description of the consequence of the three-day battle in early July 1863 that resulted in fifty thousand casualties Many of the dead corpses of the soldiers were not properly buried In some places where the soil was too soft animals began to dig out the bodies In fact arrangements had to be made to re-bury the bodies Seventeen acres of land were set aside for a new cemetery and Edward Everett was invited to dedicate it While Everett was the star of the ceremony Lincoln through a casual invitation decided to make an appearance in Gettysburg The casual invitation did not intend to offend the President and nor did he get offended Of course this was no accident For Lincoln Wills reasons it was an opportunity It was his chance to recuperate the political fences and elucidate the
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