Lincoln-Douglas Debate audiobook: civics, history and rhetoric lesson in 16 hours


15 Responses to “Lincoln-Douglas Debate audiobook: civics, history and rhetoric lesson in 16 hours”

  1. krsmav says:

    “All men are created equal” is a basic principal of the United States, but it doesn’t appear in the Constitution. It’s in the Declaration of Independence, which, unlike the Constitution, is not a law.

  2. Ugly Canuck says:

    KRSMAV: so what? The fact is is so self-evidently obvious, it does not need a Law…anyhow, the Law is a discrimination machine: it discriminates between the innocent and the guilty; it discriminates between the enforceable and unenforceable contract; amongst those found to be guilty of an offense, it discriminates between those who deserve a lesser, from those who deserve a greater, period behind bars.
    We are created equal, but that says nothing as to what we may become, whether due to our own actions, or the actions of others (eg one’s wealthy parents).
    As to US slavery, excuse my ignorance, but when and how did it get limited to blacks only (if it ever was)? Who was the last white/native american/non-black slave in the US, and when and why were they emancipated (if ever they were prior to Lincoln’s proclamation)?
    IIRC, the British Empire forbade slavery, once a sufficient number of the Colonial natives became fellow-Christians. Also IIRC that argument cut no ice in the US Southlands. If so, what was the nature of the prohibition against white slaves in the USA? Was it simply by custom, or was it a matter of Law?

  3. sebastiano says:


  4. fancycwabs says:

    I was a teenager and not terribly politically involved, but I completely missed the Reagan-Dukakis debates.

  5. W. James Au says:

    Great review, Cory, mahalo!

  6. barnaby says:

    I first learned of Lincoln’s historical duplicity (a comical term I use when historical figures turn out not to correspond very closely with their historical mythologies, which is almost always the case)in Zinn’s People’s History of the U.S.

    Lincoln gave two very differing campaign speeches in Illinois–one more radical in the northern part of the state, and one more centrist in the southern part. He argued two very differing views of slavery in the U.S. I was shocked, a little heart broken, and very 18 years old.

    I think of him now whenever I see an Obama appointment that doesn’t feel progressive enough.

  7. Brent Buckner says:

    Fancycwabs (re: comment #1):
    Hee hee.

    Maybe you meant Reagan-Mondale.

  8. Anonymous says:

    “Lincoln having only served a single senate term at this point”
    Congressional term?

  9. Nevadan says:

    Excellent post for inauguration day. The parallel is in Lincoln’s expression of a broader vision for the country’s future, while Douglas clung to the status quo.

  10. sciencebzzt says:

    With Lincoln being thoroughly deified by so many historians, it’s important to read at least a little bit of Thomas DiLorenzo’s work… if you’re interested in that part of history.

    His most important book is “The Real Lincoln”, but there are a number of good essays and articles out there with just a taste of DiLorenzo’s point of view.

    Here is just one of many:

    and here is an archive of his work:

  11. wackyvorlon says:


    Sir, I will say, with all due respect, that when I see the website of one Lew Rockwell brought up in conversation I find most disconcerting. I have seen a great deal of erroneous postings come from it, and I am inclined to question the veracity of anything posted there.

  12. ArnoldGrundel16 says:

    Does anyone know where audio books or audio copies etc. can be located for presidential speeches?

  13. wackyvorlon says:

    A Followup: I find Mr. DiLorenzo’s work highly questionable. For one, he is a member of the League of the South, and organization of avowed secessionists.

    There also appears to be legitimate criticism of his book:

    While Lincoln was by no means perfect, given the above facts, I think it behooves one to examine the work with a critical eye.

  14. billstewart says:

    Nice article – thanks. Before you corrected “Reagan-Dukakis”, I’d been guessing you were referring to the Bush-Dukakis debates. Dukakis had run a debate show on PBS in the 70s, and knew what good debate was about, so I’d been surprised by how thoroughly he choked when he had to do his own debating.

    As far as Lincoln being the “Liberator” goes, the Emancipation Proclamation was unfortunately not issued in 1861 when he took office, but in 1863 when the war wasn’t going well and his popularity polls were down.

  15. Eyebrows McGee says:

    For the bicentennial (of Lincoln’s birth), they’ve been re-enacting the Lincoln-Douglas debates at the original sites (or as near as possible) around the state. Y’all come visit us, y’hear? The new Lincoln Museum in Springfield is to DIE for.

    Every schoolchild in Illinois knows that Lincoln, for all we worship him in these parts, had a mouth on him, and could be pretty profane and pretty snarky when the mood struck him. He even engaged in dueling, though it was illegal in Illinois. With broadswords. True story.

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