New Research on Lincoln Reminiscences

New Research from Maryland:

Just published in Rhetoric Review: "Refined vs. Middling Styles in the Lincoln Reminiscence: Comparing the Rhetoric of Formality and Familiarity," by David S. Kaufer (Carnegie Mellon University) & professor Shawn J. Parry-Giles.

Abstract: This essay discusses the competing rhetorical styles of two volumes that appeared in the 1880s to remember Abraham Lincoln. One volume, edited by Alan Thorndike Rice, remembered Lincoln in a refined-official style. A second volume, by William Herndon and Jesse Weik, captured Lincoln in a middling-vernacular style. Using automatic coding and close reading, the authors show that Herndon-Weik’s middling-vernacular style put a focus on the “personal” Lincoln. Rice’s essayists, instead, featured an “official” Lincoln set apart from the everyday man. The authors argue that these contrasts were a contributing factor to the different critical reception they received.

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