Books That Made a Difference to Sarah Vowell
By Garry Wills
Lingering over the Gettysburg Address, Wills fleshes out Abraham Lincoln as a thinker, artist, politician, orator, and commander in chief. Wills is at his most riveting when he examines how Lincoln summons the Declaration of Independence, written four score and seven years earlier, to call for a "new birth of freedom" for American slaves. "The 'great task remaining' at the end of the Address," writes Wills, "is not something inferior to the great deeds of the fathers. It is the same work, always being done...."