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The Gettysburg Address

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address of 1863, one of the most influential statements of national purpose.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, ten sentences long, delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg after the Union forces had won an important battle with the Confederates. Opening with " Four score and seven years ago," it became one of the most influential statements of national purpose, asserting that America was "conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal" and "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Among those inspired were Martin Luther King Jr whose "I have a dream" speech, delivered at the Lincoln Memorial 100 years later, echoed Lincoln's opening words.


Catherine Clinton
Denman Chair of American History at the University of Texas and International Professor at Queen's University, Belfast

Susan-Mary Grant
Professor of American History at Newcastle University


Tim Lockley
Professor of American History at the University of Warwick

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

43 minutes


Catherine Clinton at the University of Texas

Susan-Mary Grant at Newcastle University

Tim Lockley at the University of Warwick

Recollections of Lincoln at Gettysburg - Abraham Lincoln Online

Gettysburg Address exhibition – Library of Congress

The Gettysburg Address as Foreign Policy - American Studies Journal

Lincoln in Europe – American Studies Journal

Gettysburg Eyewitness – National Public Radio

Lincoln at Gettysburg - Virtual Gettysburg

Learn the Address

‘The Address’ – A film by Ken Burns

Gettysburg Address - Wikipedia



Gabor Boritt, The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech that Nobody Knows (Simon & Schuster, 2006)

Richard Carwardine, Lincoln: A life of Purpose and Power (Knopf Publishing Group, 2006)

Sean Conant (ed.), The Gettysburg Address: Perspectives on Lincoln’s Greatest Speech (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Martin P. Johnson, Writing the Gettysburg Address (University Press of Kansas, 2013)

Carla Knorowski (ed.), Gettysburg Replies: The World Responds to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, 2015)

Jared Peatman, The Long Shadow of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (Southern Illinois University Press, 2013)

Garry Wills, Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America (Simon & Schuster, 1992)


Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Catherine Clinton
Interviewed Guest Susan-Mary Grant
Interviewed Guest Tim Lockley
Producer Simon Tillotson


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