The Lincoln-Douglas debates remain our culture's model of what public political debate ought to be. This new edition of the complete transcripts of the debates and eyewitness interpretations of them (previously published under the title Created Equal?) includes a new Foreword by David Zarefsky.
Zarefsky analyzes the rhetoric of the speeches, showing how Lincoln and Douglas chose their arguments and initiated a debate that shook the nation. Their eloquent, statesmanlike discussion of the morality of slavery illustrates the masterful use of rhetorical strategies and tactics in the public forum: a form of discourse that has nearly disappeared from the political scene today.