Why is Lincoln's Gettysburg Address so special?



It was the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in November 2013. This was a speech made four months after a major battle of the US Civil War, a three-day engagement which cost thousands of lives. It's a very short speech, with simple language, only approximately 270 words (there are a number of versions recorded), but considered a masterpiece of oratory and communication - why? One reason is that it examines a very common challenge for leaders - to inform followers of the exact goal that has been set, and the broadest reasons for this, especially when great sacrifice is being demanded. The speech aims to give meaning to this effort and suffering, and also to provide a positive vision, beyond the immediate hardship.








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