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11 Questions


“I do not seek applause, nor to amuse the people, I want to convince them.” —Abraham Lincoln


David Hirsch and Dan Van Haften AUTHOR'S VOICE® The Ultimate Guide to the Gettysburg Address


Questions applicable to this book:

Email your thoughts on any of the questions below to the authors: david@thestructureofreason.com, dan@thestructureofreason.com.

      1. How many of President Obama’s speeches had you read in their entirety before reading this book? What, if anything surprised you regarding this book?

      2. Compare President Obama’s speeches pre-2011 to his more recent speeches (see http://www.whitehouse.gov); which are more convincing; why?

      3. What is your favorite speech by President Obama; why?

      4. What can you do to encourage more reasoned, logical discussion of local and national issues?

      5. How could public discourse today benefit from the logical structure of the six elements of a proposition?

      6. Is there a way the public can “demand” the logic of the six elements? How?

      7. Did you learn the six elements of a proposition in school? If so, what was your impression then of their significance?

      8. In what situations can you use Abraham Lincoln’s technique, now adopted by President Obama, to analyze other people’s speeches or writings?

      9. How can you use the structure provided by the elements of a proposition in your writing or speaking?

      10. Aside from the use of the six elements, what did you learn about President Obama, or American government, from Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln, and the Structure of Reason? What did you learn about the modern Presidency?

      11. What do the six elements of a proposition add to the toolbox of a modern president; why might a president want to use the technique? Why might a president not want to use the technique?

      12. What would be the effect of all politicians using the six elements of a proposition? Stalemate? Gridlock? What is to be gained?

      13. Does President Obama’s use of the elements of a proposition differ from Lincoln’s use of the elements of a proposition? If so, how?

      14. Based the text of their speeches, how would you describe the style differences between President Lincoln and President Obama?

      15. If you were President of the United States, how would you organize the speech-writing process to maximize the effectiveness of the availability of speechwriters, but retain close control of the substance? How do the six elements of a proposition make this easier to do?

      16. How does President Obama's March 4, 2012, speech to AIPAC stack up against "the Iran Deal", and with subsequent friction regarding Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech to Congress?

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