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03 Rhetoric

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

2017 David Hirsch and Dan Van Haften AUTHOR'S VOICE® The Ultimate Guide to the Gettysburg Address

2016 Dan Van Haften seven minute interview on Public Radio.

2011 David Hirsch Presentation at National Archives II (video).

2010 Virtual Book Signing™ at the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop (video).

Rhetoric: Aristotle generally is regarded as a genius who laid the foundation for modern rhetoric. The Aristotelian baseline is: Logic is fine if it "works". But Aristotle's bottom line is use any tool that works. Logic is but one tool, and certainly not the primary tool. Anything that accomplishes the goal is pretty much okay within Aristotle's technique.

Logic: Euclid, Jefferson, and Lincoln were unlike Aristotle.

Euclid (the ancient assembler of plane geometry), Jefferson (the "modern" assembler of a new country), and Lincoln (the disassembler of slavery), used a six element baseline of fact and logic. Euclid provided the foundation, but Jefferson and Lincoln transferred the technique to persuasive speeches and persuasive letters. Because plane geometry is word-based (not algebraic), the transfer was both easy and astounding. It appears that Jefferson and Lincoln kept their technique proprietary. While Lincoln sort of revealed what he was doing, and Jefferson left a few hints, we found no indication Lincoln or Jefferson directly revealed their technique to any of their contemporaries.

What cannot be hidden is the words Euclid, Lincoln, and Jefferson used. Our books explain how the location of those words speaks louder than the words themselves.

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