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The power of words has rarely been given a more compelling demonstration than in the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln was asked to memorialize the gruesome battle. Instead he gave the whole nation "a new birth of freedom" in the space of a mere 272 words. His entire life and previous training and his deep political experience went into this, his revolutionary masterpiece.

"Lincoln at Gettysburg" by Garry Wills is the selection for the 8th New Student Reading project.

The panel is chaired by Michele Moody-Adams, Hutchinson Professor of Ethics and Public Life, and vice-provost for undergraduate education.

She is joined by: Hunter Rawlings, the former president of Cornell University and currently professor of classical history; Ed Baptist, associate professor of history, whose academic focus is the 19th-century United States; and Tad Brennan, professor of philosophy, with interests in ancient philosophy, and topical interests centering around ethics.