Abraham LincolnSubmitted photo

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At a time of crisis in the national political culture and preceding the next presidential election, the Evanston Public Library is offering the community the chance to be immersed in the finest speeches of one of the country’s greatest and most eloquent presidents. Abraham Lincoln achieved lasting fame through his speeches and writings. But few today have read them carefully.

This two-session mini-course will explore four of Lincoln’s masterpiece orations: the House Divided speech, the Cooper Union Address, the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.

“Four Lincoln Masterpieces” will be led by Northwestern Professor emeritus David Zarefsky, the former dean of Northwestern’s School of Communication. Dr. Zarefsky is a nationally known expert on political speech, and Lincoln’s rhetorical genius has been a focus of his research, teaching and publication for many years. He will assign readings in advance that will be distributed by email.

The class will meet on two successive Monday evenings, Dec. 2 and 9, from 7 to 8:45 p.m., in the Community Meeting room at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington. Registration is required through the event page at epl.org or by phone at 847-448-8620.

This is the first in a series of mini-courses offered as a collaboration between the Evanston Public Library and the Northwestern Emeritus Organization (NEO). The 600 NEO members are retired Northwestern faculty members freed from most of their teaching and research responsibilities – though many still teach Northwestern classes, serve as thesis advisors, do research, and have active grants and labs.

In Winter Quarter, Professor emeritus Robert Coen of Northwestern’s Department of Economics will teach the second mini-course in this new series, titled “Debt, Trade, and U.S. Economic Leadership.” Detailed information about content, dates, reading assignments and how to register will be forthcoming soon.