Rarely has a speech demonstrated the power of spoken words more compellingly than the 272 words famously spoken by Lincoln at Gettysburg. Asked to deliver “a few appropriate remarks” – after the main oration – in order to “formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use,” Lincoln spoke words which have echoed through the American imagination ever since. He both declared for the nation “a new birth of freedom,” and gave new meaning to the Declaration of Independence. Our text will be Gary Willis’ Pulitzer Prize winning book Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America (Simon & Schuster, 2006). By examining both the address and Lincoln in this historical moment, Wills breathes new life into words we thought we knew. He shows how Lincoln changed the world and affected an intellectual revolution, how his words completed the work of the guns, and how Lincoln wove a spell that remains unbroken even today. Please join us to study the speech that changed the meaning of the Declaration of Independence – indeed the meaning of America itself -- in a way that you probably didn’t get to do in eighth grade.