The Unfinished Work of the Gettysburg Address

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Union troops return to their encampment after battle on July 2, 2011 during re-enactments of battles during the three-day battle of Gettysburg at the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty)

In the afternoon of November 19, 1853, on the grounds of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, President Abraham Lincoln made a historic call for freedom and equality, as he stood surrounded by reminders of the immense losses of the Civil War.

The Gettysburg Address would become one of the most famous speeches in our nation's history.

But looking back on that address, we must ask if the nation is living up to the ideals set forth by Abraham Lincoln. Are we a union? Or just as troubled and divided as a nation at war?

Joining The Takeaway is Drew Gilpin Faust, president of Harvard University, historian and author of "This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War." She explains what unfinished work remains 150 years after the Gettysburg Address.


Drew Gilpin Faust

Hosted by:

Anna Sale

Produced by:

Ellen Frankman


T.J. Raphael

Comments [3]

Greg from Bordentown, NJ

I was reflecting after the broadcast, on the "unfinished work" of the Gettysburg Address when it occurred to me that in order for the words to be "timeless" the "unfinished work" must also be timeless. In effect the work will never be done nor should it. The concept of the "More perfect union" from the Preamble to the Constitution embodies the concept of continuous (often contentious) improvement. We will in fact never be "perfect", and that's perhaps a good thing!

Nov. 20 2013 08:11 AM

Thanks for the kind words Lynda! We love you too :]

-T. J. Raphael
Digital Content Editor
The Takeaway

Nov. 20 2013 07:08 AM
Lynda M. Thomas-LeGay from MA

Love your show!!

Nov. 19 2013 03:11 PM

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