From the belated invitation to speak at the dedication of the battlefield at Gettysburg to the days that followed Lincoln's delivery of what has become an internationally revered speech, the author recreates the background and events that influenced the composition of the Gettysburg Address. There are a few obvious fictional touches, mainly those that enter Lincoln's thoughts and emotions, but these, on checking turn out to be matters of recorded or reported fact. (i.e. -- ""Mr. Lincoln was glad...he had accepted the invitation...,"" ""Mr. Lincoln was glad...he had already completed the Thanksgiving Proclamation,"" ""...glad he had insisted that work on the dome continue ..."") This glad, glad, glad method is a minor flaw in what is otherwise a finely detailed account of what he called his ""short, short , short"" ""remarks,"" The interruptions against which he wrote, the train trip, the necessary political levee, the contrast with wind-milling Edward Everett Hale, the virulence of the newspaper critics, and the origins of the variant copies of the speech are described with a suspense that builds to a climax as a good story should. Perfectly timed for publication.