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Almost nobody noticed. In January 2011, President Obama completely changed the structure of his speeches. A few people, like Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal and Gustav Niebuhr in The Huffington Post, figured out something was up. But neither could pin it down.

Now the complete story is told and the technique is revealed. This is the one Obama book everyone should read. It is the one book on how to craft a persuasive speech that everyone needs.

Authors David Hirsch and Dan Van Haften show precisely how President Obama’s 2011 speeches have the same structure used by Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address (and in virtually all of Lincoln’s great speeches). The authors summarize and analyze President Obama’s speeches and demonstrate how structure conveys meaning. Hirsch and Van Haften broke “Lincoln’s code” regarding how Lincoln wrote his speeches, identifying and explaining this unique structure in Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason (November 2010). Now, they reveal President Obama’s use of this same structure and how it is easier to understand, and more straightforward than Lincoln’s.

This book not only tells the story and explains the technique. It lists links to video of the Obama speeches discussed. Read it, see it, and understand it. A short analysis before each speech points out unusual or special structural characteristics. After each speech is a summary of its contents derived from the structure.

Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln, and the Structure of Reason presents an easy to understand, new perspective on the modern presidency. It provides tools everybody can use in their daily life. Anyone who needs to persuade can use these tools to save time, be sharper, and be convincing.

About the Authors: David Hirsch is an attorney in Des Moines, Iowa. He has a bachelor of science from Michigan State University and a Juris Doctorate, with distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law. He clerked for an Iowa Supreme Court Justice from 1973-1974. Hirsch was a columnist for the American Bar Association Journal for over a decade.

Dan Van Haften has a bachelor of science, with high honors, and master’s degree in mathematics from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. He began his career with AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1970 and retired from Alcatel-Lucent in 2007. Dan lives in Batavia, Illinois. Website:

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