U.S. Presidents as Orators: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook

By Halford Ryan | Go to book overview

__________ J. Michael Hogan and James R. Andrews


Woodrow Wilson
(1856-1924)

The world must be made safe for democracy.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born on December 28, 1856, in Staunton, Virginia, where his father, Joseph Wilson, was pastor of the Presbyterian church. In 1858, Joseph secured the pulpit of the First Presbyterian Church of Augusta, Georgia, where the family lived throughout the Civil War. Like so many families, the Wilsons were divided in their loyalties during the war. Joseph actively supported the Confederate war effort, while most of his relatives were Northerners; two of his brothers served as generals in the Union army.

Woodrow Wilson, "Tommy" as he was known to friends and family, was eight years old when the war ended and fourteen when his father became professor of pastoral theology at the Columbia, South Carolina seminary. In 1873, young Tommy entered Davidson College in North Carolina, a Presbyterian college favored by young men bound for the ministry. As an adolescent, he had been rather an indifferent student; now he excelled at English, rhetoric and composition, and Latin and Greek. In the summer of 1874, however, he left Davidson to join his family in Wilmington, North Carolina, where his father had moved after resigning from the Columbia seminary.

In Wilmington, Wilson prepared himself to enter the College of New Jersey (after 1896, Princeton University), cramming to bring himself up to par in a variety of subjects. He began college in the fall of 1875 and graduated in 1879. In October, he enrolled at the University of Virginia to study law. Although he found much to interest him at the University, the study of law proved tedious. Along with the lack of intellectual challenge, Wilson suffered from the bad food, poor lodgings, and generally unstable health. He left Charlottesville without completing the law course and went home to Wilmington where he stayed for

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U.S. Presidents as Orators: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • An Introduction to Presidential Oratory ix
  • BIBLIOGRAPHICAL SOURCES xvii
  • George Washington (1732-1799) 3
  • Conclusion 15
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 16
  • John Adams (1735-1826) 18
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 26
  • Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) 28
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 40
  • James Madison (1751-1836) 43
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 52
  • John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) 54
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 63
  • Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) 65
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 75
  • Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 77
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 89
  • Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) 93
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 107
  • Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) 111
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 132
  • Herbert Clark Hoover (1874-1964) 134
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 144
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) 146
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 164
  • Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) 168
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 187
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) 190
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 204
  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963) 210
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 225
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) 228
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 245
  • Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994) 249
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 269
  • Gerald R. Ford (1913- ) 274
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 296
  • Jimmy Carter (1924- ) 299
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 311
  • Ronald Reagan (1911- ) 316
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 337
  • George Herbert Walker Bush (1924- ) 344
  • RHETORICAL SOURCES 358
  • Bill Clinton (1946- ) 361
  • RHETORICAL RESOURCES 374
  • Index 377
  • About the Editor and Contributors 387
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