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

By Halford Ryan | Go to book overview

insulation of the Senate from public opinion, and Wilson's own stubborn refusal to compromise, among others. Above all, however, Wilson probably failed because he tried to lead the public too far, too fast. In domestic affairs, Wilson harvested the fruits of a progressivist impulse planted long before he entered office and cultivated even by such political opponents as Theodore Roosevelt. In foreign affairs, by contrast, Wilson first urged a neutrality consistent with America's long isolationist tradition, only to urge, less than three years later, a crusade to make the world "safe for democracy." Then, going beyond even that, he asked Americans to commit to a permanent alliance to guarantee the peace.

Woodrow Wilson accomplished much in his life that can be attributed to his cultivation of oratorical skills and his conscious reflections upon rhetoric and leadership. When he followed his own rhetorical prescriptions, he generally tasted political success. He left a legacy of progressive reform, and he modeled the rhetorical presidency for all who came later. At the same time, however, Wilson's League of Nations campaign revealed that there are limits to what can be accomplished through popular persuasion. Actually alienating many senators, Wilson's passionate pleas for public support not only defined his tragic legacy but revealed the limits of the rhetorical presidency.


RHETORICAL SOURCES

Archival Material

Baker Ray Stannard. Woodrow Wilson, Life and Letters: Youth, 1856-1889; Princeton, 1890-1910; Governor, 1910-1913; President, 1913-1914; Neutrality, 1914- 1915; Facing War, 1915-1917; War Leader, 1917-1918; Armistice. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page, 1927-1939. ( Baker's interview notes are available in the Library of Congress.)

Wilson Woodrow. The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson. (PPWW), 6 Vols. Edited by Ray Stannard Baker and William E. Dodd. New York: Harper, 1925- 1927.

-----. The Papers of Woodrow Wilson. (PWW). 68 Vols. Edited by Arthur Link, et al. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1966- 1993.


Rhetorical Studies and Biographies

Clements Kendrick A. The Presidency of Woodrow Wilson. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1992.

Heckscher August. Woodrow Wilson. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1991.

Tulis Jeffrey K. The Rhetorical Presidency. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987.


Rhetorical Monographs

Andrews James R. "Wilson's First Inaugural." The Inaugural Address of the Twentieth- Century American Presidents: Critical Rhetorical Studies, edited by Halford Ross Ryan. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1993.

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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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