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

By Halford Ryan | Go to book overview

orator was needed rather than an engineer. Indeed, in 1932 the nation gratefully embraced the energetic, eloquent Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Despite the generally negative judgment we must make of Hoover's rhetorical presidency, his career was full of irony. His inglorious defeat in 1932 obscured the striking popularity he enjoyed on his inauguration day. Hoover's confident predictions of unrivaled prosperity in 1928 were reduced to absurdity by the most severe depression in American history. Although the public criticized him for inaction, he was the first president of either party to harness the resources of the national government to combat economic collapse. He was widely thought to be an uncaring man, yet he worked tirelessly to help people within the constraints of his political philosophy.

Hoover believed that government should exist to permit each person the maximum amount of freedom to achieve. As a consequence, the nation must never stifle the responsibility, energy, and creative genius of individuals. Although Hoover realized that abuses could not be solved entirely through voluntary effort, nonetheless, the impetus for positive change must come from the people, not government. Considering Hoover's belief that the depression was temporary, his actions were really quite logical. He had faith that the system would soon right itself, that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the United States of America. Those who question his decisions today can only do so with the certainty of historical hindsight.


RHETORICAL SOURCES

Archival Materials

Herbert Hoover presidential papers are located at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, Iowa. This collection contains correspondence, audio and film recordings, diaries, speech manuscripts, and files of newspaper clippings.

Hoover Herbert Clark. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Herbert Hoover. (PPP). 4 Vols. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974- 1977.


Rhetorical Studies

Eckley Wilton. Herbert Hoover. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1980.

Fausold Martin L. The Presidency of Herbert C. Hoover. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1985.

Joslin Theodore G. Hoover Off the Record. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1934.

Lloyd Craig. Aggressive Introvert. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1972.

Wilson Joan Hoff. Herbert Hoover. Forgotten Progressive. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1975.

-144-

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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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