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Revered by Americans across the political spectrum, Barbara Jordan was "the most outspoken moral voice of the American political system," in the words of former President Bill Clinton, who awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994. Throughout her career as a Texas senator, U.S. congresswoman, and distinguished professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, Barbara Jordan lived by a simple creed: "Ethical behavior means being honest, telling the truth, and doing what you said you were going to do." Her strong stand for ethics in government, civil liberties, and democratic values still provides a standard around which the nation can unite in the twenty-first century.
This volume brings together several major political speeches that articulate Barbara Jordan's most deeply held values. They include:
Accompanying the speeches, some of which readers can also watch on an enclosed DVD, are context-setting introductions by volume editor Max Sherman. The book concludes with the eloquent eulogy that Bill Moyers delivered at Barbara Jordan's memorial service in 1996, in which he summed up Jordan's remarkable life and career by saying, "Just when we despaired of finding a hero, she showed up, to give the sign of democracy.... This is no small thing. This, my friends, this is grace. And for it we are thankful."
Biography of Barbara Jordan, with Student Comments
My Personal Introduction of Barbara Jordan
Erosion of Civil Liberties: Commencement Speech, Howard University, May 11, 1974
The National Political Stage
Rising to the Occasion: The Constitutional Basis for Impeachment, U.S. House Judiciary Committee Impeachment Hearings, July 25, 1974
Center Stage: Democratic National Convention Keynote Address, July 12, 1976
The Spotlight after Congress: Democratic National Convention Keynote Address, July 13, 1992
Barbara Jordan's Take on Three Twenty-First-Century Political Issues
Confirmation of Supreme Court Justices: Testimony in Opposition to the Nomination of Robert Bork, September 17, 1987
Immigration Reform: Congressional Testimony as Chair of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, March 29, 1995
Religious Faith and Politics: Prayer at the National Prayer Breakfast, February 2, 1978; Address at the National Prayer Breakfast, February 2, 1984
The Sylvanus Thayer Award
Unswerving Dedication to Principle: 1995 Sylvanus Thayer Award Citation, West Point, October 5; Barbara Jordan's Thayer Award Acceptance
Epilogue: Remarks of Bill Moyers at the Memorial Service for Barbara Jordan, University of Texas at Austin, January 28, 1996
Posted June 25, 2009
As I began reading the book and excerpts from her various speeches I could hear her commanding voice drawing my attention to every word and what's my role to implement change making the world a better place. She represented the voice for justice exemplifying high ethical standards not just for persons in politics, but as a self-reflecting mirror on where an individual stands on his/her principles of chosen profession or occupation. Even though the book may be used in philosophy and political science courses; however, its one that can be embedded in any discipline of study. This is truly a must read to affirm or reaffirm one's role living in a democratic society representing all human beings.
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