Jefferson and Rhetoric of Virtue

Overview

Nearly 200 years after his death, Thomas Jefferson continues to fascinate and mystify scholars and the public alike. Recently, it seems that every aspect of his life and career, including a possible relationship with one of his slaves, has been put under the microscope. But Jefferson's interest in rhetoric, or discourse, has always been but a footnote before Jefferson and the Rhetoric of Virtue. In this volume, James L. Golden and Alan L. Golden undertake the first careful study of Jefferson's rhetorical ...

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Overview

Nearly 200 years after his death, Thomas Jefferson continues to fascinate and mystify scholars and the public alike. Recently, it seems that every aspect of his life and career, including a possible relationship with one of his slaves, has been put under the microscope. But Jefferson's interest in rhetoric, or discourse, has always been but a footnote before Jefferson and the Rhetoric of Virtue. In this volume, James L. Golden and Alan L. Golden undertake the first careful study of Jefferson's rhetorical philosophy and practice. They find that not only did Jefferson take a great interest in classical and modern students of rhetoric, but that he developed his own program for its study. They also discover that Jefferson viewed the study of discourse as a vehicle for upholding virtue. Jefferson's commitment to virtue, the authors argue, helps to explain his interest in rhetoric, just as a study of his rhetorical philosophy leads to a deeper understanding of his commitment to virtue. Golden and Golden discuss Jefferson's influences and education in rhetoric, how he came to be interested in the field, and the development of his philosophy on discourse. Supplemented by extensive primary source material, Thomas Jefferson and the Rhetoric of Virtue gives readers a first-hand account of Jefferson's understanding of virtue as viewed through his studies in rhetoric.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal Of American History
The authors have brought together in one place important elements of Jefferson's political thought that have received relatively little notice. Scholars wishing to pursue this line of inquiry will find this well-researched volume a useful point of departure.
R B. Bernstein
The statesmen of the Revolutionary generation sought to reorder the world with words, and Thomas Jefferson played a pivotal role in this effort. In these pages, James L. Golden and Alan L. Golden recover and present, more comprehensively and persuasively than any previous scholar, Jefferson's rhetorical learning and his use of that learning in the service of republican virtue. Even readers who find occasional points of disagreement will learn much from this stimulating and instructive book.
Thomas W. Benson
In Thomas Jefferson and the Rhetoric of Virtue, James and Alan Golden have created a fascinating, lucid, and comprehensive guide to the rhetorical theory and practice of one of the most eloquent Americans. A monumental work—thorough, judicious, and ardent in its appreciation of Jefferson.
Journal of American History
The authors have brought together in one place important elements of Jefferson's political thought that have received relatively little notice. Scholars wishing to pursue this line of inquiry will find this well-researched volume a useful point of departure.
Southern Communication Journal
Golden and Golden's years of intense research pay solid dividends as they identify the rhetorical influences that shaped Jefferson's perspective and the criteria that Jefferson, himself, identified as the standards by which to evaluate rhetoric.
Booknews
Examining Thomas Jefferson's rhetorical philosophy and practice as a whole, Golden (rhetoric and political communication, Ohio State U.) and Golden (history, Lock Haven U. of Pennsylvania) find that central to Jefferson's conception of discourse was his theory of virtue. His theory of virtue was, in turn, drawn from a wide range of sources, expectedly including liberal and republican influences, but surprisingly reliant on some sources of classical inspiration. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742520806
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/15/2002
  • Edition number: 544
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet the Author

The late James L. Golden was emeritus professor of rhetoric and political communication in the School of Journalism and Communication at Ohio State University. The late Alan L. Golden was associate professor of history at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Jefferson's Philosophy of the Rhetoric of Virtue Chapter 2 Introduction of Jefferson to the World of Rhetoric Chapter 3 The Role of Virtue in Discourse Chapter 4 Principles of Argumentation and the Generation of Understanding Chapter 5 Social Affections and the Stimulation of the Imagination and the Passions Chapter 6 Channeling the Message Chapter 7 Private Discourse and Poetics Chapter 8 Political Communication Chapter 9 Forms of Professional Discourse Part 10 Jefferson as Practitioner of the Rhetoric of Virtue Chapter 11 Conversationalist and Letter Writer Chapter 12 Polemicist During the Revolutionary War Era Chapter 13 Select Public Addresses, 1781-1801 Chapter 14 Legal Advocate Chapter 15 Historical Writer and Social Commentator Chapter 16 Critic of Orators and Oratory Chapter 17 Critic of Non-Oratorical Forms of Public Address Chapter 18 Jefferson, African-Americans, and Slavery Chapter 19 Postscript Chapter 20 Appendix: Thomas Jefferson's Scrapbooks

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