Jefferson's Call for Nationhood: The First Inaugural Address / Edition 1

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College Station, Texas, U.S.A. 2003 Soft Cover New 5 1/2 x 8 1/2. New with minimal shelfwear. The author describes the speech's origins, composition, meaning, and delivery ... exploring how Jefferson's language and invocations of national symbols shape the cultural and political life of the period. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Widely celebrated in its own time, Thomas Jefferson's first inaugural address commands the regard of Americans from across the political spectrum as one of the great statements of the nation's libertarian tradition. Delivered as the young nation found itself embroiled in bitter partisan struggles, the speech has been hailed as the Sermon on the Mount of good government.

Curiously, this masterpiece of republican rhetoric -- the full text of which is reproduced in this volume -- has never received sustained analysis. Stephen Howard Browne describes the speech's origins, composition, meaning, and delivery. Browne's gracefully written study explores how Jefferson's language and careful invocation of national symbols helped shape the cultural and political life of the period. An outspoken opponent of the very idea of political parties, Jefferson ironically was largely responsible for the development and success of the country's first great opposition party. Browne analyzes this apparent contradiction in what he calls "the single most powerful and eloquent statement ever rendered on behalf of an organized political agenda." He then turns to a consideration of the political philosophy embodied in Jefferson's address, which Browne regards as the production "of a serious and accomplished thinker." Finally, he applies the lens of oratory to the speech to offer a nuanced understanding of the rhetorical culture of the times. Through his careful and compelling analysis, Browne sheds new light not only on Jefferson's first inaugural address but on Jefferson himself, offering important insights to readers interested in the early years of the American nation. His well-crafted argument and accessible prose offer a model of analysis for rhetorical scholars and students alike.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585442522
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2003
  • Series: Library of Presidential Rhetoric Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

STEPHEN HOWARD BROWNE is a professor of communication arts and sciences at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Text of Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address
Introduction 3
Ch. 1 "Brethren of the Same Principle": The First Inaugural Address and the Language of Party 12
Ch. 2 "The Strongest Government on Earth": The First Inaugural Address as Political Theory 50
Ch. 3 "The Circle of Our Felicities": Rhetorical Dimensions of the First Inaugural Address 88
Epilogue 131
Notes 135
Bibliography 144
Index 153
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