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Mark Twain

Overview

How did Mark Twain develop his remarkable oral style of writing which was so carefully crafted? And what can we learn about nineteenth-century America from the public speeches of this humorist and teacher who charmed his country and exported his notions of Americanism around the world? This is the very first book-length critical analysis to deal exclusively with Twain's oratory. Another reference volume in the Great American Orators Series, it is designed for students, teachers, and professionals in the fields of...

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Overview

How did Mark Twain develop his remarkable oral style of writing which was so carefully crafted? And what can we learn about nineteenth-century America from the public speeches of this humorist and teacher who charmed his country and exported his notions of Americanism around the world? This is the very first book-length critical analysis to deal exclusively with Twain's oratory. Another reference volume in the Great American Orators Series, it is designed for students, teachers, and professionals in the fields of speech communication and American studies.

The volume, bringing Mark Twain again to the center stage, opens with an assessment of Twain as a great American orator and then appraises his rhetoric, lectures, occasional speeches, and summarizes his impact on his listeners. Professor Vallin shows how he used humor, varying styles of satire to attack Victorian hegemony and to exalt the common man, and how he emerged as the Representative American. He used vernacular expressions to bridge different sections of the country and spoke hundreds of times to thousands of listeners on a wide variety of topics, giving both simple talks and well-planned addresses. Sixteen selected speeches exemplify his eloquent and varied styles as a communicator. The volume also provides a chronology, a bibliographical essay that is a definitive one on Mark Twain as a public speaker, and a general index.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An analysis of Twain's public speaking, which, in his own time, was at least as important as his writing in making him a spokesman for a particular vision of America, both in the country and around the world. Considers his rhetoric, lectures, occasional speeches, and the impact they all had on his audience. Includes the text of 16 exemplary speeches. Vallin (speech communications and American studies, Pennsylvania State U.) seems not to have consulted anyone who has actually performed the material. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313273537
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/30/1992
  • Series: Great American Orators Series , #18
  • Pages: 206
  • Lexile: 1220L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

MARLENE BOYD VALLIN is Associate Professor of Speech Communication and American Studies at Pennsylvania State University, Berks Campus.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Foreword
Preface
Pt. I Critical Analysis
1 Mark Twain: A Great American Orator 3
2 Rhetorical Appraisal 11
3 Critical Analysis: Lectures 21
4 Critical Analysis: Occasional Speeches 33
5 Epilogue 57
Notes 59
Pt. II Collected Speeches
"Sandwich Islands Lecture" 67
"The American Vandal Abroad" 77
"Roughing It Lecture" 87
"On Speech-Making Reform" 101
"Post-Prandial Oratory" 105
"Dinner Speech" (Whitefriars Club) 109
"The Babies: As They Comfort Us in Our Sorrows, Let Us Not Forget Them in Our Festivities" 113
"Dinner Speech" (Whittier's Birthday) 117
"Remarks" (Public Education Association) 123
"Introducing Winston S. Churchill" 125
"Plymouth Rock and the Pilgrims" 127
"On Foreign Critics" 131
"Advice to Youth" 135
"Edmund Burke on Croker and Tammany" 139
"Our Guest" (Lord Mayor's Banquet) 147
"Dinner Speech" (Seventieth Birthday) 153
Chronology of Significant Speaking Events 159
Bibliographic Essay 167
Index 179
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