My Fellow Americans: Presidential Addresses That Shaped History [NOOK Book]

Overview

The presidency, in Theodore Roosevelt's famous words, is a "Bully Pulpit." No one has studied the presidency from this vantage point. This book, in a sense, is a study of American political history seen through the prism of selected presidential addresses. It reveals how presidents use major addresses to create a theme for their administrations, to introduce history-making legislation or programs, or to rally successfully a majority of the nation behind their policies. No other book has examined the major ...
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My Fellow Americans: Presidential Addresses That Shaped History

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Overview

The presidency, in Theodore Roosevelt's famous words, is a "Bully Pulpit." No one has studied the presidency from this vantage point. This book, in a sense, is a study of American political history seen through the prism of selected presidential addresses. It reveals how presidents use major addresses to create a theme for their administrations, to introduce history-making legislation or programs, or to rally successfully a majority of the nation behind their policies. No other book has examined the major presidential addresses--their construction and their impact--as history. No other book examines, in such detail, the background of the speechwriters who drafted the addresses. James C. Humes, a former White House speechwriter, has a unique understanding of the process of presidential speech drafting. A single speech can be a defining point in American history, such as the Kennedy inaugural ("Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country"), or a rallying cry, such as Franklin Roosevelt's inaugural ("The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"). It can become an American creed as did the Gettysburg Address or a prophecy like the Reagan address to the House of Parliament in 1982. Washington's Farewell Address would prescribe our conduct in foreign policy for a century, as did the Monroe Doctrine in 1823. Sometimes the message is a declaration for war, such as Wilson's speech in 1917, or a "war" against an economic elite like Jackson's Bank veto in 1832 or Cleveland's Tariff message in 1887. This book is of great interest not only to historians and political scientists but also to students of the presidency and government.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313065743
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/23/1992
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 429 KB

Meet the Author

JAMES C. HUMES, an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is a former presidential speechwriter for Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
1 The Farewell Address: Washington's Declaration of Independence in Foreign Policy 1
2 Jefferson's First Inaugural: The Revolutionary as Reconciler 15
3 The Monroe Doctrine: The Whispered Warning 27
4 The Jackson Bank Veto: The War Against the Eastern Establishment 39
5 Polk's Inaugural: Action as Eloquence 51
6 The Gettysburg Address: The Great American Poem 63
7 The Cleveland Tariff Message: The Battle Against Big Business 81
8 The Big Stick: Monroe Doctrine a la Theodore Roosevelt 93
9 Wilson's Declaration of War: A Latter-Day Paul on Mars Hill 109
10 "The Sesquicentennial Address: The Sermon at the Shrine 125
11 Franklin Roosevelt's First Inaugural: The Rhetoric of Recovery 145
12 Harry Truman's Acceptance Address: The Turnip Day Talk 163
13 Eisenhower's Farewell Address: An Old Soldier's Warning 183
14 The Kennedy Inaugural: A Young Warrior's Call to Arms 207
15 President Nixon's Toast to Chairman Mao: The Beijing Breakthrough 225
16 The Reagan Address at the Palace of Westminster: A Prophecy for a Free World 247
Bibliography 275
Index 281
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