Woodrow Wilson's Western Tour: Rhetoric, Public Opinion, and the League of Nations

Woodrow Wilson's Western Tour: Rhetoric, Public Opinion, and the League of Nations

by J. Michael Hogan
     
 

ISBN-10: 1585445339

ISBN-13: 9781585445332

Pub. Date: 08/28/2006

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press


On September 3, 1919, Woodrow Wilson embarked upon one of the most ambitious and controversial speaking tours in the history of American politics: a grueling 8,000-mile, twenty-two-day tour across the Midwest and Far West in support of the League of Nations. Historians still debate Wilson’s motivations for touring in the first place, but most agree with

Overview


On September 3, 1919, Woodrow Wilson embarked upon one of the most ambitious and controversial speaking tours in the history of American politics: a grueling 8,000-mile, twenty-two-day tour across the Midwest and Far West in support of the League of Nations. Historians still debate Wilson’s motivations for touring in the first place, but most agree with Thomas Bailey that the tour proved a disastrous blunder. Not only did Wilson collapse before completing his swing around the circle, but the treaty likely would have been defeated even if the tour had succeeded beyond all expectations. Most agree that Wilson’s decision to tour was misguidedthe product of an exaggerated sense of his own persuasiveness, a martyr complex, or even mental illness.

In this masterful work, J. Michael Hogan offers the first detailed analysis of Wilson’s speeches on the tour, including the most celebrated speech of the campaign, his famous address in Pueblo, Colorado. Assessing the tour in light of Wilson’s own scholarly writings about civic discourse and democratic deliberation, Hogan provides new insight into Wilson’s failure and a new understanding of this watershed event in the history of American public address. Over the course of the tour, Hogan argues, Wilson abandoned his own principles of oratorical statesmanship and increasingly resorted to the techniques of the propagandist and the demagogue. In the process, he subverted what he himself called the “common counsel” of public deliberation and foreshadowed some of the worst tendencies of the modern rhetorical presidency.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585445332
Publisher:
Texas A&M University Press
Publication date:
08/28/2006
Series:
Library of Presidential Rhetoric Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     xi
Woodrow Wilson: "An Address in the City Auditorium in Pueblo, Colorado," September 25, 1919     1
Introduction: Woodrow Wilson's Western Tour     17
The Rhetorical Presidency and Public Deliberation in the Progressive Era     27
The Rhetoric of "Common Counsel"     61
The Drift toward Demagoguery     107
The Legend of Pueblo     138
Epilogue: The Legacy of Wilson's Western Tour     164
Notes     175
Bibliography     199
Index     205

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