Intellectual Populism: Democracy, Inquiry, and the People

Intellectual Populism: Democracy, Inquiry, and the People

by Paul Stob


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In response to denunciations of populism as undemocratic and anti-intellectual, Intellectual Populism argues that populism has contributed to a distinct and democratic intellectual tradition in which ordinary people assume leading roles in the pursuit of knowledge. Focusing on the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the decades that saw the birth of populism in the United States, this book uses case studies of certain intellectual figures to trace the key rhetorical appeals that proved capable of resisting the status quo and building alternative communities of inquiry. As this book shows, Robert Ingersoll (1833–1899), Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), Thomas Davidson (1840–1900), Booker T. Washington (1856–1915), and Zitkála-Šá (1876–1938) deployed populist rhetoric to rally ordinary people as thinkers in new intellectual efforts. Through these case studies, Intellectual Populism demonstrates how orators and advocates can channel the frustrations and energies of the American people toward productive, democratic, intellectual ends.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611863604
Publisher: Michigan State University Press
Publication date: 04/01/2020
Series: Rhetoric & Public Affairs Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 376
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

PAUL STOB is Associate Professor and Chair of Communication Studies at Vanderbilt University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction xi

Chapter 1 Robert Ingersoll's Religious Resistance 1

Chapter 2 Mary Baker Eddy's Divine Healing Science 37

Chapter 3 Thomas Davidson's Push for Philosophical Community 77

Chapter 4 Booker T. Washington's Reclamation of Work 119

Chapter 5 Zitkala-Ša's Pan-Indian Intellectual Populism 163

Conclusion 211

Notes 231

Bibliography 289

Index 319

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