American Political Speeches

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A selection of speeches by the most inspiring and persuasive orators in American history

Penguin presents a series of six portable, accessible, and—above all—essential reads from American political history, selected by leading scholars. Series editor Richard Beeman, author of The Penguin Guide to the U.S. Constitution, draws together the great texts of American civic life to create a timely and informative mini-library of perennially vital issues. Whether readers are encountering these classic writings for the first time, or brushing up in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, these slim volumes will serve as a powerful and illuminating resource for scholars, students, and civic-minded citizens.

American Political Speeches includes the best American rhetoric from inside and outside the White House. Some of the greatest words spoken in American history have come from men and women who lacked the biggest bully pulpit in the country, but who nevertheless were able to move the nation with words. Frederick Douglass explained the irony of Independence Day from the perspective of a slave. Martin Luther King, Jr. described his dream of an interracial America. William Jennings Bryan gave voice to social discontent with a single phrase, "a cross of gold." Barbara Jordan summoned the nation"s outrage during the impeachment hearings against Richard Nixon. And the best presidents, not by coincidence, have tended to be those with an appreciation for the use of language: Lincoln explaining a new birth of freedom at Gettysburg; John Kennedy voicing moral outrage at the Berlin Wall; Franklin D. Roosevelt chatting to a nation gathered in front of radios; Ronald Reagan addressing Congress freshly healed from an assassination attempt.
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About the author

Terry Golway teaches U.S. history at Kean University in Union, N. J. His previous books include Washington's General, So Others Might Live, The Irish in America, For the Cause of Liberty, and Irish Rebel. He coauthored with Robert Dallek Let Every Nation Know: John F. Kennedy in His Own Words.

Richard Beeman, the John Welsh Centennial Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, has previously served as the Chair of the Department of History, Associate Dean in Penn's School of Arts and Sciences, and Dean of the College of Arts of Sciences. He serves as a trustee of the National Constitution Center and on the center's executive committee. Author of seven previous books, among them The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution and Plain Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution, Professor Beeman has received numerous grants and awards including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and the Huntington Library. His biography of Patrick Henry was a finalist for the National Book Award.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Aug 28, 2012
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9781101603673
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / General
Literary Collections / Speeches
Political Science / American Government / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Since he first began writing in the 1950s, Dr. Paul F. Boller Jr. has had a passion for sharing the humorous, intriguing, and little-known or widely misunderstood aspects of the American presidency. Boller has authored many beloved books on American presidents, the first ladies, presidential anecdotes, quotes, campaign strategies, and common myths.

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The in-depth retelling of treasured American stories will captivate readers and keep them exploring for more nuggets of truth. Boller tracks the relationship between Americans and the presidents, uncovering the intricate nature of presidential responsibilities and the remarkable men whose leadership shaped the office into what it is today. Celebrating the commanders-in-chief and the career of the nationally-recognized American historian and TCU Emeritus Professor of political science, Essays on the Presidents serves as a unique perspective on American history that fans of both Boller and the presidents will enjoy.
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The book examines presidents of the 20th and 21st centuries, explaining how the first U.S. president to confront this new age was Richard Nixon, who—along with Henry Kissinger—developed a sophisticated approach to deal with the recalibration of American power. It documents how other recent presidents have either tried to make peace with limited power (Jimmy Carter), reverse the decline (Ronald Reagan), ignore the implications of limits (George W. Bush), or find ways to lead that were less ambitious, more prudent, and less unilateral (George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama). In the cases of Clinton and Obama, this shift to using "soft power," persuasion, and multilateralism earned them criticism that they are "weak," thereby undermining their efforts to lead—both at home and abroad.

A legendary Senator advises our next President on the commonsense values necessary to lead our nation
United States Senator Robert C. Byrd is the longest-serving member of the United States Senate in the history of our great Republic. Senator Byrd has served the people of West Virginia, and the nation, for fifty-four years, and has served alongside eleven Presidents. He was twice elected by his colleagues to the position of Senate Majority Leader and currently is chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. Byrd has lived through two world wars, the Great Depression, the civil rights movement, the Cold War, the resignation of a U.S. President, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and traumatic military conflicts around the globe, including Iraq and Vietnam. Byrd has been a witness to it all. And now, in his ninetieth year of life, he wants to share the commonsense lessons he has learned from his unique vantage point in history.
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The defining rhetoric of Abraham Lincoln – politician, president, and emancipator

Penguin presents a series of six portable, accessible, and—above all—essential reads from American political history, selected by leading scholars. Series editor Richard Beeman, author of The Penguin Guide to the U.S. Constitution, draws together the great texts of American civic life to create a timely and informative mini-library of perennially vital issues. Whether readers are encountering these classic writings for the first time, or brushing up in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, these slim volumes will serve as a powerful and illuminating resource for scholars, students, and civic-minded citizens.

As president, Abraham Lincoln endowed the American language with a vigor and moral energy that have all but disappeared from today's public rhetoric. His words are testaments of our history, windows into his enigmatic personality, and resonant examples of the writer's art. Renowned Lincoln and Civil War scholar Allen C. Guelzo brings together this volume of Lincoln Speeches that span the classic and obscure, the lyrical and historical, the inspirational and intellectual. The book contains everything from classic speeches that any citizen would recognize—the first debate with Stephen Douglas, the "House Divided" Speech, the Gettysburg Address, the Second Inaugural Address—to the less known ones that professed Lincoln fans will come to enjoy and intellectuals and critics praise. These orations show the contours of the civic dilemmas Lincoln, and America itself, encountered: the slavery issue, state v. federal power, citizens and their duty, death and destruction, the coming of freedom, the meaning of the Constitution, and what it means to progress.
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