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

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Texas A&M University Press, 2006 - 212 страница
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 Wilsons speeches on the tour, including the most celebrated speech of the campaign, his famous address in Pueblo, Colorado. Assessing the tour in light of Wilsons own scholarly writings about civic discourse and democratic deliberation, Hogan provides new insight into Wilsons 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.

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The Rhetorical Presidency and Public Deliberation in the Progressive Era
29
The Rhetoric of Common Counsel
63
The Drift toward Demagoguery
109
The Legend of Pueblo
140
The Legacy of Wilsons Western Tour
166
Notes
177
Bibliography
201
Index
207
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Страница 103 - But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts, for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments...
Страница 59 - Woe be to the man or group of men that seeks to stand in our way in this day of high resolution when every principle we hold dearest is to be vindicated and made secure for the salvation of the nations.
Страница 8 - League at any time to call attention to anything, anywhere, that is likely to disturb the peace of the world or the good understanding between nations upon which the peace of the world depends.
Страница 47 - His is the only national voice in affairs. Let him once win the admiration and confidence of the country, and no other single force can withstand him, no combination of forces will easily overpower him. His position takes the imagination of the country. He is the representative of no constituency, but of the whole people.
Страница 16 - Again and again, my fellow citizens, mothers who lost their sons in France have come to me and, taking my hand, have shed tears upon it not only, but they have added, "God bless you, Mr. President!" Why, my fellow citizens, should they pray God to bless me ? I advised the Congress of the United States to create the situation that led to the death of their sons. I ordered their sons oversea.
Страница 17 - Is the League an absolute guarantee against war?" No; I do not know any absolute guarantee against the errors of human judgment or the violence of human passion, but I tell you this: With a cooling space of nine months for human passion, not much of it will keep hot. I had a couple of friends who were in the habit of losing their tempers, and when they lost their tempers they were in the habit of using very unparliamentary language. Some of their friends induced them to make a promise that they never...
Страница 7 - ... regard to the settlement of the dispute, they will still not go to war for another three months. In other words, they consent, no matter what happens, to submit every matter of difference between them to the judgment of mankind, and just so certainly as they do that, my fellow citizens, war will be in the far background, war will be pushed out of that foreground of terror in which it has kept the world for generation after generation, and men will know that there will be a calm time of deliberate...
Страница 47 - The nation as a whole has chosen him, and is conscious that it has no other political spokesman. His is the only national voice in affairs. Let him once win the admiration and confidence of the country, and no other single force can withstand him, no combination of forces will easily overpower him.
Страница 6 - Germany is not a great fighting country. All the nations that have power that can be mobilized are going to be members of this League, including the United States. And what do they unite for? They enter into a solemn promise to one another that they will never use their power against one another for aggression; that they never will impair the territorial integrity of a neighbor; that they never will interfere with the political Independence of a neighbor; that they will abide by the principle that...
Страница 6 - They enter into a solemn promise to one another that they will never use their power against one another for aggression; that they never will impair the territorial integrity of a neighbor; that they never will interfere with the political independence of a neighbor; that they will abide by the principle that great populations are entitled to determine their own destiny and that they will not interfere with that destiny; and that no matter what differences arise amongst them they will never resort...

О аутору (2006)

J. Michael Hogan is a professor of rhetoric at the Pennsylvania State University and the author or editor of four other books on political rhetoric, including The Panama Canal in American Politics (1986) and Rhetoric and Reform in the Progressive Era (2003). Hogan earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

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