My Fellow Americans: Presidential Addresses that Shaped History

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1992 - 287 страница

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 used 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 Houses 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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Садржај

The Revolutionary as Reconciler
15
The Whispered Warning
27
The War Against the Eastern Establishment
39
Action as Eloquence
51
The Great American Poem
63
The Battle Against Big Business
81
Monroe Doctrine à la Theodore Roosevelt
93
A LatterDay Paul on Mars Hill
109
The Rhetoric of Recovery
145
The Turnip Day Talk
163
An Old Soldiers Warning
183
A Young Warriors Call to Arms
207
The Beijing Breakthrough
225
A Prophecy for a Free World
247
Bibliography
275
Index
281

The Sermon at the Shrine
125

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Популарни одломци

Страница 43 - It is impossible that the allied powers should extend their political system to any portion of either continent without endangering our peace and happiness; nor can anyone believe that our southern brethren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of their own accord.
Страница 126 - The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them.
Страница 77 - I have often inquired of myself what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the colonies from the motherland, but that sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave liberty not alone to the people of this country, but hope to all the world, for all future time.
Страница 18 - Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a -different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance ; when we may take such an attitude, as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon, to be scrupulously respected...
Страница 127 - To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other.
Страница 30 - If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it.
Страница 127 - But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts...
Страница 228 - In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility; I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation.
Страница 54 - But when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages, artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer, and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society, the farmers, mechanics, and laborers, who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government.

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О аутору (1992)

JAMES C. HUMES, an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is a former presidential speechwriter for Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush. In addition, he is a former Woodrow Wilson Fellow at the Center for International Scholars at the Smithsonian, and he has lectured across the country and abroad on the theme of presidential history. Humes is also the author of seven books on speech making and preparation, a biography of Winston Churchill, and was the editorial advisor for former President Ford's memoirs Time to Heal.

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