Jefferson's Call for Nationhood
The First Inaugural Address
Presidential Studies - Rhetoric
5.5 x 8.5, 176 pp.
Pub Date: 06/20/2003
Library of Presidential Rhetoric
Price:        $29.95 s

Price:        $14.95 s


Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Jefferson's Call for Nationhood

The First Inaugural Address

By Stephen Howard Browne

Widely celebrated in its own time, Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address commands the regard of Americans from across the political spectrum. Delivered as the young nation found itself embroiled in bitter partisan struggles, the speech has been hailed as the Sermon on the Mount of good government.

Curiously, this masterpiece—the full text of which is reproduced in this volume—has never received sustained analysis. Here, Stephen Howard Browne describes its origins, composition, meaning, and delivery.

His wellcrafted argument and accessible prose offer a model of analysis for rhetorical scholars and students and an added dimension to the history of the early republic and the understanding of American political thought.

STEPHEN HOWARD BROWNE is a professor of communication arts and sciences at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

What Readers Are Saying:

“This is one of the best books on Thomas Jefferson ever written: sophisticated and clear, persuasive and insightful.” --The Journal of American History

“This book is highly recommended for those interested in American political history, Jeffersonian democracy, political rhetoric, and nineteenth-century political parties in the United States.” --The Journal of American History

“This type of historical writing, a tiny piece of history through a microscope rather than the usual large era through a telescope, is a rare item indeed. Stephen Browne, though a professor of communications, shows himself to be a historian and political philosopher par excellence.” --The Journal of American History

“I have not read a finer book on Thomas Jefferson.” --The Journal of American History

“Browne’s analysis of the third president’s vision for American nationalism is well-grounded and well-considered. In addition, it is well-balanced.” --Journal of the Early Republic

“A beautifully crafted analysis of the political, historical, and rhetorical dimensions of Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address. . . . not only fills a much needed gap in scholarship on Jeffersonian rhetoric, but it does so with such deftness and insight that one is tempted to give Browne the first and last word on Jefferson’s First Inaugural. . . . Not only will readers of this book be rewarded with a multi-faceted analysis of Jefferson’s speech, but they also will be treated to Browne’s felicity of expression, which makes this book instructive and delightful reading. . . . is an excellent reference for any student of public address and rewards the reader with a deep understanding of the political, historical, and rhetorical elements of Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address.” --Quarterly Journal of Speech


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