Fellow Citizens: The Penguin Book of U.S. Presidential Inaugural Addresses (Penguin Classics)

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9780143114536: Fellow Citizens: The Penguin Book of U.S. Presidential Inaugural Addresses (Penguin Classics)

The complete American presidential inaugural addresses featuring historical background by a National Book Award winner

A testament to the power of oratory, this stirring and often surprising collection includes all fifty-five United States presidential inaugural addresses, as well as a general introduction and commentary that provides historical context for each speech. Marking pivotal moments in American history, readers will learn:

? How George Washington came to ad-lib ?So help me, God? at the end of his first inaugural address

? Why Thomas Jefferson?s first inaugural address is considered one of the finest ever delivered

? The historical background behind Franklin D. Roosevelt?s ?The only thing we have to fear is fear itself? and John F.

Kennedy?s ?Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.?

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About the Author:

Robert V. Remini, whose three-volume biography, Andrew Jackson, won the National Book Award and was reissued in 1998 as a Main Selection of the History Book Club, is also the author of biographies of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. He is professor emeritus of history and research professor emeritus of humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and lives in Wilmette, Illinois.
Robert V. Remini, whose three-volume biography, Andrew Jackson, won the National Book Award and was reissued in 1998 as a Main Selection of the History Book Club, is also the author of biographies of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. He is professor emeritus of history and research professor emeritus of humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and lives in Wilmette, Illinois.
Robert V. Remini, whose three-volume biography, Andrew Jackson, won the National Book Award and was reissued in 1998 as a Main Selection of the History Book Club, is also the author of biographies of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. He is professor emeritus of history and research professor emeritus of humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and lives in Wilmette, Illinois.

From Booklist:

Two distinguished historians round up every presidential inaugural address and preface it with commentary on the rhetoric and historical context of the discourse. A tradition established by George Washington (whose second inaugural was shorter than this review), formal remarks reflect their speaker’s concept of the oath-taking occasion. Some (such as Jefferson) used it to extol a democratic transfer of executive power; others (such as Polk) proclaimed how they would wield that power; and others still delivered a moral sermon to the American people (Lincoln’s second, Wilson’s first, and Carter’s only). As repeatedly observed by editors Remini (biographer of Andrew Jackson) and Golway (biographer of General Nathanael Greene), most inaugural speeches are as forgettable as William Henry Harrison’s longest-ever bombast, but enough are memorable as to inspire new presidents to make their best declamatory effort. Reflecting the major events of American history, as well as a rhetorical evolution from prolixity to brevity, this, along with the speech collection Live from the Campaign Trail (2008), edited by Michael Cohen, is a great resource for elocutionists of campaign 2008. --Gilbert Taylor

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