Thomas Jefferson and the Rhetoric of Virtue

Thomas Jefferson and the Rhetoric of Virtue

by James L. Golden, Alan L. Golden




Nearly 200 years after his death, Thomas Jefferson continues to fascinate and mystify scholars and the public alike. Recently, it seems that every aspect of his life and career, including a possible relationship with one of his slaves, has been put under the microscope. But Jefferson's interest in rhetoric, or discourse, has always been but a footnote before Jefferson and the Rhetoric of Virtue. In this volume, James L. Golden and Alan L. Golden undertake the first careful study of Jefferson's rhetorical philosophy and practice. They find that not only did Jefferson take a great interest in classical and modern students of rhetoric, but that he developed his own program for its study. They also discover that Jefferson viewed the study of discourse as a vehicle for upholding virtue. Jefferson's commitment to virtue, the authors argue, helps to explain his interest in rhetoric, just as a study of his rhetorical philosophy leads to a deeper understanding of his commitment to virtue. Golden and Golden discuss Jefferson's influences and education in rhetoric, how he came to be interested in the field, and the development of his philosophy on discourse. Supplemented by extensive primary source material, Thomas Jefferson and the Rhetoric of Virtue gives readers a first-hand account of Jefferson's understanding of virtue as viewed through his studies in rhetoric.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780742520806
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 02/15/2002
Pages: 544
Product dimensions: 6.28(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.35(d)

About the Author

The late James L. Golden was emeritus professor of rhetoric and political communication in the School of Journalism and Communication at Ohio State University. The late Alan L. Golden was associate professor of history at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Jefferson's Philosophy of the Rhetoric of Virtue Chapter 2 Introduction of Jefferson to the World of Rhetoric Chapter 3 The Role of Virtue in Discourse Chapter 4 Principles of Argumentation and the Generation of Understanding Chapter 5 Social Affections and the Stimulation of the Imagination and the Passions Chapter 6 Channeling the Message Chapter 7 Private Discourse and Poetics Chapter 8 Political Communication Chapter 9 Forms of Professional Discourse Part 10 Jefferson as Practitioner of the Rhetoric of Virtue Chapter 11 Conversationalist and Letter Writer Chapter 12 Polemicist During the Revolutionary War Era Chapter 13 Select Public Addresses, 1781-1801 Chapter 14 Legal Advocate Chapter 15 Historical Writer and Social Commentator Chapter 16 Critic of Orators and Oratory Chapter 17 Critic of Non-Oratorical Forms of Public Address Chapter 18 Jefferson, African-Americans, and Slavery Chapter 19 Postscript Chapter 20 Appendix: Thomas Jefferson's Scrapbooks

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