Art and Freedom of Speech
Randall P. Bezanson University of Illinois Press, 2009 Library of Congress KF4770.B487 2009 | Dewey Decimal 342.73085
This book analyzes the broad range of Supreme Court cases that concern the protection of art and free speech under the First Amendment. Finding that debates about free expression (whether in speech or art) swirl around sex and cultural blasphemy, Randall P. Bezanson tracks and interprets the Court's decisions on film, nude dancing, music, painting, and other visual expressions.
Showing how the Court has dealt with judgments of art, quality, meaning, and how to distinguish types of speech and expression, Bezanson explores issues as diverse as homosexuality in the Boy Scouts, gay and lesbian parade floats, 2 Live Crew's alleged copyright infringement, National Endowment for the Arts grants and diversity, dangerous art, and screenings of the film Carnal Knowledge. In considering the transformative meaning of art, the importance of community judgments, and the definition of speech in Court rulings, Bezanson focuses on the fundamental questions underlying the discussion of art as protected free speech: What are the boundaries of art? What are the limits on the government's role as supporter and "patron" of the arts? And what role, if any, may core social values of decency, respect, and equality play in limiting the production or distribution of art?
Accessibly written and evocatively argued, Art and Freedom of Speech explores these questions and concludes with the argument that, for legal purposes, art should be absolutely free under the First Amendment--in fact, even more free than other forms of speech.
Gerald M. Phillips draws on his twenty-five-year, five-thousand-client experience with the Pennsylvania State University Reticence Program to present a new theory of modification of “inept” communication behavior.
That experience has convinced Phillips that communication is arbitrary and rulebound rather than a process of inspiration. He demonstrates that communication problems can be described as errors that can be detected and classified in order to fit a remediation pattern. Regardless of the source of error, the remedy is to train the individual to avoid or eliminate errors—thus, orderly procedure will result in competent performance.
Inept communicators must be made aware of the obligations and constraints imposed by deep structures that require us to achieve a degree of formal order in our language, without which our discourse becomes incomprehensible.
From the end of Reconstruction through World War II, a network of public colleges for white women flourished throughout the South. Founded primarily as vocational colleges to educate women of modest economic means for life in the emerging “new” South, these schools soon transformed themselves into comprehensive liberal arts–industrial institutions, proving so popular that they became among the largest women’s colleges in the nation. In this illuminating volume, David Gold and Catherine L. Hobbs examine rhetorical education at all eight of these colleges, providing a better understanding of not only how women learned to read, write, and speak in American colleges but also how they used their education in their lives beyond college.
With a collective enrollment and impact rivaling that of the Seven Sisters, the schools examined in this study—Mississippi State College for Women (1884), Georgia State College for Women (1889), North Carolina College for Women (1891), Winthrop College in South Carolina (1891), Alabama College for Women (1896), Texas State College for Women (1901), Florida State College for Women (1905), and Oklahoma College for Women (1908)—served as important centers of women’s education in their states, together educating over a hundred thousand students before World War II and contributing to an emerging professional class of women in the South. After tracing the establishment and evolution of these institutions, Gold and Hobbs explore education in speech arts and public speaking at the colleges and discuss writing instruction, setting faculty and departmental goals and methods against larger institutional, professional, and cultural contexts. In addition to covering the various ways the public women’s colleges prepared women to succeed in available occupations, the authors also consider how women’s education in rhetoric and writing affected their career choices, the role of race at these schools, and the legacy of public women’s colleges in relation to the history of women’s education and contemporary challenges in the teaching of rhetoric and writing.
The experiences of students and educators at these institutions speak to important conversations among scholars in rhetoric, education, women’s studies, and history. By examining these previously unexplored but important institutional sites, Educating the New Southern Woman provides a richer and more complex history of women’s rhetorical education and experiences.
In The Ethics and Politics of Speech, Pat J. Gehrke provides an accessible yet intensive history of the speech communication discipline during the twentieth century. Drawing on several previously unpublished or unexamined sources—including essays, conference proceedings, and archival documents—Gehrke traces the evolution of communication studies and the dilemmas that often have faced academics in this field. In his examination, Gehrke not only provides fresh perspectives on old models of thinking; he reveals new methods for approaching future studies of ethical and political communication.
Gehrke begins his history with the first half of the twentieth century, discussing the development of a social psychology of speech and an ethics based on scientific principles, and showing the importance of democracy to teaching and scholarship at this time. He then investigates the shift toward philosophical—especially existential—ways of thinking about communication and ethics starting in the 1950s and continuing through the mid-1970s, a period associated with the rise of rhetoric in the discipline. In the chapters covering the last decades of the twentieth century, Gehrke demonstrates how the ethics and politics of communication were directed back onto the practices of scholarship within the discipline, examining the increased use of postmodern and poststructuralist theories, as well as the new trend toward writing original theory, rather than reinterpreting the past. In offering a thorough history of rhetoric studies, Gehrke sets the stage for new questions and arguments, ultimately emphasizing the deeply moral and political implications that by nature embed themselves in the field of communication.
More than simply a history of the discipline's major developments, The Ethics and Politics of Speech is an account of the philosophical and moral struggles that have faced communication scholars throughout the last century. As Gehrke explores the themes and movements within rhetoric and speech studies of the past, he also provides a better understanding of the powerful forces behind the forging of the field. In doing so, he reveals history’s potential to act as a vehicle for further academic innovation in the future.
Over the past two hundred years, thousands of ancient Greek vases have been unearthed. Yet these artifacts remain a challenge: what did the images depicted on these vases actually mean to ancient Greek viewers? In this long-awaited book, Gloria Ferrari uses Athenian vases, literary evidence, and other works of art from the Archaic and Classical periods (520-400 B.C.) to investigate what these items can tell us about the ancient Greeks—specifically, their notions of gender.
Ferrari begins by developing a theoretical perspective on visual representation, arguing that artistic images give us access to how their subjects were imagined rather than to the way they really were. For instance, Ferrari's examinations of the many representations of women working wool reveal that these images constitute powerful metaphors—metaphors, she argues, which both reflect and construct Greek conceptions of the ideal woman and her ideal behavior.
From this perspective, Ferrari studies a number of icons representing blameless femininity and ideal masculinity to reevaluate the rites of passage by which girls are made ready for marriage and boys become men. Representations of the nude male body in Archaic statues known as kouroi, for example, symbolize manhood itself and shed new light on the much-discussed institution of paiderastia. And, in Ferrari's hands, imagery equating maidens with arable land and buried treasure provides a fresh view of Greek ideas of matrimony.
Innovative, thought-provoking, and insightful throughout, Figures of Speech is a powerful demonstration of how the study of visual images as well as texts can reshape our understanding of ancient Greek culture.
Tim Cassedy’s fascinating study examines the role that language played at the turn of the nineteenth century as a marker of one’s identity. During this time of revolution (U.S., French, and Haitian) and globalization, language served as a way to categorize people within a world that appeared more diverse than ever. Linguistic differences, especially among English-speakers, seemed to validate the emerging national, racial, local, and regional identity categories that took shape in this new world order.
Focusing on six eccentric characters of the time—from the woman known as “Princess Caraboo” to wordsmith Noah Webster—Cassedy shows how each put language at the center of their identities and lived out the possibilities of their era’s linguistic ideas. The result is a highly entertaining and equally informative look at how perceptions about who spoke what language—and how they spoke it—determined the shape of communities in the British American colonies and beyond.
This engagingly written story is sure to appeal to historians of literature, culture, and communication; to linguists and book historians; and to general readers interested in how ideas about English developed in the early United States and throughout the English-speaking world.
The institution of slavery has always depended on enforcing the boundaries between slaveholders and the enslaved. As historical geographer Miles Ogborn reveals in The Freedom of Speech, across the Anglo-Caribbean world the fundamental distinction between freedom and bondage relied upon the violent policing of the spoken word. Offering a compelling new lens on transatlantic slavery, this book gathers rich historical data from Barbados, Jamaica, and Britain to delve into the complex relationships between voice, slavery, and empire. From the most quotidian encounters to formal rules of what counted as evidence in court, the battleground of slavery lay in who could speak and under what conditions. But, as Ogborn shows through keen attention to both the traces of talk and the silences in the archives, if enslavement as a legal status could be made by words, it could be unmade by them as well. A deft interrogation of the duality of domination, The Freedom of Speech offers a rich interpretation of oral cultures that both supported and constantly threatened to undermine the slave system.
Gesture and Thought
David McNeill University of Chicago Press, 2005 Library of Congress P117.M359 2005
Gesturing is such an integral yet unconscious part of communication that we are mostly oblivious to it. But if you observe anyone in conversation, you are likely to see his or her fingers, hands, and arms in some form of spontaneous motion. Why? David McNeill, a pioneer in the ongoing study of the relationship between gesture and language, set about answering this question over twenty-five years ago. In Gesture and Thought he brings together years of this research, arguing that gesturing, an act which has been popularly understood as an accessory to speech, is actually a dialectical component of language. Gesture and Thought expands on McNeill’s acclaimed classic Hand and Mind. While that earlier work demonstrated what gestures reveal about thought, here gestures are shown to be active participants in both speaking and thinking. Expanding on an approach introduced by Lev Vygotsky in the 1930s, McNeill posits that gestures are key ingredients in an “imagery-language dialectic” that fuels both speech and thought. Gestures are both the “imagery” and components of “language.” The smallest element of this dialectic is the “growth point,” a snapshot of an utterance at its beginning psychological stage. Utilizing several innovative experiments he created and administered with subjects spanning several different age, gender, and language groups, McNeill shows how growth points organize themselves into utterances and extend to discourse at the moment of speaking.
An ambitious project in the ongoing study of the relationship of human communication and thought, Gesture and Thought is a work of such consequence that it will influence all subsequent theory on the subject.
In How Machines Came to Speak Jennifer Petersen constructs a genealogy of how legal conceptions of “speech” have transformed over the last century in response to new media technologies. Drawing on media and legal history, Petersen shows that the legal category of speech has varied considerably, evolving from a narrow category of oratory and print publication to a broad, abstract conception encompassing expressive nonverbal actions, algorithms, and data. She examines a series of pivotal US court cases in which new media technologies—such as phonographs, radio, film, and computer code—were integral to this shift. In judicial decisions ranging from the determination that silent films were not a form of speech to the expansion of speech rights to include algorithmic outputs, courts understood speech as mediated through technology. Speech thus became disarticulated from individual speakers. By outlining how legal definitions of speech are indelibly dependent on technology, Petersen demonstrates that future innovations such as artificial intelligence will continue to restructure speech law in ways that threaten to protect corporate and institutional forms of speech over the rights and interests of citizens.
This book is an entry into the fierce current debate among psycholinguists, neuroscientists, and evolutionary theorists about the nature and origins of human language. A prominent neuroscientist here takes up the Darwinian case, using data seldom considered by psycholinguists and neurolinguists to argue that human language--though more sophisticated than all other forms of animal communication--is not a qualitatively different ability from all forms of animal communication, does not require a quantum evolutionary leap to explain it, and is not unified in a single "language instinct."
Using clinical evidence from speech-impaired patients, functional neuroimaging, and evolutionary biology to make his case, Philip Lieberman contends that human language is not a single separate module but a functional neurological system made up of many separate abilities. Language remains as it began, Lieberman argues: a device for coping with the world. But in a blow to human narcissism, he makes the case that this most remarkable human ability is a by-product of our remote reptilian ancestors' abilities to dodge hazards, seize opportunities, and live to see another day.
In the course of exempting religious, educational, and charitable organizations from federal income tax, section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code requires them to refrain from campaign speech and much speech to influence legislation. These speech restrictions have seemed merely technical adjustments, which prevent the political use of a tax subsidy. But the cultural and legal realities are more disturbing.
Tracing the history of American liberalism, including theological liberalism and its expression in nativism, Hamburger shows the centrality of turbulent popular anxieties about the Catholic Church and other potentially orthodox institutions. He argues persuasively that such theopolitical fears about the political speech of churches and related organizations underlay the adoption, in 1934 and 1954, of section 501(c)(3)’s speech limits. He thereby shows that the speech restrictions have been part of a broad majority assault on minority rights and that they are grossly unconstitutional.
Along the way, Hamburger explores the role of the Ku Klux Klan and other nativist organizations, the development of American theology, and the cultural foundations of liberal “democratic” political theory. He also traces important legal developments such as the specialization of speech rights and the use of law to homogenize beliefs. Ultimately, he examines a wide range of contemporary speech restrictions and the growing shallowness of public life in America.
His account is an unflinching look at the complex history of American liberalism and at the implications for speech, the diversity of belief, and the nation’s future.
The Internet has been romanticized as a zone of freedom. The alluring combination of sophisticated technology with low barriers to entry and instantaneous outreach to millions of users has mesmerized libertarians and communitarians alike. Lawmakers have joined the celebration, passing the Communications Decency Act, which enables Internet Service Providers to allow unregulated discourse without danger of liability, all in the name of enhancing freedom of speech. But an unregulated Internet is a breeding ground for offensive conduct.
At last we have a book that begins to focus on abuses made possible by anonymity, freedom from liability, and lack of oversight. The distinguished scholars assembled in this volume, drawn from law and philosophy, connect the absence of legal oversight with harassment and discrimination. Questioning the simplistic notion that abusive speech and mobocracy are the inevitable outcomes of new technology, they argue that current misuse is the outgrowth of social, technological, and legal choices. Seeing this clearly will help us to be better informed about our options.
In a field still dominated by a frontier perspective, this book has the potential to be a real game changer. Armed with example after example of harassment in Internet chat rooms and forums, the authors detail some of the vile and hateful speech that the current combination of law and technology has bred. The facts are then treated to analysis and policy prescriptions. Read this book and you will never again see the Internet through rose-colored glasses.
The Fellowship Independent Baptist Church near Stanley, Virginia, was a group of fundamental Christian believers broadly representative of southern Appalachian belief and practice. Jeff Todd Titon worked with this Baptist community for more than ten years in his attempt to determine the nature of language in the practice of their religion. He traces specialized vocabulary and its applications through the acts of being saved, praying, preaching, teaching, and in particular singing. Titon argues that religious language is performed and the context of its occurrence is crucial to our understanding and to a holistic view of not only religious practice but of folklife and ethnomusicology. Titon’s monumental study of The Fellowship Independent Baptist Church produced not only the first edition book but also an album and documentary film.
In this second edition of Powerhouse for God, Titon revisits The Fellowship Independent Baptist Church nearly four decades later. Brother John Sherfey, the charismatic preacher steeped in Appalachian tradition has passed away and left his congregation to his son, Donnie, to lead. While Appalachian Virginia has changed markedly over the decades, the town of Stanley and the Fellowship Church have not. Titon relates this rarity in his new Afterword: a church founded on Biblical literalism and untouched by modern progressivism in an area of Appalachia that has seen an evolution in population, industry, and immigration.
Titon’s unforgettable study of folklife, musicology, and Appalachian religion is available for a new generation of scholars to build upon.
In his first book of Satires, written in the late, violent days of the Roman republic, Horace exposes satiric speech as a tool of power and domination. Using critical theories from classics, speech act theory, and others, Catherine Schlegel argues that Horace's acute poetic observation of hostile speech provides insights into the operations of verbal control that are relevant to his time and to ours. She demonstrates that though Horace is forced by his political circumstances to develop a new, unthreatening style of satire, his poems contain a challenge to our most profound habits of violence, hierarchy, and domination. Focusing on the relationships between speaker and audience and between old and new style, Schlegel examines the internal conflicts of a notoriously difficult text. This exciting contribution to the field of Horatian studies will be of interest to classicists as well as other scholars interested in the genre of satire.
Silenced Voices is a pointed examination of the loss of speech, exile from community, and memory throughout the literary corpus of the Roman poet Ovid. In his book-length poem Metamorphoses, characters are transformed in ways that include losing their power of human speech. In Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto, poems written after Ovid's exile from Rome in 8 ce, he represents himself as also having been transformed, losing his voice.
Bartolo A. Natoli provides a unique cross-reading of these works. He examines how the motifs and ideas articulated in the Metamorphoses provide the template for the poet's representation of his own exile. Ovid depicts his transformation with an eye toward memory, reformulating how his exile would be perceived by his audience. His exilic poems are an attempt to recover the voice he lost and to reconnect with the community of Rome.
Considers the avant-garde rethinking of poetic language in terms of physical speech production.
Avant-garde writers and artists of the twentieth century radically reconceived poetic language, appropriating scientific theories and techniques as they turned their attention to the physical process of spoken language. This modernist “sound writing” focused on the bodily production of speech, which it rendered in poetic, legible, graphic form.
Modernist sound writing aims to capture the acoustic phenomenon of vocal articulation by graphic means. Tobias Wilke considers sound writing from its inception in nineteenth-century disciplines like physiology and experimental phonetics, following its role in the aesthetic practices of the interwar avant-garde and through to its reemergence in the postwar period. These projects work with the possibility of crossing over from the audible to the visible, from speech to notation, from body to trace. Employing various techniques and concepts, this search for new possibilities played a central role in the transformation of poetry into a site of radical linguistic experimentation. Considering the works of writers and artists—including Raoul Hausmann, Kurt Schwitters, Viktor Shklovsky, Hugo Ball, Charles Olson, and Marshall McLuhan—Wilke offers a fresh look at the history of the twentieth-century avant-garde.
The Peloponnesian War, which destroyed imperial Athens and ultimately Sparta as well, continues to fascinate students of history, politics, and human nature. Thucydides' account of the twenty-seven-year conflict charts the opposition between the two great powers of the classical Greek world and the ways of life they represented. Paula Debnar explores the collapse of these powers from a new perspective, examining the ways discourse changed under the strain of a long and costly war. Speaking the Same Language seeks to recover the role played by the audiences within the History. By restoring the internal audiences to a more prominent place, Debnar emphasizes the perspective of the participants in the war and heightens the dramatic immediacy of the debates. She thoroughly analyzes twelve speeches delivered by or to the Spartans, demonstrating how the earlier speeches illustrate the role of discourse in the construction of Sparta's identity and the unification of her Dorian allies in the face of their primarily Ionian adversaries.
Combining close textual analysis with an examination of narrative and historical context, Debnar bridges the gap between literary and historical studies of Thucydides. Accessible to specialists and nonspecialists alike, her work will interest those working in the fields of Greek literature, ancient historiography, rhetoric, political science, and ethnic studies.
Paula Debnar is Associate Professor of Classics, Mount Holyoke College.
How is history produced? How do individuals write—or rewrite—their parts while engaged in the production of history? Michael Lynch and David Bogen take the example of the Iran-contra hearings to explore these questions. These hearings, held in 1987 by the Joint House-Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaragua Opposition, provided the nation with a media spectacle and a rare chance to see a struggle over the writing of history. There was Oliver North, prime suspect and designated scapegoat, turning into a hero of the American Right before the very eyes of the nation. How this transformation occurred, with the complicity of the press and the public, becomes disturbingly clear in The Spectacle of History. Lynch and Bogen detail the practices through which the historical agents at the center of the hearings composed, confirmed, used, erased, and denied the historical record. They show how partisan skirmishes over the disclosure of records and testimony led to a divided and irresolute outcome, an outcome further facilitated by the “applied deconstruction” deployed by North and his allies. The Spectacle of History immerses the reader in a crowded field of texts, utterances, visual displays, and media commentaries, but, more than a case study, it develops unique insight into problems at the heart of society and social theory—lying and credibility, the production of civic spectacle, the relationship between testimony and history, the uses of memory, and the interplay between speech and writing. Drawing on themes from sociology, literary theory, and ethnomethodology and challenging prevailing concepts held by contemporary communication and cultural studies, Lynch and Bogen extract valuable theoretical lessons from this specific and troubling historical episode.
In Speech and Phenomena, Jacques Derrida situates the philosophy of language in relation to logic and rhetoric, which have often been seen as irreconcilable criteria for the use and interpretations of signs. His critique of Husserl attacks the position that language is founded on logic rather than on rhetoric; instead, he claims, meaningful language is limited to expression because expression alone conveys sense. Derrida's larger project is to confront phenomenology with the tradition it has so often renounced--the tradition of Western metaphysics.
Speech and Song at the Margins of Global Health tells the story of a unique Zulu gospel choir comprised of people living with HIV in South Africa, and how they maintained healthy, productive lives amid globalized inequality, international aid, and the stigma that often comes with having HIV. By singing, joking, and narrating about HIV in Zulu, the performers in the choir were able to engage with international audiences, connect with global health professionals, and also maintain traditional familial respect through the prism of performance. The focus on gospel singing in the narrative provides a holistic viewpoint on life with HIV in the later years of the pandemic, and the author’s musical engagement led to fieldwork in participants’ homes and communities, including the larger stigmatized community of infected individuals. This viewpoint suggests overlooked ways that aid recipients contribute to global health in support, counseling, and activism, as the performers set up instruments, waited around in hotel lobbies, and struck up conversations with passersby and audience members. The story of the choir reveals the complexity and inequities of global health interventions, but also the positive impact of those interventions in the crafting of community.
Tell This Silence by Patti Duncan explores multiple meanings of speech and silence in Asian American women's writings in order to explore relationships among race, gender, sexuality, and national identity. Duncan argues that contemporary definitions of U.S. feminism must be expanded to recognize the ways in which Asian American women have resisted and continue to challenge the various forms of oppression in their lives. There has not yet been adequate discussion of the multiple meanings of silence and speech, especially in relation to activism and social-justice movements in the U.S. In particular, the very notion of silence continues to invoke assumptions of passivity, submissiveness, and avoidance, while speech is equated with action and empowerment.
However, as the writers discussed in Tell This Silence suggest, silence too has multiple meanings especially in contexts like the U.S., where speech has never been a guaranteed right for all citizens. Duncan argues that writers such as Maxine Hong Kingston, Mitsuye Yamada, Joy Kogawa, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Nora Okja Keller, and Anchee Min deploy silence as a means of resistance. Juxtaposing their “unofficial narratives” against other histories—official U.S. histories that have excluded them and American feminist narratives that have stereotyped them or distorted their participation—they argue for recognition of their cultural participation and offer analyses of the intersections among gender, race, nation, and sexuality.
Tell This Silence offers innovative ways to consider Asian American gender politics, feminism, and issues of immigration and language. This exciting new study will be of interest to literary theorists and scholars in women's, American, and Asian American studies.
The Rushdie Affair, the Danish Cartoon Affair, the assault on Charlie Hebdo, and the earlier Carrell Affair, are examples of religious fanatics' extreme reactions to religious satire and criticism. Perpetrators of these actions consider themselves as true believers. This book aims to understand their motives by means of the concept of theoterrorism: terrorism grounded in religious zealotry.
In a stimulating synthesis of cognitive science, anthropology, and linguistics, Philip Lieberman tackles the fundamental questions of human nature: How and why are human beings so different from other species? Can the Darwinian theory of evolution explain human linguistic and cognitive ability? How do our processes of language and thought differ from those of Homo erectus 500,000 years ago, or of the Neanderthals 35,000 years ago? What accounts for human moral sense?
Lieberman believes that evolution for rapid, efficient vocal communication forged modern human beings by creating the modern human brain. Earlier hominids lacked fully human speech and syntax, which together allow us to convey complex thoughts rapidly. The author discusses how natural selection acted on older brain mechanisms to produce a structure that can regulate the motor activity necessary for speech and command the complex syntax that enhances the creativity of human language. The unique brain mechanisms underlying human language also enhance human cognitive ability, allowing us to derive abstract concepts and to plan complex activities. These factors are necessary for the development of true altruism and moral behavior.
Lieberman supports his argument about the evolution of speech and the human brain by combining the comparative method of Charles Darwin, insights from archaeology and child development, and the results of high-tech research with computerized brain scanning and computer models that can recreate speech sounds made by our ancestors over 100,000 years ago. Uniquely Human will stimulate fresh thought and controversy on the basic question of how we came to be.
Giovanni Pontano, who adopted the academic sobriquet “Gioviano,” was prime minister to several kings of Naples and the most important Neapolitan humanist of the quattrocento. Best known today as a Latin poet, he also composed dialogues depicting the intellectual life of the humanist academy of which he was the head, and, late in life, a number of moral essays that became his most popular prose works. The De sermone (On Speech), translated into English here for the first time, aims to provide a moral anatomy, following Aristotelian principles, of various aspects of speech such as truthfulness and deception, flattery, gossip, loquacity, calumny, mercantile bargaining, irony, wit, and ridicule. In each type of speech, Pontano tries to identify what should count as the virtuous mean, that which identifies the speaker as a person of education, taste, and moral probity.
This wonderfully rich anthology uses the soul-shaping power of story, speech, and song to help Americans realize more deeply—and appreciate more fully—who they are as citizens of the United States.
At once inspiring and thought-provoking, What So Proudly We Hail features dozens of selections on American identity, character, and civic life by our country’s greatest writers and leaders—from Mark Twain to John Updike, from George Washington to Theodore Roosevelt, from Willa Cather to Flannery O’Connor, from Benjamin Franklin to Martin Luther King Jr., from Francis Scott Key to Irving Berlin.
Developing robust American citizens involves educating the heart as well as the mind. It is not enough to understand our nation’s lofty principles or know our history; thoughtful and engaged citizens require cultivated moral imaginations and fitting sentiments and attitudes—matters both displayed in and nurtured by our great works of imaginative literature and rhetoric.
Featuring the editors’ insightful and instructive commentary, What So Proudly We Hail illuminates our national identity, the American creed, the American character, and the virtues and aspirations of active citizenship. This marvelous book will not only be a fixture on bedside tables; it will also spark conversations in homes, schools, colleges, and reading groups everywhere.