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American Political Rhetoric

Essential Speeches and Writings, Seventh Edition

Edited by Peter Augustine Lawler and Robert Martin Schaefer

American Political Rhetoric is the only reader for introductory classes in American politics, government, and political communication designed to explore fundamental political principles through examples of political rhetoric ranging from the founding to today. Now in its seventh edition, its selections include the entire political spectrum and contributors range from our nation's founders to contemporary elected public officials, Supreme Court opinions, and representatives of historic movements for social change. The new edition is fully updated to include recent Supreme Court decisions, edited for use in the classroom, presidential speeches, and expanded chapters on presidential powers, race, and gender. The book is now more useful than ever for students and teachers thanks to a supplementary website available at americanpoliticalrhetoric.com. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 410Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-3219-8 • Paperback • November 2015 • $29.95 • (£19.95)
978-1-4422-3220-4 • eBook • November 2015 • $27.95 • (£18.95)
Peter Augustine Lawler is Dana Professor and chair of the Department of Government and International Studies at Berry College in Georgia.

Robert Martin Schaefer is chair of the Department of Political Science & Planning and professor of political science at the University of West Georgia.


1. Founding Principles
The Declaration of Independence (1776)
Federalist 9
Federalist 10
Federalist 47
Federalist 48
Federalist 49
Federalist 51
Centinel, Letter I (1787)
James Madison, On Property (1792)
George Washington, Farewell Address (1796)
Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams (1813)

2. Federalism
Federalist 39
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (1784)
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918)
United States v. Darby (1941)
Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority (1985)
United States v. Lopez (1995)

3. Congress and President
Federalist 57
Federalist 63
Federalist 70
Federalist 71
Federalist 73
Abraham Lincoln, Message to Congress in Special Session (1861)
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Message to Congress (1942)
War Powers Resolution (1973)
Barack Obama, Report to the House of Representative Regarding United States Activities in Libya (2011)
United States v. Nixon (1974)
Gerald R. Ford, The Nixon Pardon (1974)
George W. Bush, Statement on the Intelligence Authorization Act (2004)
Barack Obama, Memorandum on Presidential Signing Statements (2009)
Barack Obama, Second Inaugural Address (2013)
Barack Obama, Address to the Nation on Immigration (2014)

4. Judiciary
Brutus, Essay XI (1788)
Federalist 78
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address (1861)
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Court-Packing Address (1937)
William J. Brennan Jr., Speech to the Text and Teaching Symposium, Georgetown University (1985)
The Northwest Ordinance (1787)
Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Nehemiah Dodge and Others: A Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association, in the State of Connecticut (1802)
Lee v. Weisman (1992)
McCreary v. American Civil Liberties Union (2005)
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014)
District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)

5. Parties and Elections
James Madison, Parties (1792)
Robert M. La Follette, ‘‘The Danger Threatening Representative Government’’ (1897)
Woodrow Wilson, Constitutional Government in the United States (1908)
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chat on Party Primaries (1938)
The McGovern-Fraser Commission Report (1971)
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)

6. Constitutional Preservation and Political Change
Woodrow Wilson, Constitutional Government in the United States (1908)
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Commonwealth Club Campaign Speech (1932)
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Address to the Young Democratic
Clubs of America (1935)
Lyndon B. Johnson, State of the Union Address (1964)
Lyndon B. Johnson, Commencement Address at the University of Michigan (1964)
Ronald Reagan, State of the Union Address (1982)
George W. Bush, Remarks on Stem Cell Research (2001)
Barack Obama, Remarks on the Stem Cell Executive Order and Scientific Integrity Presidential Memorandum (2009)

7. Civil Rights: Race
Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)
Sections of the U.S. Constitution Concerning Slavery
Thomas Jefferson, Draft of the Declaration of Independence (1776)
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (1784)
Abraham Lincoln, Speech on the Repeal of the Missouri Compromise (1854)
Frederick Douglass, Address for the Promotion of Colored Enlistment (1864)
Alexander Stephens, Corner Stone Speech (1861)
Abraham Lincoln, Final Text of the Address Delivered at the Dedication of the Cemetery at Gettysburg (1863)
Frederick Douglass, Oration in Memory of Abraham Lincoln (1876)
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
Lyndon B. Johnson, Address on Voting Rights (1965)
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978)
Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)
Barack Obama, A More Perfect Union (2008)
Ricci v. DeStefano (2009)
Barack Obama, Morehouse Commencement Address (2013)
Barack Obama, Remarks on the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches (2015)

8. Civil Rights: Gender and Sexual Orientation
Abigail Adams, Letter to John Adams (1776)
John Adams, Letter to Abigail Adams (1776)
The Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions (1848)
Susan B. Anthony, Is it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote? (1873)
Minor v. Happersett (1874)
Jane Addams, Why Women Should Vote (1910)
Roe v. Wade (1973)
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Speaking in a Judicial Voice (1992)
Rostker v. Goldberg (1981)
Romer v. Evans (1996)
Lawrence v. Texas (2003)
Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)

9. Foreign Policy 333
Federalist 23
Alexander Hamilton, Pacificus, Letter No. 1 (1793)
James Madison, Helvidius, Letter No. 1 (1793)
George Washington, Farewell Address (1796)
Franklin D. Roosevelt, ‘‘Four Freedoms Speech’’ (1941)
Harry S Truman, Special Message to Congress on Greece and Turkey: The Truman Doctrine (1947)
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address (1961)
Jimmy Carter, Address at the University of Notre Dame (1977)
Ronald Reagan, Address to the British Parliament (1982)
George W. Bush, ‘‘Second Inaugural Address’’ (2005)
Barack Obama, West Point Commencement Address (2014)
Rand Paul, a Conservative Realism Foreign Policy (2014)
Marco Rubio, Council on Foreign Relations Speech (2015)

Appendix: The Constitution of the United States
About the Editors
Praise for previous editions: Without question, the most comprehensive collection of political speeches and documents in one anthology..... (Previous Edition Praise)
Robert E. Denton Jr., Virginia Tech

Praise for previous editions: American Political Rhetoric takes one through the drama of American politics and clearly demonstrates that the art of politics is closely connected with the art of making an argument. And, as the readings demonstrate,there are rewards for making the right argument and profound consequences for making the wrong argument.... (Previous Edition Praise)
Brian Janiskee, Associate Professor of Political Science, California State University, San Bernardino, and fellow at the Claremont Institute

Praise for previous editions: American Political Rhetoric engages students in thoughtful reflection on the classic modernity and historical development of the American polity. Students appreciate reading the primary texts for themselves and many of them leave the course wanting to delve deeper into the writings of our greatest statesmen and jurists. The material in this book is essential preparation for upper level courses in American politics.... (Previous Edition Praise)
John Ray, Xavier University

FREE! The American Political Rhetoric website is a supplement to the APR reader. Bookmark it so that you will be aware when new political speeches, court cases, and other relevant readings are uploaded. http://www.americanpoliticalrhetoric.com/

Updates Include:

  • Speeches by Barack Obama, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul

  • Recent landmark Supreme Court decisions including Obergefell v. Hodges and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., edited for clarity and length with students in mind

  • Expanded chapters on race and gender, including selections on sexual orientation

  • Additional material on presidential powers and foreign policy including war powers, immigration, and signing statements.