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 eighth 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 eighth edition includes new selections of recent Supreme Court decisions, including the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden, foreign policy, and expanded coverage of individual rights and privileges, including freedom of speech and voting rights.
The book is now more useful than ever for students and teachers thanks to a supplementary website available at americanpoliticalrhetoric.com.
Peter Augustine Lawler was 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.
David Ramsey is associate professor of political science at the University of West Florida, where he teaches constitutional law and political philosophy.
1. Founding Principles
3. Congress and the President
5. Parties and Elections
6. Constitutional Preservation and Political Change
7. Individual Rights and Privileges
8. Foreign Policy
Appendix: The Constitution of the United States
About the Editors
American Political Rhetoric provides students the means to pursue a political wisdom which is essential for free citizens in a democratic-republic. Political wisdom, as opposed to mere facts, requires depth of study as well as breadth, and that depth is to be found in the investigation of fundamental and (often opposing) arguments. Triumphant arguments may be confronted anew when circumstances call them into question once again, and losing arguments may again be resurrected, showing that ideas are more powerful and enduring than events. The 8th edition retains the essential arguments surrounding the founding and development of American democracy, while bringing up to date the critical political disputes of our own time.