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Other titles in the Rhetoric, Culture, and Social Critique series:

Rhetoric and the Republic: Politics, Civic Discourse and Education in Early America (Albma Rhetoric Cult & Soc Crit)

Rhetoric and the Republic: Politics, Civic Discourse and Education in Early America (Albma Rhetoric Cult & Soc Crit) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Casts a revealing light on modern cultural conflicts through the lens of rhetorical education.

Contemporary efforts to revitalize the civic mission of higher education in America have revived an age-old republican tradition of teaching students to be responsible citizens, particularly through the study of rhetoric, composition, and oratory. This book examines the political, cultural, economic, and religious agendas that drove the various—and often conflicting—curricula and contrasting visions of what good citizenship entails. Mark Garrett Longaker argues that higher education more than 200 years ago allowed actors with differing political and economic interests to wrestle over the fate of American citizenship. Then, as today, there was widespread agreement that civic training was essential in higher education, but there were also sharp differences in the various visions of what proper republic citizenship entailed and how to prepare for it.

Longaker studies in detail the specific trends in rhetorical education offered at various early institutions—such as Yale, Columbia, Pennsylvania, and William and Mary—with analyses of student lecture notes, classroom activities, disputation exercises, reading lists, lecture outlines, and literary society records. These documents reveal an extraordinary range of economic and philosophical interests and allegiances—agrarian, commercial, spiritual, communal, and belletristic—specific to each institution. The findings challenge and complicate a widely held belief that early-American civic education occurred in a halcyon era of united democratic republicanism. Recognition that there are multiple ways to practice democratic citizenship and to enact democratic discourse, historically as well as today, best serves the goal of civic education, Longaker argues.

Rhetoric and the Republic illuminates an important historical moment in the history of American education and dramatically highlights rhetorical education as a key site in the construction of democracy.

Book News Annotation:

Based within the theoretical methods of Gramsci, this study examines the relationship of politics to pedagogy through a close examination of the rhetoric used in debates, orations, student presentations, and other events at Yale, William and Mary, Columbia U., and other American universities in the 18th century. The result is a nuanced discussion of the sources of political discourse in the U.S. Longaker teaches rhetoric and writing at the U. of Texas at Austin. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


Casts a revealing light on modern cultural conflicts through the lens of rhetorical education.

About the Author

Mark Garrett Longaker is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin. His articles, book reviews, and essays have appeared in Rhetorica, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, Kenneth Burke Journal, Written Communication, New England Quarterly, and College English.


Table of Contents

List of Tables vii

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Now that We’re Civic xi

Introduction / Rhetorical Education: An Articulated Site of Hegemony / Key Sites of Articulation: Rhetorical Publicity and Rhetorical Pedagogy / Conclusion

1. One Republic, Many Republicanisms: Early American Political Discourse and Publicity 1

Introduction / Republican Publicity and Political Discourse: The Rhetorical Perimeters of Republicanism / Republicanism and Laissez-Faire Capitalism: Political Discourse, Publicity, and Economics / Hegemony and Republican Rhetorical Strategy / Conclusion

2. One Republic, Many Paideiai: Political Discourse, Publicity, and Education in Early America 36

Introduction / Politics and Paideia before Republicanism / The King’s College Controversy: Republican Education Contested / A Federal English: Rhetorical Paideia for Federalist Interests / Politics, Pedagogy, and Economics / Benjamin Franklin’s Bourgeois Republican Paideia / John Quincy Adams’s Bourgeois Republican Paideia and the Era of Good Feelings / The Edges of Republican Rhetorical Paideiai / Conclusion

3. Yale 1701–1817 79

Introduction / Connecticut Political Economy, 1700–40 / The Old Order: Rhetoric at Yale before 1740 / Democratic Populism and Authoritarian Backlash: Thomas Clap’s Legacy, 1740–66/ Connecticut Political Economy after1760 / Rhetorical Education at Yale, 1766–77 / Yale during and after the Revolution: Rhetoric under Ezra Stiles / Timothy Dwight Returns to Yale: Belletrism, Puritanism, and Federalism / Conclusion

4. King’s College/Columbia and the College of Philadelphia/University of Pennsylvania, 1754–1800 135

Introduction / King’s College, 1754–77 / The College of Philadelphia, 1755–79 / Columbia University, 1787–1800 / The University of Pennsylvania, 1795–1813 / Conclusion

5. The College of New Jersey, 1746–1822 177

Introduction / Presbyterianism and the New Jersey Bourgeoisie / John Witherspoon’s Republican Rhetorical Education / Witherspoon’s Bourgeois Liberal Republican Paideia / Witherspoon’s Ascriptive, Liberal, Republican Paideia / Witherspoon’s Republican Rhetorical Legacy / Conclusion

Conclusion: We Are All Republicans 206

Introduction / Liberalism and the Present Hegemony / The Republican Challenge to Liberal Hegemony

Notes 219

Works Cited 239

Index 263

Product Details

Politics, Civic Discourse, and Education in Early America
University Alabama Press
Lucaites, John Louis
Longaker, Mark Garrett
English language
Anthropology - Cultural
United States History.
English language -- Rhetoric.
Edition Description:
1st Edition
Albma Rhetoric Cult & Soc Crit
Publication Date:
11 tables
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » US History » Social and Economic History
Reference » Rhetoric

Rhetoric and the Republic: Politics, Civic Discourse and Education in Early America (Albma Rhetoric Cult & Soc Crit)
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Product details 288 pages University Alabama Press - English 9780817315474 Reviews:
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Casts a revealing light on modern cultural conflicts through the lens of rhetorical education.
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