Stephen Lucas opens Rhetoric, Independence, and Nationhood, 1760–1800 by pointing out that few periods of American history have been studied more carefully by historians than the late eighteenth century. He suggests, however, that rhetorical studies has had considerably less to say about the period. This volume, a sweeping and cross-disciplinary effort comprising eleven essays, attempts to provide a rhetorical perspective of the period and is sure to be of interest to those interested in public address, citizenship and deliberation, and democratic political theory. Recent historical scholarship on early American history has concentrated primarily on revisionist perspectives and ideological rather than textual criticism, often examining long-overlooked aspects of the era’s rhetorical landscape such as race, class, gender, and material culture. In contrast, this volume contributes by doing something traditional yet also seemingly new: it unapologetically returns to traditional modes of textual analysis and to major historical figures, documents, events, and controversies....

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