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Woodrow Wilson and the Lost World of the Oratorical Statesman
Presidential Rhetoric Series

Robert Alexander Kraig

“I wish there were some great orator who would go about and make men drunk with this spirit of self-sacrifice . . . whose tongue might every day carry abroad the gold accents of that creative age. . . .”

These rousing words of academician Woodrow Wilson foreshadowed the role oratory would play in his own political career—a career that saw him triumph on his domestic agenda largely through his inspirational message but fail in his most cherished dream, the League of Nations, when words were not enough.

Robert Kraig’s path-breaking study of Wilson’s political philosophy of the oratorical statesman traces the classical influences on him as a young man, the development of his full- blown scholarly philosophy of oratory, and his use of rhetoric as governor of New Jersey and president of the United States.

In the process, Kraig reopens the question of how effective Wilson’s effort for international cooperation might have been had illness not struck him down.

Prologue: The Ends of Oratory
Chapter 1: The Education of the Orator
Chapter 2: Literary Politician
Chapter 3: The Oratorical Revival and the Emergence of Woodrow Wilson
Chapter 4: The Creation of the Oratorical President
Chatper 5: The Leader and the Cause: The Western Tour of 1919


Order this book from Texas A&M University Press


ROBERT ALEXANDER KRAIG is presently political director of the Service Employees International Union–Wisconsin State Council. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


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