American Rhetorical Excellence

101 Public Addresses That Shaped the Nation’s History and Culture

by Perry C. Cotham



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 3/27/2017

Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 504
ISBN : 9781480844551
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 7.5x9.25
Page Count : 504
ISBN : 9781480844544

About the Book

Public addresses make a difference—a huge difference! Whether we think of public addresses as orations, as speeches, or as persuasive written documents, so many of these public addresses are intricately linked to the kind of nation and society we experience in the United States in the early twenty-first century.

American Rhetorical Excellence is the most complete and up-to-date single volume on American rhetoric and oratory. In a readable and interesting style, Dr. Cotham explains what makes a speech great and enduring, and he dares to list and rank the top ten public addresses in American history. Altogether, 101 famous public addresses are discussed in brief essays, and Dr. Cotham offers insights into both the context and practical application of these important addresses. A wide range of other topics are discussed, including American political speaking, presidential debating, campaign speaking, famous pieces of written rhetoric, and American demagoguery.

Although choosing from the veritable pantheon of American speakers and speeches is a difficult and even contentious challenge, American Rhetorical Excellence will equally challenge students of history, political science, and communication to think deeply about the fascinating ways in which American rhetoric has shaped the politics, culture, religion, and reformation of the United States.

About the Author

Perry C. Cotham is Professor and Senior Lecturer in Communication Studies at Middle Tennessee State University. He earned both the M. A. and Ph. D. in Speech Communication, with a minor in U. S. History, from Detroit’s Wayne State University. His doctoral dissertation focused on the rhetoric of the New Deal and World War II era.
Dr. Cotham has completed post-doctoral studies in religion at Vanderbilt University and in history, political science, and psychology at Middle Tennessee State. He has served as both full-time and adjunct professor in rhetoric and public address, history and political science, and philosophy and ethics at several colleges and universities, especially in the Nashville area: Lipscomb, Belmont, Nashville State, Tennessee State, and MTSU.
Cotham has written some twenty published books and many articles in the fields of history and political science, worldviews and religion, philosophy and ethics, and rhetoric and public address. His study of the Tennessee labor movement won the prestigious 1995 “Best Book” award from the Tennessee Historical Society and Tennessee Library Association. His two most recent books in the field of public speaking are: From Pilgrim Pulpit to the Electronic Era: The Varieties of American Religious Communication (Westbow Press, 2014) and In Search of Rhetorical Excellence (BlueDoor Publishing, 2015).
Cotham and wife, Glenda, enjoy three children and a number of grandchildren. He has an avid interest in all kinds of collegiate and professional sports and his hobbies include hiking and tennis.