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Author Darsey, James Francis, author

Title The prophetic tradition and radical rhetoric in America / James Darsey
Published New York : New York University Press, [1997]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xii, 279 pages)
Contents Radical rhetoric and American community : threnody for Sophrosyne -- Old Testament prophecy as radical ursprach -- Prophecy as sacred truth : self-evidence and righteousness in the American Revolution -- Prophecy as krisis : Wendell Phillips and the sin of slavery -- The prophet's call and his burden : the passion of Eugene V. Debs -- The word in darkness -- A vision of the apocalypse : Joe McCarthy's rhetoric of the fantastic -- Prophecy as poetry : the romantic vision of Robert Welch -- Secular argument and the language of commondity: gay liberation and merely civil rights -- The seraph and the snake
Summary This expansive volume traces the rhetoric of reform across American history, examining such pivotal periods as the American Revolution, slavery, McCarthyism, and today's gay liberation movement. At a time when social movements led by religious leaders, from Louis Farrakhan to Pat Buchanan, are playing a central role in American politics, James Darsey connects this radical tradition with its prophetic roots. Public discourse in the West is derived from the Greek principles of civility, diplomacy, compromise, and negotiation. On this model, radical speech is often taken to be a sympton of social disorder. Not so, contends Darsey, who argues that the rhetoric of reform in America represents the continuation of a tradition separate from the commonly accepted principles of the Greeks. Though the links have gone unrecognized, the American radical tradition stems not from Aristotle, he maintains, but from the prophets of the Hebrew Bible
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 211-267) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Political oratory -- Social aspects -- United States.
Prophecy -- Social aspects -- United States.
Radicalism -- United States.
Rhetoric -- Social aspects -- United States.
Social problems -- United States.
United States -- Social conditions -- 1980-
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0585239800 (electronic bk.)
0814720986 (electronic bk.)
9780585239804 (electronic bk.)
9780814720981 (electronic bk.)
(acid-free paper)
(acid-free paper)