Declaring Independence: Jefferson, Natural Language & the Culture of Performance

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Stanford University Press, 1993 - Biography & Autobiography - 268 pages
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"By demonstrating the intimate connections between the history of politics and the history of rhetoric and by tracing the larger issues of the Declaration to and through a wide array of cultural expressions - popular fiction, Windsor chairs, fast-day proclamations, fugues, ice-skating, trompe l'oeil wax sculptures, acting textbooks, and the accents with which Jefferson marked his reading copy of the Declaration - Declaring Independence offers, on the 250th anniversary of Jefferson's birth, the first full-length cultural contextualization of America's founding document, as well as an interdisciplinary brief for reconsidering and enlarging the kinds of "facts" that are traditionally judged to be relevant to the understanding of a major historical document. It also offers a wide-ranging interdisciplinary analysis of how a new model for the public presentation and the spectatorial consumption of private life became a defining element of American culture."--BOOK JACKET.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Homer Fugues and Chairs 63 I Natural Theatricality
79
Stage Fright 707 Private Lives and Public Scrutiny
120
I The Oratorical Ideal Racial Politics
189
The Declaration
204
I Works Cited
255
Copyright

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Common Sense
Thomas Paine
Limited preview - 2004
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