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

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

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  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Jay Fliegelman
  • Publish Date: 1993-02-01


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This book sets the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution in general in the context of a revolution in rhetorical theory and practice that sought to discover a new language, a natural language equivalent to natural law that would permit, by its self-evidence, perfect understanding and the galvanising of public opinion. 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 - Declaring Independence offers, on the eve of the 250th anniversary of Jefferson's birth, the first full-length cultural contextualisation 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and enlarging the kinds of facts that are traditionally judged to be relevant to the understanding of a major historical document.

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