This reference is the only book-length work to analyze all of the major speeches of one of the most significant politicians of the first part of the twentieth century, Robert La Follette, Sr. His speeches offer historic snapshots into the Progressive era and of the thinking of an outstanding goverr of Wisconsin, U.S. senator, and social agitator. This rhetorical biography analyzes key speeches and provides texts demonstrating how Senator La Follette used melodramatic scenarios to enlist citizens in his reform crusade against the gravest danger that he saw in this country. This reference also provides texts of his most important speeches, a chrology of his major orations, and a lengthy bibliography. This unique volume is designed for students and specialists in political communication, rhetorical criticism, and American studies. This systematical analysis of Senator La Follette's public speeches is a short and highly readable history of the Progressive era, World War I and its aftermath, and the early 1920s from the perspective of a leading political figure of the times. The analysis of La Follette's rhetorical strategy illuminates his use of confrontational tactics, such as the filibuster in Congress to educate the voter and to plead for reforms that he considered essential. This reference provides the texts of five seminal orations and the most complete bibliography of speeches available to date.
CARL R. BURGCHARDT is Associate Professor in the Department of Speech Communication at Colorado State University. He has written on the history and criticism of American public address.