In his televised and widely watched speech to the nation on November 3, 1969, Pres. Richard M. Nixon introduced a phrase-- silent majority --and a policy--Vietnamization of the war effort--that echo down to the present day. Nixon's appearance on this night framed the terms in which much of the subsequent civil conflict and military strategy would be understood. Rhetorical scholar Karlyn Kohrs Campbell analyzes this critically important speech in light of the historical context and its centrality to three other speeches-two earlier and one the following spring, when the anuncement of the US invasion of Cambodia brought a far different response. She also sheds light on a discourse that generated much heat in a nation already seriously divided in its support of the war in Vietnam. The first single volume dedicated to this speech, this addition to the distinguished Library of Presidential Rhetoric provides the speech text, a summary of its context, its rhetorical elements, and the disciplinary analyses that have developed.
Karlyn Kohrs Campbell is the author of eight books and many scholarly articles. She has served as the editor of the Quarterly Journal of Speech and has received multiple awards from national communication organizations. She is a professor of communication at the University of Minnesota, USA.