Purpose and Persuasion
The Power of Rhetoric in American Political History
In this series of lectures, Professor Ken Masugi of Johns Hopkins University examines the importance of rhetoric in American politics. Political speeches have, since the nation's inception, defined and shaped American politics. Professor Masugi demonstrates how the greatest American political speeches take their bearings from the Declaration of Independence and the Federalist Papers. As the lectures proceed, Professor Masugi investigates the rhetoric of America's most revered statesman, Abraham Lincoln, before exploring the works of other transformational U.S. presidents, including Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama.