A War of Words: The Rhetorical Leadership of Jefferson Davis by R. Jarrod Atchison

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By R. Jarrod Atchison

A battle of Words analyzes Jefferson Davis’s public discourse, arguing that all through his time as president of the Confederacy, Davis settled for temporary rhetorical successes on the price of making extra sizeable and significant messages for himself and his constituents.

Numerous biographies of Jefferson Davis were penned; in spite of the fact that, earlier, there were no major research of his public discourse as president of the Confederacy. R. Jarrod Atchison’s A warfare of Words makes use of strategies from rhetorical concept and public tackle to assist resolution a question that has intrigued students from a number of disciplines because the cave in of the Confederacy: what position, if any, did Davis play within the cave in of accomplice nationalism?


Most discussions of Davis and nationalism specialize in the army results of his debatable wartime judgements. A battle of Words focuses much less on army results and argues as an alternative that, within the context of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis’s rhetorical management must have been accountable for articulating a imaginative and prescient for the nation—including the middle tenets of its id, the values the state may still carry pricey, the rules it may by no means compromise, and the ambitions it's going to set for its destiny. certainly, Davis possessed the talents essential to make a persuasive public argument. it's accurately simply because Davis’s oratory abilities have been so strong that there's room to pass judgement on how he used them. in brief, being an excellent orator isn't really synonymous with profitable rhetorical leadership.


Atchison posits that Davis’s preliminary successes restricted his rhetorical strategies later within the warfare. A struggle of Words concludes that, finally, Davis’s rhetorical management used to be a failure simply because he used to be not able to articulate a coherent accomplice identification in mild of the sacrifices continued via the population as a way to maintain the struggle effort.

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