Public Speech and the Culture of Public Life in the Age of Gladstone

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Columbia University Press, 2001 - History - 382 pages
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By the last decades of the nineteenth century, more people were making more speeches to greater numbers in a wider variety of venues than at any previous time. This book argues that a recognizably modern public life was created in Victorian Britain largely through the instrumentality of public speech. Shedding new light on the careers of many of the most important figures of the Victorian era and beyond, including Gladstone, Disraeli, Sir Robert Peel, John Bright, Joseph Chamberlain, Winston Churchill, Lloyd George, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and Canon Liddon, the book traces the ways in which oratory came to occupy a central position in the conception and practice of Victorian public life. Not a study of rhetoric or a celebration of great oratory, the book stresses the social developments that led to the production and consumption of these speeches.

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About the author (2001)

Edward D. berkowitz is professor of history and public policy and public administration at George Washington University. He is the author of eight books and the editor of three collections. During the seventies he served as a staff member of the President's Commission for a National Agenda, helping President Carter plan for a second term that never came to be.

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