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This book chronicles American history through the stories of the individuals and movements that dreamed of a better future and then took action to make that dream a reality, arguing that the much heralded American spirit was not born as a gift of our founding, but was forged through our adversity and triumphs. From colonial revolutionaries to abolitionists, labor organizers to suffragists, progressives to civil rights activists, it was individuals and movements who dared to go against the American majority that both guarded and created our best national self.
Exploring the persuasive discourse of ordinary girls at the beginning of the twentieth century In Praising Girls, Henrietta Rix Wood explores how ordinary schoolgirls engaged in extraordinary rhetorical activities during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the United States. Focusing on high school girls' public writing, Wood analyzes newspaper editorials and articles, creative writing projects, yearbook entries, and literary magazines, revealing how young women employed epideictic rhetoric--traditionally used to praise and blame in ceremonial situations--to define their individual and collective identities. Many girls, Wood argues, intervened rhetorically in national and international discourses on class, race, education, immigration, racism, and imperialism, confronting the gender politics that denigrated young women and often deprived them of positions of authority. Although the site of this study is one midwestern locale, Kansas City, Missouri, it reflects the diverse rhetorical experiences of girls in cities across the United States at the beginning of the last century. Wood's analysis reveals a contemporary concept of epideictic rhetoric that accounts for issues of gender, race, class, and age.
Contemporary writers and historians examine specific events that have shaped American history, from the Boston Tea Party to the final days of the first Bush administration.
Looks at the rivalry between African American Brooklyn Dodgers teammates Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella, whose attitudes toward integration and race relations differed so much that they became estranged for nearly ten years.