Widely celebrated in its own time, Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address commands the regard of Americans from across the political spectrum. Delivered as the young nation found itself embroiled in bitter partisan struggles, the speech has been hailed as the Sermon on the Mount of good government.
Curiously, this masterpiece—the full text of which is reproduced in this volume—has never received sustained analysis. Here, Stephen Howard Browne describes its origins, composition, meaning, and delivery.
His wellcrafted argument and accessible prose offer a model of analysis for rhetorical scholars and students and an added dimension to the history of the early republic and the understanding of American political thought.