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2??8Book Reviews465 them. She provides a great service by helping the rest ofus begin to understand the motivations and goals of the men and women whojoin the movement. Despite all of diis intriguing information, however, die book is ultimately frustrating . Schlatter's assertions are logical, supported by some evidence, and make sense. The problem is that she does not always use the evidence to its full potential. She has a habit ofgoing back and forth in time, ofmentioning individuals as if the reader recognizes their roles, and ofrelying too heavily on secondary sources. Most importandy, she raises questions which she does not fully address. She promises in the introduction that she will connect "masculinity" with the western ideal and that she will show how this played an essential role in die relationship between the West and the extremists. Although she mentions this briefly, she never fully develops that connection. Texas Slate University-San ManosMary C. Brennan LBJ's American Promise: The VotingRights Address. By Garth E. Pauley. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2007. Pp. 1 90. Illustration, notes, bibliography, index . ISBN 1-58544-574-6. $29.95, cloth; ISBN 1-58544-581-9. $16.95, paper.) According to Garth Pauley, Lyndon Johnson's Voting Rights Address, commonly referred to as the "We Shall Overcome" speech, has been heralded by many scholars as one ofthe great speeches ofthe twentieth century. In die speech, Pauley explains, LBJ "made the principle of equal voting rights meaningful and compelling through a public vocabulary of shared interests, motives, and aspirations in order to secure passage of the" voting rights act (p. 18). Although Johnson had been planning and working on a voting rights bill for at least six months, Pauley contends that the president used the public's outraged reaction to Alabama State Troopers' violent assault on peaceful civil rights demonstrators in Selma to build support for the bill. The overwhelmingly positive response toJohnson's address as well as the relatively quick passage of the Voting Rights Act indicated that his message had been received by both the American public and congress. Pauley is at his best when he is analyzing the speech. His explanations ofword usage and phrasing, of mythic connections and images, and of the problem-causesolution formula open the eyes of readers ignorant of rhetorical theory to the deeper meanings ofthe text. By detailing the importance ofthe symbols in the text, Pauley argues that the speech appealed to the American public's subconscious civic values. In other words, the images turned the speech into something more dian a partisan call for legislative support. Rather, Pauley contends, Johnson's address was a timeless challenge for Americans to rededicate themselves to their essential beliefs about their country. Pauley also made a good effort to try to set the speech into its larger context. He has a chapter chronicling the history of disfranchisement and the complexity of the constitutional issues involved. Recognizing the important part the Selma demonstrations played in preparing the general public to absorb Johnson's message about the need for voting rights legislation, Pauley tells the story of the Selma campaign in almost a day-by-day fashion. He does not overlook the political situation 466Southwestern Historical QuarterlyApril and so includes a chapter explaining the background from the perspective of the Johnson administration. Utilizing extensive research in the LBJ Presidential Library files, Pauley also traces the authorship of the text. He revises the administration's contention diat LBJ played a major role in shaping the speech by convincingly arguing that Richard Goodwin and odier aides crafted die speech widiout presidential guidance. There are a few problems widi die book, however. Pauley worked so hard proving that LBJ had litde to do with the actual writing of die speech that it becomes problematic in a later chapter when he constandy refers to LBJ as the audior. Perhaps this is a common technique in rhetorical analysis, but I found it confusing and contradictory. More importandy, die main argument ofthe book seems vague. Was his point to reiterate die significance ofthe speech? Tb prove it was a great speech? To put it into its broader context? Ifthe latter, dien to what end? To a...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 465-466
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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