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Selected Writings of John Witherspoon

Selected Writings of John Witherspoon

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Edited by Thomas P. Miller


E-book (Other formats: Paperback)
6.125 x 9.25

Landmarks in Rhetoric and Public Address


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About the Book

Considered the first significant teacher of rhetoric in America, John Witherspoon also introduced Scottish moral philosophy to this country and as president of Princeton University reformed the curriculum to give emphasis to both studies. He was an active pamphleteer on religious and political issues and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Editor Thomas P. Miller argues that Witherspoon’s career exemplifies the Ciceronian ideal, and the eight selections Miller presents from the 1802 American edition of the Works corroborate that claim. This paperback edition includes a new preface by the editor that surveys the scholarship published on Witherspoon over the past twenty-five years and discusses how Miller’s own perspective on Witherspoon has changed during that time.


Thomas P. Miller, a professor of English and the vice provost for faculty affairs at the University of Arizona, is the author of several books, including The Formation of College English: Rhetoric and Belles Lettres in the British Cultural Provinces, a winner of the Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize.


"Miller provides a superb . . . introductory essay treating Witherspoon's works as well as the intellectual, social, and political contexts in which Witherspoon was educated, wrote his essays and sermons, taught, and advocated political freedom and American independence. Miller richly details numerous subjects important to understanding Witherspoon's writings."--Lloyd F. Bitzer in Southern Communication Journal

"In The Selected Writings of John Witherspoon, Thomas Miller supplies an extensive demonstration of Witherspoon's writing, widening thereby the potential scope of what, until recently, has been thin Witherspoon scholarship." --Paul Bator in Rhetoric Review