Title

John F. Kennedy's Civil Rights Discourse: The Evolution from “Principled Bystander” to Public Advocate

Document Type

Article

Language

eng

Format of Original

20 p.; 26 cm

Publication Date

1989

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Source Publication

Communication Monographs

Source ISSN

0363-7751

Original Item ID

doi: 10.1080/03637758909390259; Shelves: PN 4077 .S6 1989 v. 56, Memorial Periodicals

Abstract

This essay argues that President John F. Kennedy's civil rights discourse evidences an important evolutionary pattern marking a transition from legal argument to moral argument, and highlights two speeches as exemplars of this change. Three rhetorical constraints are identified which help account for and explain this shift in the president's public rhetoric. Finally, we offer implications of this essay for the study of contemporary presidential discourse during times of domestic crisis.

Comments

Communication Monographs, Vol. 56, No. 3 (1989): 179-198. DOI.