This unique collection presents the parting words of the presidents of the United States, from Washington to Clinton. A hybrid of literary masterpiece and historical document, each speech reveals its orator's ideals for the government of our nation. Washington warns against entangling alliances; Eisenhower voices his fears of the military-industrial complex; Reagan leaves office with an emotional call for the remembrance of American history in service of informed patriotism. Each leader imparts his final message in the form of a political or moral lesson-or, in some cases, prophecy. Read consecutively from president to president, the messages form a wonderfully American conversation. This conversation invokes ordered liberty, self-government under the rule of law, and the nation's special destiny in human history, and it transcends partisan politics.The volume is prefaced by a detailed introduction discussing the importance of the valedictory address and the power of presidential rhetoric, and each speech is preceded by a brief contextualizing statement.
In the last official words of each president, readers will find cautions, hopes, and suggestions relevant for today's world and future generations. American Presidents is an invaluable reference, especially for scholars of the presidency, but also for anyone interested in the history, politics, and culture of the United States.
Gleaves Whitney is Chief Speech Writer for John Engler, Governor of Michigan, and is a Senior Fellow of the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal. He did his graduate studies in History from the University of Michigan and has taught at the University of Michigan and Colorado State University.
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 George Washington Farewell Address and 8th Annual Message Chapter 3 John Adams 4th Annual Message Chapter 4 Thomas Jefferson 8th Annual Message Chapter 5 James Madison 8th Annual Message Chapter 6 James Monroe 8th Annual Message Chapter 7 John Quincy Adams 4th Annual Message Chapter 8 Andrew JacksonFarewell Address (Final Testament) and 8th Annual Message Chapter 9 Martin Van Buren 4th Annual Message Chapter 10 John Tyler 4th Annual Message Chapter 11 James Polk 4th Annual Message Chapter 12 Millard Fillmore 3rd Annual Message Chapter 13 Franklin Pierce 4th Annual Message Chapter 14 James Buchanan 4th Annual Message Chapter 15 Abraham Lincoln Farewell Address Chapter 16 Andrew JohnsonFarewell Address and 4th Annual Message Chapter 17 Ulysses S. Grant 8th Annual Message Chapter 18 Rutherford B. Hayes 4th Annual Message Chapter 19 Chester Arthur 4th Annual Message Chapter 20 Grover Cleveland 4th Annual Message Chapter 21 Benjamin Harrison 4th Annual Message Chapter 22 Grover Cleveland 4th Annual Message Chapter 23 Theodore Roosevelt 8th Annual Message Chapter 24 William Howard Taft 4th Annual Message Chapter 25 Woodrow Wilson 8th Annual Message Chapter 26 Calvin Coolidge 6th Annual Message Chapter 27 Herbert Hoover 4th Annual Message Chapter 28 Harry S. Truman Farewell Address and 8th State of the Union Address Chapter 29 Dwight D. Eisenhower Farewell Address and 9th State of the Union Address Chapter 30 Lyndon B. JohnsonRenunciation Speech and 6th State of the Union Address Chapter 31 Richard NixonResignation Speech and Farewell Speech to the White House Staff Chapter 32 Gerald R. Ford 3rd State of the Union Address Chapter 33 Jimmy CarterFarewell Address and 4th State of the Union Address Chapter 34 Ronald Reagan Farewell Address Chapter 35 George H. W. Bush Address at West Point Chapter 36 William Jefferson Clinton Farewell Address