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By R. Jarrod Atchison

A struggle of Words analyzes Jefferson Davis’s public discourse, arguing that all through his time as president of the Confederacy, Davis settled for temporary rhetorical successes on the fee of making extra substantive and significant messages for himself and his constituents.

Numerous biographies of Jefferson Davis were penned; although, before, there have been no great research of his public discourse as president of the Confederacy. R. Jarrod Atchison’s A conflict of Words makes use of ideas from rhetorical conception and public tackle to aid solution a query that has intrigued students from various disciplines because the cave in of the Confederacy: what position, if any, did Davis play within the cave in of accomplice nationalism?


Most discussions of Davis and nationalism concentrate on the army results of his arguable wartime judgements. A warfare of Words focuses much less on army results and argues as an alternative that, within the context of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis’s rhetorical management must have been accountable for articulating a imaginative and prescient for the nation—including the center tenets of its identification, the values the country may still carry pricey, the rules it's going to by no means compromise, and the targets it's going to set for its destiny. unquestionably, Davis possessed the abilities essential to make a persuasive public argument. it really is accurately simply because Davis’s oratory talents have been so strong that there's room to pass judgement on how he used them. in brief, being a very good orator isn't synonymous with profitable rhetorical leadership.


Atchison posits that Davis’s preliminary successes limited his rhetorical strategies later within the conflict. A conflict of Words concludes that, after all, Davis’s rhetorical management was once a failure simply because he used to be not able to articulate a coherent accomplice id in gentle of the sacrifices continued by means of the population with the intention to maintain the conflict effort.

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