Angelina Grimke: Rhetoric, Identity, and the Radical Imagination

Michigan State University Press
  • United States History - 19th Century - General & Miscellaneous

Angelina Grimke: Rhetoric, Identity, and the Radical Imagination Overview

Abolitionist, women's rights activist, and social reformer, Angelina Grimké (1805-79) was among the first women in American history to seize the public stage in pursuit of radical social reform. "I will lift up my voice like a trumpet," she proclaimed, "and show this people their transgressions." And when she did lift her voice in public, on behalf of the public, she found that, in creating herself, she might transform the world. In the process, Grimké crossed the wires of race, gender, and power, and produced explosions that lit up the world of antebellum reform. Among the most remarkable features of Angelina Grimké's rhetorical career was her ability to stage public contests for the soul of America—bringing opposing ideas together to give them voice, depth, and range to create new and more compelling visions of social change.       Angelina Grimké: Rhetoric, Identity, and the Radical Imagination is the first full-length study to explore the rhetorical legacy of this most unusual advocate for human rights. Stephen Browne examines her epistolary and oratorical art and argues that rhetoric gave Grimké a means to fashion not only her message but her very identity as a moral force.

Angelina Grimke: Rhetoric, Identity, and the Radical Imagination Table Of Content

Introduction: Encountering Angelina Grimke 1
Ch. 1 Beginnings: Rhetoric and Identity in the Journal of Angelina Grimke 17
Ch. 2 Violence, Identity, and the Creation of Radical Community 35
Ch. 3 Real Pasts and Imagined Futures in the: Appeal to the Christian Women of the South 57
Ch. 4 "An Entirely New Contest": Grimke, Beecher, and the Language of Reform 83
Ch. 5 "To Open Our Mouths for the Dumb": Grimke, Weld, and the Debate over Women's Speech 111
Ch. 6 Violent Inventions: Witnessing Slavery in the Pennsylvania Hall Address 139
Epilogue 167
Notes 175
Bibliography 189
Index 197

Angelina Grimke: Rhetoric, Identity, and the Radical Imagination Editorial Reviews

Lori D. Ginzberg

Historians approach the field of rhetorical criticism nervously, but they will find reading this book well worth the encounter. Browne's analysis transforms our understanding of Angelina Grimke's purposeful engagement of the rhetoric of confrontation, her rhetorical use of violence in antislavery discourse, and her emergence as a witness to the moral truths of her time. Lori D. Ginzberg Associate Professor of History and Women's Studies The Pennsylvania State University.

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