The presidency’s first impression: Stephen Howard Browne on the inauguration of George Washington

Unprecedential

Jan 7 2021 • 40 mins

Aristotle defines rhetoric as the faculty for discovering the available means of persuasion in any given case. When George Washington was elected to be our first president, he used rhetoric not just in his inaugural address, but throughout the journey from his Mount Vernon home to New York's Federal Hall. He carefully selected his words and actions—even his clothes—to exemplify the virtues of our new Constitution and the statesmanship needed to sustain it.

Stephen Howard Browne, of Pennsylvania State University describes this in a terrific new book, The First Inauguration: George Washington and the Invention of the Republic.He joins Adam on today’s episode of Unprecedential to discuss it.

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