"A time of shame and sorrow": Robert F. Kennedy and the American jeremiad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Robert F. Kennedy’s response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. offers the opportunity to examine the rhetorical function of the modern American jeremiad. This essay argues that, while the jeremiad works well in the epideictic task of restoring social harmony in a time of crisis, it also operates as a rhetoric of social control. It precludes a close examination of the system that may well have created the crisis. Kennedy’s rhetoric was a skillful reaction to his immediate rhetorical and political obstacles, but it illustrates the generic limitations of the American jeremiad as a vehicle for social criticism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-414
Number of pages14
JournalQuarterly Journal of Speech
Volume76
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1990
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

shame
rhetoric
social criticism
social control
examination
time
Shame
Jeremiad
Rhetoric
Sorrow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication

Cite this

"A time of shame and sorrow" : Robert F. Kennedy and the American jeremiad. / Murphy, John M.

In: Quarterly Journal of Speech, Vol. 76, No. 4, 11.1990, p. 401-414.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{b16483cb73d645d3ad244f685fc0e480,
title = "{"}A time of shame and sorrow{"}: Robert F. Kennedy and the American jeremiad",
abstract = "Robert F. Kennedy’s response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. offers the opportunity to examine the rhetorical function of the modern American jeremiad. This essay argues that, while the jeremiad works well in the epideictic task of restoring social harmony in a time of crisis, it also operates as a rhetoric of social control. It precludes a close examination of the system that may well have created the crisis. Kennedy’s rhetoric was a skillful reaction to his immediate rhetorical and political obstacles, but it illustrates the generic limitations of the American jeremiad as a vehicle for social criticism.",
author = "Murphy, {John M}",
year = "1990",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1080/00335639009383933",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "76",
pages = "401--414",
journal = "Quarterly Journal of Speech",
issn = "0033-5630",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - "A time of shame and sorrow"

T2 - Robert F. Kennedy and the American jeremiad

AU - Murphy, John M

PY - 1990/11

Y1 - 1990/11

N2 - Robert F. Kennedy’s response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. offers the opportunity to examine the rhetorical function of the modern American jeremiad. This essay argues that, while the jeremiad works well in the epideictic task of restoring social harmony in a time of crisis, it also operates as a rhetoric of social control. It precludes a close examination of the system that may well have created the crisis. Kennedy’s rhetoric was a skillful reaction to his immediate rhetorical and political obstacles, but it illustrates the generic limitations of the American jeremiad as a vehicle for social criticism.

AB - Robert F. Kennedy’s response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. offers the opportunity to examine the rhetorical function of the modern American jeremiad. This essay argues that, while the jeremiad works well in the epideictic task of restoring social harmony in a time of crisis, it also operates as a rhetoric of social control. It precludes a close examination of the system that may well have created the crisis. Kennedy’s rhetoric was a skillful reaction to his immediate rhetorical and political obstacles, but it illustrates the generic limitations of the American jeremiad as a vehicle for social criticism.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0005383186&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0005383186&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/00335639009383933

DO - 10.1080/00335639009383933

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0005383186

VL - 76

SP - 401

EP - 414

JO - Quarterly Journal of Speech

JF - Quarterly Journal of Speech

SN - 0033-5630

IS - 4

ER -