Mayor Hubert Humphrey's "Sunshine of Human Rights"address, delivered to the 1948 Democratic Convention, is universally acknowledged to be a great speech. Historians and biographers credit it as the major reason why the party adopted a strong civil rights plank and committed itself to the struggle from that point forward. Yet rhetorical critics have generally ignored the speech. In this essay, I argue the rhetorical force of the address is best explained through the concept of copia, or an abundant style. Humphrey's rhetorical extravagance, in turn, suggests that critics ought to develop a new appreciation for this ancient rhetorical concept.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Sociology and Political Science
- Linguistics and Language