This first systematic critique on the rhetoric of 21 presidents shows how political constraints shaped rhetoric and how oratory shaped politics. An introduction places American public address in the context of classical rhetorical practices and theory and sets the stage for the bio-critical essays about presidents ranging from Washington to Clinton. Experts analyze the style and use of language, important speeches and their impact, and their ethical ramifications. Each essay on a president also keys major speeches to authoritative texts and offers a chronology and bibliography of primary and secondary sources. For students, teachers, and professionals in American public address, political communication, and the presidency.