Tippecanoe and Tyler Too : Famous Slogans and Catchphrases in American History

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-11-15
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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"By necessity, by proclivity, by delight," Ralph Waldo Emerson said in 1876, "we all quote." But often the phrases that fall most readily from our collective lipslike "fire when ready," "speak softly and carry a big stick," or "nice guys finish last"are those whose origins and true meanings we have ceased to consider. Restoring three-dimensionality to more than fifty of these American sayings,Tippecanoe and Tyler Tooturns cliches back into history by telling the life stories of the words that have served as our most powerful battle cries, rallying points, laments, and inspirations. In individual entries on slogans and catchphrases from the early seventeenth to the late twentieth century, Jan Van Meter reveals that each one is a living, malleable entity that has profoundly shaped and continues to influence our public culture. From John Winthrop's "We shall be as a city upon a hill" and the 1840 Log Cabin Campaign's "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" to Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" and Ronald Reagan's "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," each of Van Meter's selections emerges as a memory device for a larger political or cultural story. So the next time we hear or see one of these verbal symbols used to sell a product, illustrate a point, make a joke, reshape a current cause, or resuscitate a forgotten ideal, we will finally be equipped to understand its broader role as a key source of the values we continue to share and fight about. Taken together in Van Meter's able hands, these famous slogans and catchphrases give voice to our common history even as we argue about where it should lead us.

Author Biography

Jan R. Van Meter is a former public relations executive, CIA intelligence analyst, English professor, and speechwriter.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
We Shall Be as a City upon a Hill (1630)p. 11
No Taxation Without Representation (1763)p. 16
Don't Fire Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes (1775)p. 20
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death (1775)p. 25
We Must All Hang Together, or Most Assuredly We Shall All Hang Separately (1776)p. 30
I Only Regret That I Have But One Life to Lose for My Country (1776)p. 37
These Are the Times That Try Men's Souls (1776)p. 41
Millions for Defense, but Not a Cent for Tribute (1798)p. 44
First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen (1799)p. 49
Remember the Alamo (1836)p. 57
I'd Rather Be Right Than Be President (1839)p. 63
Tippecanoe and Tyler Too (1840)p. 71
Fifty-four Forty or Fight! (1844)p. 76
Go West, Young Man (1851)p. 81
A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand (1858)p. 88
Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead (1864)p. 92
With Malice toward None, with Charity for All (1865)p. 98
War Is Hell (1880)p. 103
Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor (1883)p. 109
If Nominated I Will Not Run; If Elected I Will Not Serve (1884)p. 114
You Shall Not Crucify Mankind upon a Cross of Gold (1896)p. 118
Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1897)p. 123
Remember the Maine! (1898)p. 127
Fire When Ready, Gridley (1898)p. 132
Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick (1901)p. 137
Hit 'Em Where They Ain't (1902)p. 143
There's Honest Graft and There's Dishonest Graft (1903)p. 147
We Stand at Armageddon, and We Battle for the Lord (1912)p. 152
He Kept Us Out of War (1916)p. 158
Make the World Safe for Democracy (1917)p. 158
LaFayette, We Are Here (1917)p. 165
Say It Ain't So, Joe (1919)p. 171
The Business of America Is Business (1925)p. 177
Prosperity Is Just around the Corner (1930)p. 182
The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself (1933)p. 182
Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men? (1936)p. 188
Frankly, My Dear, I Don't Give a Damn (1939)p. 192
Tomorrow Is Another Day (1939)p. 192
Wait Till Next Year (1941)p. 197
Kilroy was Here (1942)p. 204
I Shall Return (1942)p. 208
Nuts! (1944)p. 213
The Buck Stops Here (1945)p. 217
Give 'Em Hell, Harry! (1948)p. 217
Nice Guys Finish Last (1947)p. 223
Spahn, Sain, and Pray for Rain (1948)p. 228
Duck and Cover (1951)p. 232
Old Soldiers Never Die; They Just Fade Away (1951)p. 236
Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust (1957)p. 244
Ich Bin ein Berliner (1963)p. 249
I Have a Dream (1963)p. 255
Float Like a Butterfly, String Like a Bee (1964)p. 260
Burn, Baby, Burn (1965)p. 265
Hell No, We Won't Go (1966)p. 270
America: Love It or Leave It (1966)p. 270
You've Come a Long Way, Baby (1972)p. 277
Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall! (1987)p. 282
Notesp. 289
Recommended Readingp. 307
Indexp. 325
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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