From ‘The Language of Composition:Reading, Writing, Rhetoric”:
“Politics, the process by which groups make decisions, play part in all human interactions. When we study history, the social science, religion or business, we learn about politics; whenever we read the newspaper or watch the news on television [or online], we see politics in action; and when we discuss issues with our classmates and friends or involve ourselves in our community, we engage in politics […] Thus one could argue that politics is the cause of all social change.
Democratic governments, such as the one under which we live, exercise power through the will of the people. With that power comes the responsibility, even the responsibility to dissent if necessary. So what is the nature of patriotism in democracy? Is it loyalty to the government of loyalty to the ideals of the nation? How is American patriotism colored by the fact that our country was born out of a revolution? […]
Educated citizen – the root word of the word politics is the Greek word for citizen – must know about the politics of the world as well as the politics of their own country. “
As we begin our first unit over Rhetorical Analysis, we will be examining a series of speeches, letters, articles by, and about, politicians and the political systems that surround us and our relationship with them.
Each Tuesday you will be analyzing and writing on a previous AP Language and Composition Free Response question that relates to this topic. Each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we will be conducting Socratic Seminar, projects and class discussion over extended readings that address the same topics.
Please see the list below for the texts you will need to analyze and engage with over the course of this unit, while we ponder and examine the question “What is the relationship between citizens and The State?”. These texts provide us a selection of “interrelationships amount citizens, their states, and the world” and well as “voices delivering sardonic criticism and lofty idealism; you will encounter the immediacy of personal reflections on the nature and experience of war” and you will read contemporary pieces by our current national leaders.
- The US Constitution
- The Black Panthers Ten Point Program
- Martin Luther King Jr., Letters from a Birmingham Jail
- Regan’s Remarks to the UN General Assembly
- Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot
- Donald Trump, Inaugural Address to the Nation, January 22, 2017
- Barack Obama, Final Address to the Nation January 10th, 2017
- Louis Menand, Karl Marx Yesterday and Today
- Jamaica Kincaid, On Seeing England for the First Time
- Virginia Woolf, Thoughts on Peace During an Airraid
- Chris Hedges, The Destruction of Culture
- Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience