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A Speaking Aristocracy: Transforming Public Discourse in Eighteenth Century Connecticut.

A Speaking Aristocracy: Transforming Public Discourse in Eighteenth Century Connecticut. By Christopher Grasso. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 528 pp. $24.95 paper, $59.95 cloth.

Christopher Grasso's A Speaking Aristocracy is superb. In 1967 Richard Bushman published his study of the transformation of colonial Connecticut with the memorable title From Puritan to Yankee. Grasso also pursues the theme of social transformations in colonial Connecticut, but with an overriding contemporary interest in the way rhetoric and language shape authority in society. This is a large book with ample space in its eight chapters to develop the role of leading Connecticut "speaking aristocrats," many of them connected to Yale and many of them ministers. Grasso also introduces their opposers and challengers; their conflicts set the agendas for discourse.

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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Pitts, Bill
Publication:Journal of Church and State
Article Type:Book Review
Geographic Code:1U1CT
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Words:132
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