Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

February 21, 2005

Historian and Author Ron White to Present March 1 Lecture,
"The Eloquent President," Based on His New Book

Historian and author Ronald C. White Jr., a former chaplain and professor of religion at Whitworth, will present a lecture on his new book, The Eloquent President: A Portrait of Lincoln through His Words, on Tuesday, March 1, at 7 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth College. Admission is free. For more information, please call (509) 777-3275.

Published by Random House, The Eloquent President reflects White's ongoing interest in Abraham Lincoln. Examining a different speech, address, or public letter in each chapter, White tracks the evolution of Lincoln's rhetoric from the measured, lawyerly tones of the First Inaugural, to the imaginative daring of the 1862 Annual Message to Congress, to the haunting, immortal poetry of the Gettysburg Address.

As he weighs the biblical cadences and vigorous parallel structures that make Lincoln's rhetoric soar, White identifies a passionate religious strain that most historians have overlooked. It is White's contention that as president, Lincoln not only grew into an inspiring leader and determined commander-in-chief, but also embarked on a spiritual odyssey that led to a profound understanding of the relationship between human action and divine will.

White has emerged as one of the nation's leading scholars of Lincoln's thought. His first book on this subject, Lincoln's Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural (2002, Simon & Schuster), was a Washington Post bestseller, a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, and New York Times notable book.

White, who served as chaplain and professor of religion at Whitworth College in the 1970s, is the author and editor of seven books on American intellectual, religious and social history. In addition to teaching at Whitworth, he has taught at UCLA and Princeton Theological Seminary. White currently lives in San Anselmo and La Cañada, Calif., where he is professor of American intellectual and religious history at San Francisco Theological Seminary.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,400 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Michelle Seefried, program coordinator, Weyerhaeuser Center for Christian Faith and Learning, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3275 or mpace@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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