Today would be the 260th birthday of the 4th American president, James Madison. Long honored as the “Father of the Constitution” for his role at the Federal Convention of 1787, Madison is also regarded as the most thoughtful and creative constitutional theorist of his generation. This reputation owes much to his celebrated contributions to The Federalist, the set of essays that he wrote with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in support of the Constitution. Two of these essays, the 10th and 51st, are widely viewed as paradigmatic statements of the general theory of the Constitution.
In recognition of the US midterm elections, I decided to have a browse through Lend Me Your Ears: The Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations and share with you a few entries that have come from the American political world.
Elvin Lim is Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University and author of The Anti-intellectual Presidency, which draws on interviews with more than 40 presidential speechwriters to investigate this relentless qualitative decline, over the course of 200 years, in our presidents’ ability to communicate with the public. He also blogs at www.elvinlim.com. In the article below he looks at Obama’s gestures. See Lim’s previous OUPblogs here.
Following yesterday’s sad news that Michael Foot, left wing firebrand, passionate campaigner for nuclear disarmament, and former leader of the UK’s Labour party, has died at the age of 96, I today bring you some of his best quotations from the Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations.
Some money-related entries from The Little Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs.
Oxford Dictionary of Quotations editor Elizabeth Knowles reflects on the history of the almost 70-year-old treasury, and how new entries are chosen.
Some rain-related quotes from a rain-soaked Oxford.
The top 10 hard-to-define literary terms.
William Safire videos.
William Safire blogs about blogs.
Quotations dictionary editor Elizabeth Knowles talks about the new edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations.
Tony Blair in quotations.
We excerpt from What They Didn’t Say: A Book of Misquotations.