A story of rhetorical-ideological transformation: Eugene V. Debs as liberal hero

Ronald Lee, James R. Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


The rhetorical transformation of Eugene V. Debs from political radical to liberal hero provides an opportunity to examine the relationship between the nature of virtue and the process of liberal historical judgment. In the case of this important American socialist, history has found virtue in a character who championed the cause of working people. The Debs legacy is an outgrowth of the developing American story of business-labor reconciliation. Thus, this case demonstrates that historical ethos is not a judgment of individual traits but a product of the historical narrative’s definition of virtue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-37
Number of pages18
JournalQuarterly Journal of Speech
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education

Cite this