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Extra info for Conversations in American literature : language, rhetoric, culture
First, I’m not one to throw stones. I have been known to sneak a peek, or 10, at my BlackBerry during meetings. For a time my daughter had my ringtone set to sound like a squawking chicken; when I invariably forgot to switch to vibrate, the phone would cluck during meetings. In short, I have done my share of decorum impairing. Second, let’s not get too dreamy about the House floor. John Boehner, the incoming speaker, once passed out campaign checks from tobacco companies there. One of his former colleagues once came to the chamber with a paper bag on his head to dramatize his supposed embarrassment at fellow lawmakers’ overdrafts at the House bank.
In the case of Gehrig’s speech, the occasion is Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day. More specifically, his moment comes at home plate between games of a doubleheader. The context is first and foremost Gehrig’s recent announcement of his illness and his subsequent retirement, but as is often the case, the context goes well beyond that. Gehrig, known as the Iron Horse, held the record for consecutive games played (2,130) and was one of the greatest sluggers of all time. For such a durable and powerful athlete to fall victim to a disease that strips away strength and coordination seemed an especially cruel fate.
Comic book cover, 1952) 1468 Office of Civil Defense, Duck and Cover (poster, 1952) 1470 Lillian Hellman, I Cannot and Will Not Cut My Conscience to Fit This Year’s Fashions (1952) 1471 John F. Kennedy, Cuban Missile Crisis Speech (1962) 1472 Nikita Khrushchev, Letter to John F. Kennedy (1962) 1477 Julia Alvarez, Snow (1991) 1478 Arthur Miller, from Why I Wrote The Crucible (1996) 1479 Michael Scheibach, from Atomic Narratives and American Youth: Coming of Age with the Atom, 1945–55 (2003) 1481 Ronald Radosh, Case Closed: The Rosenbergs W ere Soviet Spies (2008) 1484 Spencer R.