Thursday, December 4, 2014

Eisenhower Reading Response Exercise. From Mike.

Use the Comments section for this reading response Exercise, please answer two of the five questions and you must do number 4 and include a passage from your active reading and your interpretation and analysis of its meaning or impact.
Thanks! Mike
You just heard a voice from 1961.  Only four pages, but there is a whole world of experience in there, and it is a public document that other Presidents, military leaders, and yes, citizens, still wrestle with today. 
1.Does anything in it ring familiar?  What strikes you as still relevant and important?  What strikes you as outdated?
2.What sort of ethos does this man have?  What in particular might give him credibility or take it away?
3.What are his main themes? 
4.Is this guy good with language and expression?  Where is the writing at its best?  Why?  Talk about specific ideas and passages.
5.If you had to try to apply these warnings and advice to today, what would be two questions to ask to get your research going?


  1. 1. I have heard of the first introduction paragraph in this speech, "Three days from now, after a half century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor." I don't know where I heard it from but it was pretty recently. Something I pointed out in my active reading was that the term "Godspeed" is an outdated term that you rarely hear now but in the past it was a very popular term that I've heard many times on TV or movies.

    4. I think he has pretty good language and expression in his speech. He got a lot of important information but kept it pretty short at the same time. I think his best writing was on the third paragraph on page 2. He said, "...the need to maintain balance in and among national programs-balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage- balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgement seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration." I like this paragraph because it shows how he put it simple and listed his thoughts. Also, I like this paragraph because it has a good meaning in it and how we need to balance everything to help progress as individuals and as a nation.

  2. 4. I think one of the reasons Eisenhower was so important and influential was because of his speaking abilities. While reading and annotating, I kept pointing out different sections, talking about how inspiring he was, and the words he used got people pumped up. The message he sent to the people and the way he worded it really made him a great speaker. He talked a lot about how strong America was as a country, and made America seem invincible. One thing he said that really stood out to me was, "America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world." He made people proud to be an American, and made them want to stand up for what they believed in.

    3. To me, I think his main themes were to be proud to be an American, because American is the best country in the world. Also, I think he wanted to get the point across that we have to stand up for what we believe in, and can't let anything get in our way or hold us down. He talked a lot about what we can do to try and better our country, and talked about the real world problems that America as a country is facing. He had a great way of explaining these problems, and did a great job of inspiring people to want a change for the better. He ended this speech with thanking everyone for the opportunities he had while he was serving as president. And told the people that they need to have faith, and work towards a better America. He wanted to end his speech inspiring people, because I think he wanted to make the biggest impact he could while being president.

    "I trust that in that service you find some things worthy; as for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve performance in the future." This was my favorite passage in this speech, because that's the most honest, open statement I have ever heard a president make to the people. My interpretation of this is that he did his best during his presidential term, and he hoped that he made a positive impact on some people. If he didn't make a positive impact on some people, then he had hope for them that they would find a way to make a better future for themselves. I thought this was really cool, and a really humble thing to say!

  3. #4. Yes, Eisenhower is very good with language and expression. He speaks in a very poetic and intelligent nature but more than that he uses a lot of detailed and empowering diction in his speech. He used many patterns and metaphors and made comparisons to get his main idea across much clearer to his audience. I liked the passage where he said "...though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield." Meaning even though in the past there have been struggles, we cannot be afraid of what may happen now, we must make peace and decisions to get through situations.

    #3. The huge, "right in front of your face" theme that Eisenhower gives us in his speech is to eventually become a world where peace and justice surrounds everyone. World peace and humanity is the goal he aspires for all countries across the world. However another theme I feel is very prevalent is the idea that we cannot be scared of the past and need to move forward in order to accomplish his first theme of world piece. One more theme is we must as a whole nation be humble with the power we are given whether it be used in our own country with our government or if it is with another where we try to conduct peace.

  4. #1, I think a lot of the points he made in this speech hold true to what our country looks like now and what we as a country are going through. The sad part is a lot of the goals and dreams Eisenhower had for our country in the future, have formed the exact opposite solutions now and days. "America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world." That is sad to think that is no longer necessarily true. While we do still have a pull in military topics, we fall way behind in education and more tragically behind in finances. We have become indebted to others which is one of the hopes Eisenhower had for our country to avoid. While Eisenhower saw a need for an established military, today that is not the top priority to our government. "A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment."- Dwight D. Eisenhower. I hope that one day our country can return the view point and vision Eisenhower had for this nation.
    #4 Yes. In his speech his spoke very eloquently as well as very personal. When he addressed his nation, he always referred to his country "as my fellow American's.." "my countrymen".. etc. Throughout the speech he wasn't talking to you like he was the president of the united states but rather a very politically intelligent friend.
    I think the paragraph that stuck out and inspired me the most was the 2nd paragraph in the 3rd part. Where it starts with, "Progress toward these noble goals is...." I found this paragraph moving because it takes about the choice we have everyday not only as a person but as a country as well. Our lives are surrounded with conflict and unrest, but if we continue one by one, day by day, to counter that with truth, one day we will reach a point of permanent peace.

  5. 1. I think Eisenhower's view point on America is very familiar because when America was expanding multiple historical people described America as the strongest nation. In many ways we are still one of the most powerful countries, because we have many issues still going on today. People looked up to America as the greatest nation and no one could destroy it. He says,
    We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted." But overtime, America has gone through a lot and we have weakened in some parts including our economy. While Eisenhower wanted a lot more for America than we have now, it is still viewed as one the best countries over all.
    4. I think he has great speaking abilities which is what made him known to be so influential to Americans. He spoke with detail and made sure to let people know that America was what meant most to him. He spoke in first language and described America as his, which made him seem more of a leader to them all. "Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement and to enhance liberty, dignity, and integrity among people and among nations." Any person can tell how much America meant to him and how he always made it his number priority.

  6. 3.) The main themes that he speaks about is how he is stepping down from the presidency and he goes on for a while talking about the condition of the country and how "despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the mos influential, and most productive nation in the world".

    4.) His speech is very well worded and brings out some great points that are very well put. I believe the writing on the second page and the top paragraphs were very interesting. "we face a hostile ideology -- global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration". This piece of the speec h was by far the best part.

  7. 4.) Eisenhower uses a type of language that makes you want to listen. He is very persuasive when he talks and i like how when he addresses the country he uses the term "My fellow Americans". Eisenhower has a very poetic type of speech and he uses language that is very empowering. I really like the way that he worded this statement. "Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road."
    3.) Eisenhower's main theme seemed to be his patriotism. he spoke in a very patriotic way about America and he was very passionate about the way that he talked. He always tried to inspire people with what he had to say and with the language that he used that must have been easy.

  8. 4. Yes, I do feel as if Eisenhower was very clear with his speech and expression. As I read through this article, I noticed that some parts of the writing were more clear than others. For instance, in the 3rd part of this article, he says "rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle...", this allows the reader to get the feel that he is acting like more of a "fellow American" rather than the leader or the president. This paragraph/ quote was very moving and I feel like this is a very clear passage.

    1. I feel as if in this article, there are a lot of thing that he says that are still the case in our society today. Eisenhower said that "America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world" and it's sad to say that this is no longer the case. This may be the case when it comes to the military forces but it's not so much the case with education and such.

  9. #4 I believe that Dwight Eisenhower had very good speaking and writing skills. He clearly gets his point across and because of his great speaking skills, he was highly influential. "Together we must learn how to compose differences , not with arms, but intellect and decent purpose." He was able to relate very well to many Americans and that's why he was such an iconic president. He was a very inspirational man who wanted to do good for the country.

    #3 Eisenhower has a few main themes in this letter, a big one is that our military establishment is what keeps the peace. Staying ahead in advances in technology and latest war tactics and weapons keeps the United States ready for instant action. Another key theme in this letter is how Eisenhower is talking about what he hopes to stay the same/ change after his presidency. Being peaceful had come a long way during Eisenhower term and he didn't want to see any of that go away.

  10. 3. Some of the main themes that are used in the speech are our military and maintaining peace. He talks about our military as a powerful element that keeps madness from occurring, and with three and a half million men and women directly engaged in the defense establishment, we stand strong together as a nation. With such a strong military and advanced technology, we are able to seek balance and progress as well as maintaining balance in and among national programs.

    4. I believe he is very good with language and expression as he includes and incorporates the citizens of his country, and the citizens of other countries. He is also very direct with what he is saying and trying to get across the board to others by stating the facts and problems and how they can and are stabilized. The 3rd paragraph on page 2 is where his writing is at best. He explains everything that must be balanced and how it all adds together, keeping things under control and peace and unity between other nations. He says, "Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration". By saying this he wants the world to know that the only way to progress towards peace and unity, is to think together as one and the impact that ones judgment has on the rest of the world.

  11. #4 His writing and speech is really moving and powerful. Favorite part of his speech is when he uses repetition in his diction. This is just a segment of the repetition but he keeps going back to the importance of, "balance", "balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress. Lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration." The idea that in order to have a well developed country you first need balance in everything. Important to have balance in military and government.

    3. Dweight D Eisenhower uses a lot of themes in his farewell address. He had a lot to cover in his last words to his fellow Americans as the commander in chief. But he uses it effectively. His main themes were in a strong military, advancement in technology and time being precious. In order to be the best country in the world, all these need the most attention.

  12. #4 I believe that Eisenhower was a great speaker that was able to speak with confidence, and with enough emotion to make you believe in every word he said. He would always talk to his people as if he was talking to them as if knowing them on a first name basis, and would make you connect with him unlike most speakers.
    "Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration". This passage lays out a great point in having to find the right balance between the every opposing thing in the world, so that there isn't an imbalance of power and to satisfy those of the world.
    #3 The main themes of the speech is that the world needs to find peace and the right amount of balance between opposing ideas to satisfy a broad range of people. Also to have a strong military and authority to maintain the peace. He also brings the point up to be a proud American and that America is the greatest country in the world.

  13. 4. One of the parts where I thought his writing really stood out from other people is when used the word Godspeed. I have only heard this word once or twice in my life and I love this word. I had to look this up when I read it. It means that he is wishing the next president good luck. It really cool reading this because my dad will sometimes say this, so it jump out of the page. The syntax in the speech is really well done. Another passage that was really good was when he said, "Understandably proud of this per-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment." This part he really talked about the truths of America and I thought it was good.

    3. One of the speeches main themes is for president to say goodbye. He wished the other presidents good luck and then he went on to talk about issues. One of the main issues that he told everyone to watch out for was massive spending. Eisenhower didn't want the next president to have a massive spending problem. He addressed many problems with science funding too. He had a lot of ideas for future presidents to pay attention to.

  14. #4 Yes Eisenhower was very good and expressive with his words. He added his own touch to his powerful speeches. He used phrases and sayings that were very poetic and made the listeners connect to them. He used many ways of grabbing the audiences attention the way well educated people can. There were hooks and ways he contributed to the citizens. "despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential, and most productive nation in the world". I loved how he came hope and strength for our country.

    #1 Eisenhower gives themes like patriotic symbolism, "America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world" is a great quote that shows how amazing he was having strength with his country.

  15. 3.) I think the biggest themes are patriotism and peacefulness."Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace". He talked a lot of how proud he was of his accomplishments with America. He also talks a lot about how one of the goals for America is to bring peace among our country and the rest of the nations."You and I -- my fellow citizens -- need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under god, will reach the goal of peace with justice.

    4.) Yes he is very good with language.When he talks about peace he says "we" meaning the whole nation and sometimes the world. The very last section i feel is the most powerful it reads "We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love". He really brings to light his want and hop for peace everywhere.

  16. 4. I believe that Dwight Eisenhower is very good at language and expression. I believe that his writing is at his best in both the beginning and the end of his speech. I think this because in the beginning you want to make sure you grab the attention of the audience and hold it and the end because you always want to end with something that will leave them really thinking about what you said long after you said it. He begins his speech with "My fellow Americans:" already associating himself with the modern person. He then adds onto that by using phrases like 'my countrymen" "Like every other citizen" further solidifying his role as a regular citizen. And then in the end he says that " the goodness of time, all peoples will come together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love." Leaving the audience with a type of call to action to bring peace to everyone under one nation.

    3. I believe that his main themes are about what it means to be an American, and a call to action about how things need to change. "We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied." Like I said in the last question he is stating a call to action for the people to help make the U.S a better place and to have freedom for everyone. And at the same time is telling people what it means to be an American. "...need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace and justice. May we be ever answering in devotion to principal, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nation's great goals."

  17. 1.) One thing that rings familiar in Eisenhower's speech is how he greets the audience by saying "My fellow Americans". Some of the most important presidential speech's in Americas history have been introduced with that same greeting. One thing that still is relevant in American society today is its military strength and defense Eisenhower touches on frequently throughout his speech. Something that struck me as outdated was his use of the word "godspeed". The only time I have ever heard this word used is in old star trek episodes or in reference to said episodes.
    3.) The main theme of this speech is how as counterproductive as it may seem maintaining a strong military power in the untied states is key to maintaining peace. Eisenhower also ties this message into the triumphant ways of the united states and how it is one of the greatest countries in the world showing pride in his country as well as providing for a send off from his time as a key role in the service of that country


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.