Slipping the Surly Bonds: Reagan’s Challenger Address

Front Cover
Texas A&M University Press, Feb 21, 2006 - Political Science - 152 pages
Millions of Americans, including hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren, watched in horror as the Challenger shuttle capsule exploded on live television on January 28, 1986. Coupled with that awful image in Americans’ memory is the face of President Ronald Reagan addressing the public hours later with words that spoke to the nation’s shock and mourning. Focusing on the text of Reagan’s speech, author Mary Stuckey shows how President Reagan’s reputation as “the Great Communicator” adds significance to our understanding of his rhetoric on one of the most momentous occasions of his administration.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Brillant! The only author to have cajones to write about this difficult speech. This book is a marvel. 110 pages of analysis for a two minute speech is amazing. I am crying as I write this due to the wonder of this book. I only wish I could talk to the author myself.


The Problem of the Challenger Address
Racing into Space From Sputnik to Challenger
Writing the Challenger Address
The Memory of Challenger
Select Bibliography

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 142 - The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth
Page 4 - And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.

About the author (2006)

Mary E. Stuckey, who holds a joint appointment in the political science and communication departments at Georgia State University, is a prolific author on the subject of the presidency and serves as book review editor of the journal Rhetoric and Public Affairs. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.

Bibliographic information