Communication Studies, Department of


First Advisor

Donald O. Olson

Date of this Version



A thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College in the University or Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts, Department of Speech and Dramatic Arts, under the Supervision or Dr. Donald O. Olson. Lincoln, Nebraska, 1968.

Copyright 1968, Gilbert F. Nykodym II. Used by permission.


I first saw Robert Crosby as a lawyer defending Duane Pope in November 1965. I was intensely interested in the Pope trial for a number of reasons. I was interested because, first, as a law student I found the legal points of interest, second, one of my law professors, Wallace Rudolph, was serving as an assistant defense counsel in the trial and, third, having a bachelors degree in speech I wanted to see what part speaking played in this trial.

As I began graduate work in speech I took a course entitled Rhetorical Criticism under Dr. Donald O. Olson. I chose to study the speaking of former Governor Robert Crosby as the final assignment in the course. After preliminary research it became evident that certain speeches of Bob Crosby's might merit study as a thesis project. In a course entitled Introduction to Graduate Studies I submitted an adgendum of procedure on a thesis project with certain aspects of Robert Crosby's speaking as the subject. In the course Dr. Leroy Laase offered suggestions as to method, techniques and procedures for procurement and use of materials to complete such a study.

Preliminary research had revealed that very little research had been published in regard to legal speaking. Likewise research did not seem to exist which dealt with both political and legal speaking done by the same speaker. Crosby's defense of Duane Pope seemed to stand out as an example of his legal speaking. Likewise "Operation Honesty" stood out as an example of Crosby's political speaking. Taxes problems and Crosby's attempts to deal with those problems seemed to be one of the most important aspects of his public career.

In analysing these two examples of Crosby's speeches and speaking, the following questions were considered:

1. What training and experience has Robert B. Crosby had in speech and speech making?

2. What were the characteristics of Crosby's deliberative or political speaking as exemplified by his "Operation Honesty" speech?

3. What were the characteristics of Crosby's forensic or legal speaking as exemplified by his summation in the United States v. Duane Pope?

4. What similarities and differences were revealed by an analysis of Crosby's deliverative and forensic speaking as exemplified by "Operation Honesty" and U.S. v. Duane Pope?

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