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Title Reagan and public discourse in America / edited by Michael Weiler and W. Barnett Pearce.

Published Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, [1992]


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  973.927092 REAG    AVAILABLE
 UniM Giblin Eunson  332.45094 FRAT    DUE 05-10-19
Physical description xi, 351 pages ; 24 cm.
Series Studies in rhetoric and communication.
Studies in rhetoric and communication.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 331-337) and index.
Summary Reagan and Public Discourse in America assesses the rhetorical legacy of the Reagan Presidency. The essays in this collection focus on a variety of domestic and foreign policy controversies and identify a broad range of persuasive strategies and devices to reveal how Ronald Reagan both appropriated and transformed American public discourse in the 1980s. Reagan's obvious skill at speech-making earned him the title "Great Communicator", but the contributors to this book seek his rhetorical significance in deeper waters. They analyze Reagan's impact not only on the policy issues of the 1980s but also on the process of public political discourse itself. The contributors uncover ways in which Ronald Reagan helped to change how we talk about public issues, and, just as important, what kinds of issues we talk about. They find Reagan a constricting and distorting influence; his rhetoric tended to remove some issues from public debate and to limit the discussion of others chiefly to rituals, gestures, and evasions. From nuclear strategy to social welfare programs, from budget policy to military intervention, Reagan's rhetoric impoverished and perverted political discourse in the public sphere. Taken together, the essays in this collection challenge the traditional emphasis in rhetorical criticism on individual speech texts in unique historical situations. The contributors find the "text" of their analyses not only in Reagan's public comments on a particular issue, but in the articulation of this issue-specific rhetoric with the historically evolving process of public discourse as a whole. Here, they argue, is where Reagan's greatest significance as a communicator is to be found.
Other author Weiler, Michael, 1949-
Pearce, W. Barnett.
Subject Reagan, Ronald -- Language.
Reagan, Ronald -- Oratory.
Rhetoric -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Communication in politics -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1981-1989.
ISBN 0817305858