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The presidency and the rhetoric of foreign crisis /
Denise M. Bostdorff.
Columbia : University of South Carolina Press, c1994.
ix, 306 p.
0872499685 (hard cover : acid-free)
More Details
Columbia : University of South Carolina Press, c1994.
0872499685 (hard cover : acid-free)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1994-05:
Bostdorff (Purdue Univ.) commingles historical and rhetorical analysis to probe executive management of foreign policy since the Kennedy era. She argues that presidents define crises to serve their own interests and warns Americans to be skeptical of their claims about national security. Her case studies amply document recent executives' attempts to manipulate the press and public opinion, but also show that Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter ran into serious difficulties translating their "crisis promotion" efforts into lasting political advantage. Although Bostdorff has combed source materials with a discipined intelligence, the book has some real drawbacks beyond its pedestrian hypothesis. Bostdorff assumes that John F. Kennedy's presidency represents a watershed in presidential crisis management, but never demonstrates how Kennedy was more focused or successful than predecessors like Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, or even Dwight Eisenhower in managing public perception of foreign crises. The mix of historical and rhetorical analysis, moreover, is both tendentious and unwieldy. It is difficult to imagine historians applying Bostdorff's arguments to their own work. Students of political communication and presidential-press relations will find the book of more interest, and a useful complement to Brigette Lebens Nacos's The Press, Presidents, and Crises (CH, Oct'90). Graduate; faculty. M. J. Birkner; Gettysburg College
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 1994
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Unpaid Annotation
Examines presidential crisis management--or the way U.S. presidents portray foreign crises to the American public--as a potent tool for the accumulation, & at times, the forfeiture, of political power.
Table of Contents
Presidents and the Promotion of Foreign Crises: An Introductionp. 1
The Rhetoric of Deflection: John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962p. 25
LBJ Balances Strength and Restraint: The 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Crisis and the Danger of the Middle Groundp. 56
Richard M. Nixon and the Grotesque: The 1970 Invasion of Cambodiap. 92
The Quiet Man: Ford's Portrayal of Leadership During the Mayaguez Crisisp. 123
Idealism Held Hostage: Jimmy Carter and the Crisis in Iranp. 144
Mission and Manifest Destiny in Grenada: Ronald Reagan Rallies the American Faithfulp. 175
"An Endless Series of Hobgoblins": The Rhetoric and Politics of Crisis from John Kennedy to George Bush and Beyondp. 205
Notesp. 241
Selected Bibliographyp. 281
Indexp. 297
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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