Reagan speaks : the making of an American myth /
Paul D. Erickson.
New York : New York University Press, 1985.
xvi, 172 p.
0814721672 :
More Details
New York : New York University Press, 1985.
0814721672 :
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 167-170.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1985-11-01:
Erickson brings the unique perspective of an English professor to the study of Reagan's political communication, arguing that through the use of ``idealistic inspiration or cynical manipulation,'' the president has become the most persuasive contemporary political speaker. A wealth of sample speeches illustrates Reagan's rhetorical tools: couching anecdotes in universal, nonverifiable terms; personifying the struggle between the American good and Soviet evil; according his political ideals apocalyptic dimensions to create a sense of urgency; and characterizing the 20th century as a crusade between faith and intellect. Reagan's rhetorical facility is attributed to the successful manipulation of the consubstantiation processin which audiences see the speaker as a projection of themselves. This provocative study is recommended for political science and speech collections. Karl Helicher, Wolfsohn Memorial Lib., King of Prussia, Pa.
Appeared in Choice on 1986-04:
A somewhat brief but incisive analysis of the rhetoric of ``the great communicator,'' US President Ronald Reagan. Erickson, a specialist in rhetoric and American history, reviews the ``speechifying'' of the president by examining his key public utterances and placing them in the context of his life experiences as a broadcaster, actor, union leader, spokesman for General Electric, and developing politician. The study discusses the president's use of allegories, analogies, homilies, and stock characters as devices, his personifications of good and evil, his references to America's ``divine destiny,'' and his simplistic portrayals of events. The author concludes with a lengthy appendix containing a selection of his speeches. The volume is of a genre of studies now developing that examines the role and influence of communication in politics. These works are of increasing interest to political scientists and historians as well as students of communication and speech. However, this work is marred by a tone that is implicitly demeaning of Reagan and patronizing to his electorate.-P. Regenstreif, University of Rochester
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Library Journal, November 1985
Choice, April 1986
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