Selling outer space : Kennedy, the media, and funding for Project Apollo, 1961-1963 /
James L. Kauffman.
Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, c1994.
x, 190 p. ; 24 cm.
0817307478 (alk. paper)
More Details
Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, c1994.
0817307478 (alk. paper)
general note
Revision of author's thesis (Ph. D.)--Indiana University, 1989, originally presented under the title: Selling space.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 175-185) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1995-04:
The core of this work involves the relationships between the news media and NASA in promoting the Apollo program and manned lunar landings. The extensive and somewhat unique public relations campaign by NASA is interestingly described, from the development of a large public relations department to a detailed public relations strategy, to achieve the best exposure for its personnel, organizations, and projects. Kauffman shows how the rhetoric of the Kennedy administration was reinforced by the media in "Depicting Project Apollo as a great frontier adventure story ..." and how it "enticed the public and Congress into thinking of a Moon shot not in 'logical' terms, but as a reaffirmation of a romantic American myth." He also shows how the executive branch and the news media worked together to help set the agenda in US politics and how, in particular, Life magazine became "little more than an arm of NASA's public relations." This work has 137 pages of text and 46 pages of notes and bibliography. It is a volume in the series "Studies in Rhetoric and Communication." Indeed, Kaufmann (speech communication, Indiana Univ. Southeast) presents the book as an example of rhetorical history. A useful addition to the study of the politics of the space program and NASA in general. Recommended. Graduate; faculty. A. M. Strauss; Vanderbilt University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 1995
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Main Description
"Kauffman's book sheds light on the origins, uses, strengths, and weaknesses of the prevailing frontier metaphor for manned space exploration". -- American Historical Review
Unpaid Annotation
In the early 1960s, the Kennedy administration's public campaign to sell Project Apollo met with little opposition from Congress, the media, or the public. Only in the aftermath of space disasters like the Challenger explosion have Americans seriously questioned the primacy - or even the need - for human beings to explore outer space. This book examines the Kennedy administration's rhetoric to understand why Project Apollo received so little opposition. Although the Kennedy administration advanced a number of political, scientific, military, and economic arguments for a manned moon mission, its rhetoric ultimately "sold" the space project as a great frontier adventure story with deep roots in American history and culture. The administration enticed Congress, the media, and the public to think of Project Apollo not in "logical" terms, but as a reaffirmation of the romantic American frontier myth. By describing space as the New Frontier, the Kennedy administration shaped the way Americans interpreted and gave,meaning to space exploration for years to come. The frontier narrative subsumed arguments about the technology and economics of the program, and it established a presumption in favor of massive commitments of the nation's resources to staffed space flight. The continuing influence of the frontier mythology is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the decision to develop the space shuttle program. Ultimately, the shuttle's attraction may have been the symbolic importance of the fact that the astronauts flew the craft as a plane, thereby reaffirming the rugged individualism and daring of the frontier myth.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
The Kennedy Administration's Lunar Campaignp. 12
The Kennedy Administration and the New Frontierp. 30
Media Coverage of the Space Program: A Reflection of Valuesp. 50
Life: NASA's Mouthpiece in the Popular Mediap. 68
Congressional Space Committees: Overseers or Advocates?p. 93
Justificatory Rhetoric: Floor Debates Concerning Project Apollop. 116
Conclusionp. 132
Notesp. 139
Bibliographyp. 175
Indexp. 187
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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