Catalogue


Before the rhetorical presidency /
edited by Martin J. Medhurst.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
College Station : Texas A&M University Press, c2008.
description
x, 356 p.
ISBN
1603440712 (cloth), 9781603440714 (cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
College Station : Texas A&M University Press, c2008.
isbn
1603440712 (cloth)
9781603440714 (cloth)
contents note
Introduction: Was there a nineteenth-century rhetorical presidency? : a debate revisited / Martin J. Medhurst -- Talking without speaking, and other curiosities / Mel Laracey -- On the forms of rhetorical leadership / Jeffrey K. Tulis -- Present at the founding : the rhetorical presidency in historical perspective / Stephen E. Lucas -- Little magic : Martin van Buren and the politics of gender / Susan Zaeske -- John Tyler and the rhetoric of the accidental presidency / David Zarefsky -- James Knox Polk : the first imperial president? / Karlyn Kohrs Campbell -- Franklin Pierce and the exuberant hauteur of an age of extremes : a love song for America in six movements / Stephen John Hartnett -- James Buchanan : romancing the Union / Robert E. Terrill -- Andrew Johnson and the politics of character / Stephen Howard Browne -- Resolute commander for just peace : the rhetoric of President Ulysses S. Grant / George R. Goethals -- The challenges of reunification : Rutherford B. Hayes on the close race and the racial divide / Amy R. Slagell -- The problem with public memory : Benjamin Harrison confronts the "southern question" / Kirt H. Wilson -- Grover Cleveland and the nonrhetorical presidency / Michael Leff -- William McKinley and the emergence of the modern rhetorical presidency / William D. Harpine -- Afterword: Questioning the rhetorical presidency construct / Martin J. Medhurst.
catalogue key
6686130
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-07-01:
Few books have influenced the study of the presidency like Jeffrey Tulis's The Rhetorical Presidency (1987). Tulis argues that modern presidents--from T.R. Roosevelt forward--appeal directly to the public in an effort to force Congress into action. Medhurst (rhetoric and communication, Baylor Univ.) and most of the contributors argue that Tulis overstated his case. Focusing on eleven 19th-century presidents, the contributors to this edited volume, mostly from the field of communication studies, argue that these presidents likewise sought to influence Congress, if by slightly different rhetorical means. The volume begins with three useful essays: one critiquing Tulis's original thesis, a response from Tulis, and a rejoinder. This sets the context for readers unfamiliar with Tulis's original work. Each subsequent chapter focuses on one president, and his rhetorical efforts, in an attempt to demonstrate that he was a "rhetorical president." The core of the debate pits behavior-oriented political science against communication studies' broader conception of what constitutes rhetoric. Missing from the book is a chapter that explores these conceptual differences. All of the chapters are well written and well sourced. A valuable work for general interest readers through academic researchers in communication, history, and political science. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, upper-division undergraduate students and above. S. Q. Kelly California State University Channel Islands
Reviews
Review Quotes
"This work succeeds on both conceptual and historical grounds. The detailed case studies in this volume explore the rhetorical efforts of 18th and 19th century presidents in ways that scholars of U.S. political culture and the presidency will appreciate. The essays together make a strong argument that the 'rhetorical presidency,' especially as described by Jeffrey Tulis et al., is more complicated than we may have previously thought."--Vanessa Beasley, author, Who Belongs in America?
"This work succeeds on both conceptual and historical grounds. The detailed case studies in this volume explore the rhetorical efforts of 18th and 19th century presidents in ways that scholars of U.S. political culture and the presidency will appreciate. The essays together make a strong argument that the ''rhetorical presidency,'' especially as described by Jeffrey Tulis et al., is more complicated than we may have previously thought."--Vanessa Beasley, author, Who Belongs in America ?
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Since its identification in 1981, the rhetorical presidency has drawn both defenders and critics. Chief among those critical of the practice is political theorist Jeffrey K. Tulis, whose 1987 book, The Rhetorical Presidency, helped popularize the construct and set forth a sustained analysis of the baleful effects that have allegedly accompanied the shift from a "constitutional" presidency to a "rhetorical" one. Tulis locates this shift in the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, arguing that the rhetorical presidency is a twentieth-century phenomenon. Yet not all scholars agree with this assessment. Before the Rhetorical Presidency is an attempt to investigate how U.S. presidents in the nineteenth century communicated with their publics, both congressional and popular. In part 1, Martin J. Medhurst, Mel Laracey, Jeffrey K. Tulis, and Stephen E. Lucas set forth differing perspectives on how the rhetorical presidency ought to be understood and evaluated. In part 2, eleven scholars of nineteenth-century presidential rhetoric investigate the presidencies of Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, James K. Polk, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, and William McKinley. As the first volume ever to focus on nineteenth-century presidents from a rhetorical perspective, Before the Rhetorical Presidency examines administrations, policies, and events that have never before been subjected to rhetorical analysis. The sometimes startling outcomes of these investigations reveal the need for continuing debate over the nature, practices, and effects of the rhetorical presidency. In a brief afterword, Medhurst raises eight challenges to the original formulation of the rhetorical presidency and in so doing sets forth an agenda for future studies.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Since its identification in 1981, the rhetorical presidency has drawn both defenders and critics. This text is an attempt to investigate how US presidents in the 19th century communicated with their publics, both congressional and popular.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. IX
Introduction: Was There a Nineteenth-Century Rhetorical Presidency? a Debate Revisitedp. 1
Alternative Perspectives on the Rhetorical Presidency
Talking without Speaking, and Other Curiositiesp. 18
On the Forms of Rhetorical Leadershipp. 29
Present at the Founding: The Rhetorical Presidency in Historical Perspectivep. 35
Nineteenth-Century Rhetorical Presidencies
Little Magic: Martin Van Buren and the Politics of Genderp. 44
John Tyler and the Rhetoric of the Accidental Presidencyp. 63
James Knox Polk: The First Imperial President?p. 83
Franklin Pierce and the Exuberant Hauteur of an Age of Extremes: A Love Song for America in Six Movementsp. 106
James Buchanan: Romancing the Unionp. 166
Andrew Johnson and the Politics of Characterp. 194
Resolute Commander for Just Peace: The Rhetoric of Ulysses S. Grantp. 213
The Challenges of Reunification: Rutherford B. Hayes on the Close Race and the Racial Dividep. 243
The Problem with Public Memory: Benjamin Harrison Confronts the "Southern Question"p. 267
Grover Cleveland and the Nonrhetorical Presidencyp. 289
William McKinley and the Emergence of the Modern Rhetorical Presidencyp. 307
Afterword: Questioning the Rhetorical Presidency Constructp. 329
Contributorsp. 335
Indexp. 338
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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