Catalogue

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The performative presidency [electronic resource] : crisis and resurrection during the Clinton years /
Jason L. Mast.
imprint
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2012.
description
xi, 198 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9781107026186 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2012.
isbn
9781107026186 (hardback)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction; 2. Presidential leadership under the conditions of defusion; 3. Character formation: the rise of two Bill Clintons, 1992; 4. The profanation of a president, 1992-1994: presidential character, the 'climate of suspicion', and the culture of scandal; 5. The Conservative revolution as purification and its subsequent pollution: the rise and fall of Newt Gingrich, and the fall and rise of Bill Clinton; 6. Birth of a symbolic inversion: Clinton (re)fuses with the presidential character; 7. The second term: the Republicans' polluting scandal and Clinton's successful performance; 8. Conclusion.
abstract
"The Performative Presidency brings together literatures describing presidential leadership strategies, public understandings of citizenship and news production and media technologies between the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and Bill Clinton and details how the relations between these spheres have changed over time. Jason Mast demonstrates how interactions between leaders, public and media are organized in a theatrical way and argues that mass mediated plot formation and character development play an increasing role in structuring the political arena. He shows politics as a process of ongoing performances staged by motivated political actors, mediated by critics and interpreted by audiences, in the context of a deeply rooted, widely shared system of collective representations. The interdisciplinary framework of this book brings together a semiotic theory of culture with concepts from the burgeoning field of performance studies"--
catalogue key
8674866
 
Includes bibliographical references (pages 187-195) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2013-08-01:
Presidential leadership is a popular topic of inquiry, with scholars highlighting the manner in which persuasion and rhetoric, for example, account for presidential power. Mast (postdoctoral fellow, Zeppelin Univ., Germany) enters this academic conversation with an intriguing study of Bill Clinton's presidency. He uses performance and cultural theory to argue that presidential leadership is not simply the exercise of institutional power or the deft use of rhetoric. Rather, contemporary presidential politics plays out through a "system of cultural understandings" constructed by politicians, the media, and the public. In this context, Mast argues, "political power refers to the ability to shape understandings. Power is performed within a dramatic context, and the president represents the main character in the drama of democracy." In a field carved with well-worn paths, Mast manages to mark a new trail with this interdisciplinary approach to presidential leadership. Though the prose in two chapters is academic and thus at times dense, most of the book features an engaging narrative of the Clinton presidency. Overall, this is an important work that will prove valuable for scholars as well as graduate and undergraduate students in a variety of majors. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. P. F. Campbell Ashland University
Reviews
Review Quotes
Advance praise: 'Given the large number of books that examine Bill Clinton and his presidency, it is extraordinary that Jason Mast tells us something new in his compelling account. By viewing Bill Clinton through the lens of performance theory, Mast manages to elucidate in new ways the 'disconnect' between the public and private Clinton that continues to intrigue his friends and foes.' Mabel Berezin, Cornell University
"Drawing on recent work in cultural theory, The Performative Presidency is a breath of fresh air for the study of Bill Clinton's rise and fall, and it casts new light on the problems and prospects of presidential leadership more generally. An innovative, provocative and absorbing book!" - Jeffrey K. Tulis, University of Texas at Austin
'Drawing on recent work in cultural theory, The Performative Presidency is a breath of fresh air for the study of Bill Clinton's rise and fall, and it casts new light on the problems and prospects of presidential leadership more generally. An innovative, provocative and absorbing book!' Jeffrey K. Tulis, University of Texas, Austin
"Given the large number of books that examine Bill Clinton and his presidency, it is extraordinary that Jason Mast tells us something new in his compelling account. By viewing Bill Clinton through the lens of performance theory, Mast manages to elucidate in new ways the "disconnect" between the public and private Clinton that continues to intrigue his friends and foes." - Mabel Berezin, Cornell University
"The Performative Presidency is essential reading for anyone concerned with leadership, media, and publics in modern democracies. Jason Mast's fascinating study of the drama of the Clinton years demonstrates convincingly that presidential power is cultural power, created and challenged in extended performance." - Lyn Spillman, University of Notre Dame
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, August 2013
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
Bowker Data Service Summary
A diverse set of literatures including studies of presidential leadership strategies, citizenship and the media are combined to offer a new account of turn-of-the-century American politics. This book brings ritual and discourse theories, as well as concepts from performance studies, to examine power and politics in late-modern America.
Description for Bookstore
A diverse set of literatures including studies of presidential leadership strategies, citizenship and the media are combined to offer a new account of turn-of-the-century American politics. The Performative Presidency brings ritual and discourse theories, as well as concepts from performance studies, to examine power and politics in late-modern America.
Main Description
The Performative Presidency brings together literatures describing presidential leadership strategies, public understandings of citizenship, and news production and media technologies between the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and Bill Clinton, and details how the relations between these spheres have changed over time. Jason L. Mast demonstrates how interactions between leaders, publics, and media are organized in a theatrical way, and argues that mass mediated plot formation and character development play an increasing role in structuring the political arena. He shows politics as a process of ongoing performances staged by motivated political actors, mediated by critics, and interpreted by audiences, in the context of a deeply rooted, widely shared system of collective representations. The interdisciplinary framework of this book brings together a semiotic theory of culture with concepts from the burgeoning field of performance studies.
Main Description
The Performative Presidency brings together literatures describing presidential leadership strategies, public understandings of citizenship and news production and media technologies between the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and Bill Clinton and details how the relations between these spheres have changed over time. Jason Mast demonstrates how interactions between leaders, public and media are organized in a theatrical way and argues that mass mediated plot formation and character development play an increasing role in structuring the political arena. He shows politics as a process of ongoing performances staged by motivated political actors, mediated by critics and interpreted by audiences, in the context of a deeply rooted, widely shared system of collective representations. The interdisciplinary framework of this book brings together a semiotic theory of culture with concepts from the burgeoning field of performance studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction
Presidential leadership under the conditions of defusion
Character formation: the rise of two Bill Clintons, 1992
The profanation of a president, 1992-1994: presidential character, the 'climate of suspicion', and the culture of scandal
The Conservative revolution as purification and its subsequent pollution: the rise and fall of Newt Gingrich, and the fall and rise of Bill Clinton
Birth of a symbolic inversion: Clinton (re)fuses with the presidential character
The second term: the Republicans' polluting scandal and Clinton's successful performance
Conclusion
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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