The environment figures prominently in American political debate of the twentieth century. Issues of wilderness and wetlands preservation, clean air and clean water, and the sustainable use of natural resources attract passionate advocacy and demands for national as well as local action. Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt have addressed these issues, rhetorically (though not always prominently) in their public addresses and pragmatically in their policies and appointments to pertinent positions.
Green Talk in the White House gathers an array of approaches to studying environmental rhetoric and the presidency, covering a range of presidential administrations and a diversity of viewpoints on how the concept of the “rhetorical presidency” may be modified in this policy area.
Tarla Rai Peterson’s introduction discusses both methodological and substantive issues in studying presidential rhetoric on the environment. In subsequent chapters, noted scholars examine various aspects of half a dozen modern presidencies to shed light not only on those administrations but also on the study of environmental rhetoric itself. The final section of the book then directs attention to the future of presidential rhetoric and environmental governance, with looks “in” at state-level environmental issues and looks “out” at the international context of environmentalism.
As a whole, the volume is ideal for those looking to better understand the particular intersection of presidency, policy, and rhetorical studies.