Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

Archives are dangerous places, and scholars enter them at our own risk. It is perfectly possible to go into an archive with a limited and clearly defined project in mind, and then become totally ensnared by all the narratives that await the telling and walk out with several more projects that absolutely must be done. I know this because it happened to me...

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Introduction: Roosevelt and the 1936 Election

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pp. 1-22

A few short months before the election, the outcome seemed anything but certain. Both internal White House polls and the public polls conducted by the media supported the wide range of available anecdotal evidence: the president was in trouble. His first election, in the wake of a thoroughly discredited Republican administration, had once seemed to hold the promise...

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1. Creating Public Opinion, Muting the Public’s Voice

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pp. 23-42

Conceptualizing and organizing public opinion is a foundational issue for democratic politics. Government in the United States has been, since “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind” served as a warrant for issuing the Declaration of Independence, firmly grounded in public opinion. But that opinion does not include all members of the polity...

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2. Empowering the Public, Privileging the Candidate

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pp. 43-65

Much of FDR’s political success can be attributed to his organizational skill. He was, famously, a rather chaotic administrator and often frustrated those around him. But he was adept at devising organizational structures deigned to work his will through a government poorly designed for presidential control. He was equally skillful at adapting campaign structures to work his will through...

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3. Mobilizing the Vote, Containing the Public

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pp. 66-88

Interest groups and the identities on which they depend predated the New Deal, having their origins in charitable organizations both in Europe and in the United States. In the American context, the power and longevity of such groups was illustrated by the growth and development of the Abolition Movement. As powerful as those groups were in gaining specific policies...

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4. Speaking for the Public, Empowering the Presidency

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pp. 89-111

One of the hallmarks of the rhetorical presidency, and certainly the one that has received the most scholarly attention, is the changed relationship it signals between the government and the governed.1 That relationship had been continually modified over time, with important watersheds including the presidencies of Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson...

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Conclusion: The Mass Public and the Presidency

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pp. 112-122

It is impossible to know what the outcome of the 1936 election would have been had Roosevelt run a different campaign. The campaign he did run capitalized on the kinds of innovations and practices swirling around the country at the time. Roosevelt was not the only political actor to have access to polls, for example, which were beginning to be used by all campaigns...

Notes

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pp. 123-142

Bibliography

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pp. 143-150

Index

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pp. 151-156

Back Cover

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