Rhetoric & Public Affairs

Rhetoric & Public Affairs
Volume 7, Number 3, Fall 2004

CONTENTS

Article

    Houck, Davis W.
  • FDR's Commonwealth Club Address: Redefining Individualism, Adjudicating Greatness
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    Subject Headings:
    • Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945.
    • Individualism.
    • Campaign speeches -- United States.
    Abstract:
      According to a recent poll of public address scholars, Franklin D. Roosevelt's Commonwealth Club address rates as a "great" speech. To date, though, that claim of greatness remains in a critical void; not a single critical study of the address exists. In this essay I make a first attempt to evaluate the speech, not exclusively along a grid of relative greatness, but for the interaction of form, content, and context. I argue that an initial memorandum on the address drafted by Adolf A. Berle provides an important critical prompt; that is, the speech attempts a critique and a redefinition of the key term "individualism." But that attempt at redefinition is ultimately a conservative representation, one that at first blush appears to be part of a new relationship between an activist federal government and the "individual," but is not. Rather, the "new individualism" espoused in the address represents a debilitating and pessimistic subjectivity overdetermined by the relationship among geography, history, and economic maturity.
    Maddux, Kristy.
  • When Patriots Protest: The Anti-Suffrage Discursive Transformation of 1917
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    Subject Headings:
    • Women -- Suffrage -- United States.
    • National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage.
    • Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 1815-1902. Woman's Bible.
    Abstract:
      Historians have tried to use social movement, organizational, and leadership markers to define the anti-suffrage movement and to explain the radical change that occurred in that movement in 1917, and they have largely failed in doing so. As an alternative, this essay explains the anti-suffrage movement through that change, and specifically through its discursive transformation. To illuminate this transformation, the essay focuses on the case of the antis' treatment of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's Woman's Bible. Before 1917, antis opposed woman suffrage on narrowly pragmatic grounds: that it would be bad for the family, for women, for progressive organizing. After 1917, the anti-suffrage movement evolved into a larger anti-radicalism movement, using the Woman's Bible to link together suffrage, feminism, socialism, and Bolshevism, and decrying them all as evil. This discursive transformation signals a shift from social movement to counterpublic.
    Conrad, Charles.
  • The Illusion of Reform: Corporate Discourse and Agenda Denial in the 2002 "Corporate Meltdown"
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    Subject Headings:
    • Business enterprises -- Corrupt practices -- United States.
    • Corporate governance -- United States.
    • Rhetoric -- Political aspects -- United States.
    • Business and politics -- United States.
    Abstract:
      Political scientists long have argued that public policymaking is a complex and boundedly rational process, one that can aptly be described as a system of punctuated equilibrium. Recently, much of that work has focused on the ways in which various interest groups frustrate public policy reform, by keeping topics off of the public policy agenda and/or seeing that so-called reformist measures do not lead to fundamental social or political change. In this essay I examine the rhetorical processes through which organizational rhetors and pro-corporatist public policymakers successfully undercut pressures for meaningful reform in the wake of the Enron-initiated "meltdown."
    Noon, David Hoogland.
  • Operation Enduring Analogy: World War II, the War on Terror, and the Uses of Historical Memory
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    Subject Headings:
    • Bush, George W. (George Walker), 1946- -- Language.
    • Rhetoric -- Political aspects -- United States.
    • War on Terrorism, 2001-
    • World War, 1939-1945 -- Influence.
    Abstract:
      Since 1999, George W. Bush has consistently evoked the legacy of the "greatest generation." Moreover, since September 11, 2001, Bush's use of World War II analogies has intensified. Such analogies capitalize on post-Cold War historical memory and lend credibility to the war on terrorism, yet they characterize the world in a simple, dualistic fashion that evades a critical engagement with history.

Forum

    Wilson, Kirt H., 1967-
  • Is There Interest in Reconciliation?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hatch, John B. Reconciliation: building a bridge from complicity to coherence in the rhetoric of race relations.
    • Race relations.
    • Rhetoric -- Political aspects.
    • Reconciliation.
    Doxtader, Erik.
  • The Potential of Reconciliation's Beginning: A Reply
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hatch, John B. Reconciliation: building a bridge from complicity to coherence in the rhetoric of race relations.
    • Reconciliation.
    • Rhetoric.
    McPhail, Mark Lawrence.
  • A Question of Character: Re(-)signing the Racial Contract
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hatch, John B. Reconciliation: building a bridge from complicity to coherence in the rhetoric of race relations.
    • Race relations.
    • Rhetoric -- Political aspects.
    • Reconciliation.

Book Reviews

Review Essay

    Stewart, Charles J.
  • Back to Our Roots: The Library of Presidential Rhetoric
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    Subject Headings:
    • Chernus, Ira, 1946- Eisenhower's atoms for peace.
    • Houck, Davis W. FDR and fear itself: the first inaugural address.
    • Browne, Stephen H. Jefferson's call for nationhood: the first inaugural address.
    • Benson, Thomas W. Writing JFK: presidential rhetoric and the press in the Bay of Pigs crisis.
    • Nuclear energy -- Government policy -- United States -- History -- Sources.
    • United States -- Politics and government -- 1933-1945.

Reviews

    Kraig, Robert Alexander, 1963-
  • Our Common Country: Mutual Good Will in America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Harding, Warren G. (Warren Gamaliel), 1865-1923. Our common country: mutual good will in America.
    • Harding, Warren G., III, ed.
    • United States -- Civilization -- 1918-1945.
    Ponder, Benjamin.
  • Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race: How the Presidency Paved the Road to Brown (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • McMahon, Kevin J. Reconsidering Roosevelt on race: how the presidency paved the road to Brown.
    • Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945 -- Views on race.
    Lim, Elvin T.
  • That Man: An Insider's Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Jackson, Robert Houghwout, 1892-1954. That man: an insider's portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
    • Barrett, John Q., 1961-, ed.
    • Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945.
    Valenzano, Joseph M.
  • Nixon's Shadow: The History of an Image (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Greenberg, David, 1968- Nixon's shadow: the history of an image.
    • Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913- -- Public opinion.
    Langston, Thomas S.
  • Reaganism and the Death of Representative Democracy (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Williams, Walter. Reaganism and the death of representative democracy.
    • United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1989.
    Dolan, Chris J.
  • The Use of Force After the Cold War (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Brands, H. W., ed. Use of force after the Cold War.
    • Pierson, Darren, ed.
    • Kiefer, Reynolds S., ed.
    • United States -- Military policy.
    Zompetti, Joseph P., 1970-
  • America's Newcomers and the Dynamics of Diversity (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Bean, Frank D. America's newcomers and the dynamics of diversity.
    • Stevens, Gillian.
    • Immigrants -- United States.
    Burnette, Ann E.
  • Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gardell, Mattias. Gods of the blood: the pagan revival and white separatism.
    • White supremacy movements -- Religious aspects.
    Larson, Daniel M.
  • Signs of Struggle: The Rhetorical Politics of Cultural Difference (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • West, Thomas R., 1965- Signs of struggle: the rhetorical politics of cultural difference.
    • Multiculturalism.
    Jensen, Richard J. (Richard Jay), 1943-
  • Limbo: Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Lubrano, Alfred. Limbo: blue-collar roots, white-collar dreams.
    • Social mobility -- United States.
    Botting, Eileen Hunt.
  • Domestic Abolitionism and Juvenile Literature, 1830-1865 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • De Rosa, Deborah C. Domestic abolitionism and juvenile literature, 1830-1865.
    • American literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism.



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