The Rhetorical Presidency of George H. W. Bush
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The Rhetorical Presidency of George H. W. Bush

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Description

For George H. W. Bush, the distinction between campaigning ("politics") and governing ("principles") was crucial. Once in office, he abandoned his campaign mode and with it the rhetorical strategies that had brought electoral success. Not recognizing the importance of rhetoric to policy formation and implementation, Bush forfeited the resources of the bully pulpit and paid the price of electoral defeat. Here, scholars explore the first Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin wall, the "New World Order," Bush's "education presidency," his environmental stance, the "vision thing," and the influence of the Religious Right. The volume concludes with an analysis of the 1992 re-election campaign and Bush's last-gasp use of economic rhetoric. The contributors draw on the resources of the Bush Presidential Library and interviews with many of Bush's White House aides. They also suggest how embracing the art of rhetoric might have allowed Bush to respond more successfully. "The Rhetorical Presidency of George H. W. Bush" breaks important ground for our understanding of the forty-first president's time in office and the reasons it ended so quickly.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 160.02 x 241.3 x 22.86mm | 476.27g
  • Texas A & M University Press
  • College Station, United States
  • English
  • 2 tables, index
  • 1585444715
  • 9781585444717

Review quote

"This fourteenth scholarly book in the prestigious presidential rhetoric series studies the public address of my all time favorite client, George H. W. Bush, for whom I started writing speeches in 1978. With nine differently authored chapters, this edition provides a careful and considered analysis of the kinder, gentler President Bush. Martin Medhurst writes the opening chapter, the afterword, and serves as the overall editor. He has done a terrific job of riding herd on his authors to make sure th research is integrated and focused. The study reveals Bush's rhetorical presidency from different perspectives so that readers are very well educated about his administration by the time they reach the end of the trail. This is an insightful and revealing study that relies on interviews and exhaustive examinations of White House documents. Access to President Bush's library on the Texas A&M campus supplemented this massive effort. This study demonstrates the importance of rhetorical considerations in any administration. In this case, a very decent man was undone by his lack of enthusiasm for the art of rhetoric. As the book points out, his most memorable quotations are all from the period prior to his presidency."--Craig R. Smith, Professor of Communication Studies, California State University, Long Beach --Craig R. Smith, Professor of Communication Studies, California State University,show more

About Martin J. Medhurst

MARTIN J. MEDHURST, who holds a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University, is Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Communication at Baylor University. He is the founding editor of Rhetoric and Public Affairs.show more