Jimmy Carter, Human Rights, and the National Agenda

Presidential Rhetoric and Political Communication Series

Book 20
Texas A&M University Press
Free sample

Though Jimmy Carter is widely viewed as one of the least effective modern presidents, the human rights agenda for which his administration is known remains high in the national awareness and continues to provide important justifications for presidential and congressional action a quarter-century later. The very elements of Carter's communications on human rights that engendered obstacles to the formation of a coherent and consistent policy—the term's vagueness, the difficulties of applying it, its uneasy relationship with national security interests, and the divergence between Democratic and Republican understandings—allowed "human rights" to become a useful rubric for presidents, both Democratic and Republican, who followed Carter. Stuckey discusses the key elements of how human rights came to the nation's attention.
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About the author

MARY E. STUCKEY, professor of communication and political science at Georgia State University, is also the author of Slipping the Surly Bonds: Reagan's Challenger Address, published in 2006 by Texas A&M University Press. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Notre Dame.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Texas A&M University Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2008
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Pages
197
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ISBN
9781603440745
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Presidents & Heads of State
Political Science / American Government / Executive Branch
Political Science / Human Rights
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Hoover, the president of economic depression; Roosevelt the president of recovery—the public images of these two men are so firmly fixed that they offer shorthand ways to talk about the era we know as the Great Depression. Yet their views on economic policy for taking the country out of its greatest economic calamity were not so different as is often supposed.

Indeed, the famed journalist Walter Lippmann once claimed that Roosevelt’s legislative measures represented “a continuous evolution of the Hoover measures.” Moreover, both Hoover and Roosevelt shared a Keynesian conviction that public confidence was vital to recovery. They differed markedly, of course, in their ability to restore that confidence. Roosevelt’s advantage lay not just in his position in the changing of the guard. He employed a skilled staff of speech writers, and he had the negative example of Hoover before him from which to plot rhetorical strategies that would be more effective.

In Rhetoric as Currency, Houck uses the historical context of the Great Depression to explore the relationship of rhetoric to the economy and specifically economic recovery. He closely analyzes Hoover’s rhetorical corpus from March 4, 1929, through March 3, 1933, and Roosevelt’s from January 3, 1930, through June 16, 1933. This longitudinal study allows him to understand rhetoric as a process rather than a series of isolated, discrete products.

Houck first examines Hoover’s presidential rhetoric, tracing its paradoxes and the radical shift that occurred in the final year of his administration. The Depression, in his rhetoric, was a foe to be vanquished by an optimistic Christian and civic faith, not federal legislation. Once he determined that federal intervention was indeed required, he could not return to the dais; rather, he relied on an antagonistic press to carry his message of confidence. Abdicating the rhetorical pulpit, he left it in the hands of those opposed to him.

Houck then studies the economic rhetoric of Franklin Roosevelt as governor, candidate, president-elect, and finally president. He traces the key similarities and differences in Roosevelt's economic rhetoric with particular attention to an embodied economics, wherein recovery was premised less on mental optimism than a physical, active confidence.

When the stakes of public words and actions are global and permanent, and especially when they involve war and peace, can we afford not to seek their meaning? For three decades, Francis Beer has pioneered the effort to discover, describe, and connect pieces of the complex puzzle of war, peace, their interrelationship, and their causes.

In this volume, Beer (joined by colleagues as co-authors of some chapters) examines the cognitive, behavioral, and linguistic dimensions of war and peace. Language, he shows, is important because it mediates between thought and action. It expresses beliefs about war and peace and affects the perceptions of potential adversaries about one's own intentions. Using multiple perspectives and methods, he explores the uses of communication in international relations and the development of "meaning" for war and peace.

In this unique and innovative post-realist analysis, Beer examines how language transmits and creates meaning through interaction with specific audiences. His case studies include the Somalian intervention, Sarajevo and the Balkan conflict, and the Gulf War. Moving beyond the discrete words of war, the book takes a broader view of how political participants interact in war and peace through continuous streams of communication that reflect and construct worlds of meaning. This stimulating and challenging volume brings together insights and evidence from political science, cognitive psychology, linguistics, history, and rhetorical studies and applies them in a focused way to the problem of war and peace.
“I wish there were some great orator who would go about and make men drunk with this spirit of selfsacrifice . . . whose tongue might every day carry abroad the gold accents of that creative age in which we were born a nation; accents which would ring like tones of reassurance around the whole circle of the globe.”

These rousing words of academician Woodrow Wilson foreshadowed the role oratory would play in his own political career—a career that saw him triumph on his domestic agenda largely through his inspirational message but fail in his most cherished dream, the League of Nations, when words were not enough.

Robert Kraig’s path-breaking study of Wilson’s political philosophy of the oratorical statesman traces the classical influences on him as a young man, the development of his full-blown scholarly philosophy of oratory, and his use of rhetoric as governor of New Jersey and president of the United States. Although Wilson’s reputation as one of the most eloquent American presidents is firmly established, treatments of his life and presidency have largely ignored how his rhetorical leadership was formed.

Kraig addresses this oversight by examining the rich neoclassical traditions of Anglo-American oratory and statesmanship, the rhetorical pedagogy of the Gilded Age, and the development of Wilson’s own political thought. He concludes with consideration of how Wilson’s conception of oratorical leadership influenced his innovative conduct of the presidency.

The result is a revisionist interpretation of Wilson’s presidency that gives it a clearer historical context, shedding light on a neglected dimension of the political culture of the Progressive Era. In the process, Kraig reopens the question of how effective Wilson’s effort for international cooperation might have been had illness not struck him down.
The last presidential campaign of the nineteenth century was remarkable in a number of ways.

·It marked the beginning of the use of the news media in a modern manner.

·It saw the Democratic Party shift toward the more liberal position it occupies today.

·It established much of what we now consider the Republican coalition: Northeastern, conservative, pro-business.

It was also notable for the rhetorical differences of its two candidates. In what is often thought of as a single-issue campaign, William Jennings Bryan delivered his famous “Cross of Gold” speech but lost the election. Meanwhile, William McKinley addressed a range of topics in more than three hundred speeches—without ever leaving his front porch.

The campaign of 1896 gave the public one of the most dramatic and interesting battles of political oratory in American history, even though, ironically, its issues faded quickly into insignificance after the election.

In From the Front Porch to the Front Page, author William D. Harpine traces the campaign month-by-month to show the development of Bryan’s rhetoric and the stability of McKinley’s. He contrasts the divisive oratory Bryan employed to whip up fervor (perhaps explaining the 80 percent turnout in the election) with the lower-keyed unifying strategy McKinley adopted and with McKinley’s astute privileging of rhetorical siting over actual rhetoric.

Beyond adding depth and detail to the scholarly understanding of the 1896 presidential campaign itself (and especially the “Cross of Gold” speech), this book casts light on the importance of historical perspective in understanding rhetorical efforts in politics.
Hoover, the president of economic depression; Roosevelt the president of recovery—the public images of these two men are so firmly fixed that they offer shorthand ways to talk about the era we know as the Great Depression. Yet their views on economic policy for taking the country out of its greatest economic calamity were not so different as is often supposed.

Indeed, the famed journalist Walter Lippmann once claimed that Roosevelt’s legislative measures represented “a continuous evolution of the Hoover measures.” Moreover, both Hoover and Roosevelt shared a Keynesian conviction that public confidence was vital to recovery. They differed markedly, of course, in their ability to restore that confidence. Roosevelt’s advantage lay not just in his position in the changing of the guard. He employed a skilled staff of speech writers, and he had the negative example of Hoover before him from which to plot rhetorical strategies that would be more effective.

In Rhetoric as Currency, Houck uses the historical context of the Great Depression to explore the relationship of rhetoric to the economy and specifically economic recovery. He closely analyzes Hoover’s rhetorical corpus from March 4, 1929, through March 3, 1933, and Roosevelt’s from January 3, 1930, through June 16, 1933. This longitudinal study allows him to understand rhetoric as a process rather than a series of isolated, discrete products.

Houck first examines Hoover’s presidential rhetoric, tracing its paradoxes and the radical shift that occurred in the final year of his administration. The Depression, in his rhetoric, was a foe to be vanquished by an optimistic Christian and civic faith, not federal legislation. Once he determined that federal intervention was indeed required, he could not return to the dais; rather, he relied on an antagonistic press to carry his message of confidence. Abdicating the rhetorical pulpit, he left it in the hands of those opposed to him.

Houck then studies the economic rhetoric of Franklin Roosevelt as governor, candidate, president-elect, and finally president. He traces the key similarities and differences in Roosevelt's economic rhetoric with particular attention to an embodied economics, wherein recovery was premised less on mental optimism than a physical, active confidence.

Michael Wolff, author of the bombshell bestseller Fire and Fury, once again takes us inside the Trump presidency to reveal a White House under siege.

Just one year into Donald Trump’s term as president, Michael Wolff told the electrifying story of a White House consumed by controversy, chaos, and intense rivalries. Fire and Fury, an instant sensation, defined the first phase of the Trump administration; now, in Siege, Wolff has written an equally essential and explosive book about a presidency that is under fire from almost every side.

At the outset of Trump’s second year as president, his situation is profoundly different. No longer tempered by experienced advisers, he is more impulsive and volatile than ever. But the wheels of justice are inexorably turning: Robert Mueller’s “witch hunt” haunts Trump every day, and other federal prosecutors are taking a deep dive into his business affairs. Many in the political establishment—even some members of his own administration—have turned on him and are dedicated to bringing him down. The Democrats see victory at the polls, and perhaps impeachment, in front of them. Trump, meanwhile, is certain he is invincible, making him all the more exposed and vulnerable. Week by week, as Trump becomes increasingly erratic, the question that lies at the heart of his tenure becomes ever more urgent: Will this most abnormal of presidencies at last reach the breaking point and implode?

Both a riveting narrative and a brilliant front-lines report, Siege provides an alarming and indelible portrait of a president like no other. Surrounded by enemies and blind to his peril, Trump is a raging, self-destructive inferno—and the most divisive leader in American history.

When the stakes of public words and actions are global and permanent, and especially when they involve war and peace, can we afford not to seek their meaning? For three decades, Francis Beer has pioneered the effort to discover, describe, and connect pieces of the complex puzzle of war, peace, their interrelationship, and their causes.

In this volume, Beer (joined by colleagues as co-authors of some chapters) examines the cognitive, behavioral, and linguistic dimensions of war and peace. Language, he shows, is important because it mediates between thought and action. It expresses beliefs about war and peace and affects the perceptions of potential adversaries about one's own intentions. Using multiple perspectives and methods, he explores the uses of communication in international relations and the development of "meaning" for war and peace.

In this unique and innovative post-realist analysis, Beer examines how language transmits and creates meaning through interaction with specific audiences. His case studies include the Somalian intervention, Sarajevo and the Balkan conflict, and the Gulf War. Moving beyond the discrete words of war, the book takes a broader view of how political participants interact in war and peace through continuous streams of communication that reflect and construct worlds of meaning. This stimulating and challenging volume brings together insights and evidence from political science, cognitive psychology, linguistics, history, and rhetorical studies and applies them in a focused way to the problem of war and peace.
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