American Rhetoric and the Vietnam War

American Rhetoric and the Vietnam War

by J. Justin Gustainis
     
 

Rhetoric during wartime is about the creation of consensus, writes Justin Gustainis. In American Rhetoric and the Vietnam War, he discusses efforts to build or destroy public support of America's most controversial war of the century. Gustainis analyzes several important aspects of Vietnam era rhetoric: presidential rhetoric, protest rhetoric, and the

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Overview

Rhetoric during wartime is about the creation of consensus, writes Justin Gustainis. In American Rhetoric and the Vietnam War, he discusses efforts to build or destroy public support of America's most controversial war of the century. Gustainis analyzes several important aspects of Vietnam era rhetoric: presidential rhetoric, protest rhetoric, and the war as portrayed in popular culture. Broadly defining rhetoric as the deliberate use of symbols to persuade, the author explores partisan use of speeches, marches, songs, military campaigns, gestures, destruction of property, comic strips, and films.

Part One, Prowar Rhetoric, opens with a chapter devoted to the domino theory as a condensation symbol. Subsequent chapters discuss the hero myth in reference to Kennedy and the Green Berets, rhetoric and the Tet Offensive, and Nixon's Silent Majority. Part Two examines antiwar rhetoric, and includes studies of Daniel Berrigan, SDS and the Port Huron Statement, and the Weathermen. Gustainis argues that the antiwar movement did not stop the war, and may have prolonged it. In Part Three, he analyzes Doonesbury as antiwar rhetoric, then turns to an examination of how the war has been portrayed in popular film. Gustainis includes a political, military, and rhetorical chronology of the war as an appendix. Recommended for scholars and students of rhetoric and political communication.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Gustainis (communications, State U. of New York) analyzes the rhetoric of Americans who supported the Vietnam War: domino theory, the hero myths of Kennedy and the Green Berets, the Tet offensive, and the "silent majority"; and of those who opposed it, such as Daniel Berrigan, SDS, and the Weathermen. In a third part, he looks at the Doonsebury comic strip as antiwar rhetoric, and the portrayal of the war in popular film. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780275933616
Publisher:
Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/13/1993
Series:
Praeger Series in Political Communication Series
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.61(h) x (d)

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