Post-9/11 American Presidential Rhetoric

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Post-9/11 American Presidential Rhetoric examines the communication offensive orchestrated by George W. Bush and the members of his administration between the initial terrorism crisis of September 11, 2001, and the March 20, 2003, invasion of Iraq. Colleen Elizabeth Kelley argues that the president relied on a set of particular strategies that coalesced into protofascist talk in order to discursively manage the post-9/11 situation and justify the president's 2003 war against Iraq. This book suggests a framework for analyzing emergent fascist public discourse and its potential for producing additional substantial antidemocratic speech and action. Kelley further reviews the role of the media in conveying President Bush's rhetorical doctrine to the American public. The rhetoric of democratic discourse is presented as a firewall to guarantee that such speech-based behaviors, which are endorsed by willing publics and developed within democracies, fail to thrive and do not destroy the very systems that enabled them in the first place. Post-9/11 American Presidential Rhetoric is a stimulating text that will strike up discussion among scholars of political communication and those interested in cultural studies.

About the Author:
Colleen Elizabeth Kelley is associate professor of speech communication at the Pennsylvania State University

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Editorial Reviews

James Arnt Aune
Everyone seems to believe that 'everything changed' after the events of 9/11/2001, although the meaning of that 'everything' continues to be debated in public discourse both in the U.S. and internationally. Colleen Kelley makes a powerful, careful, and refreshingly non-ideological case, well-grounded in the literatures of history and communication, for the emergence of what she calls 'proto-fascism' in the rhetoric of the Bush Administration. This book should be of wide interest, not only to scholars of the presidency, but to students and general readers interested in making sense of the dangerous new world we have entered since 9/11.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Colleen Elizabeth Kelley is associate professor of speech communication at the Pennsylvania State University.

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Table of Contents

Preface     ix
Introduction     1
History of Fascism     5
The Rhetorical Presidency, Power, and Fascist Discourse     31
Presidential Discourse and Fascism     55
The Discourse of the Syndicate     95
The Discourse of the President     127
A Keystone Strategy     167
The Post-9/11 Rhetorical Doctrine     197
Implications of the Post-9/11 American Presidency     241
Voicing Democracy     265
Conclusion     301
Selected Bibliography     307
Index     321
About the Author     327
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