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Craig R. Smith
“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