John F. Kennedy challenged America to enter and win the space race, Nixon ushered in the era of the space shuttle work horse, and Reagan urged us to reach for the stars. In this study of space exploration from a metaphorical perspective, Linda T. Krug focuses on presidential rhetoric and the ways in which metaphors influence public understanding and opinion of the U.S. space program.
After the era of the man on the moon, why did people no longer flock to see a space launch? Why did legislative support for the space program become so difficult to procure? Why were NASA officials willing to compromise their ethics and beliefs to make a launch happen? Krug raises these questions and argues that the answers, to some extent, lie in the metaphorical shadows our presidents have cast over the space program. Beginning with a discussion of the significance of metaphor, this study offers a comprehensive space chronology highlighting space program events and presidential responses, from Eisenhower unveiling his plan to Bush taking us to tomorrow. Krug proposes that once U.S. astronauts walked on the moon, thus winning the race, the nation was unable to find another equally compelling way of looking at space exploration. She suggests that only when presidents learn to combine visions of space exploration with space use will a sound space program once again exist. With a focus on the dynamic motivating power of metaphorical images, this unique investigation of space exploration rhetoric will interest space enthusiasts, as well as those who study rhetorical criticism, political communication, political science, and space programs.
About the Author
LINDA T. KRUG is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Her interest is in metaphor, and the ways in which it works to open up, close down, and establish competing perspectives in communication. This was the topic of her dissertation, Stylizing, Culturizing, and Image-Action: The Dialectic Forces of the Metaphorical Experience, and a recent article, Ronald Reagan and the Strategy of Metaphor: The Making of an America 'Standing Tall'.
Table of Contents
About the Series by Robert E. Denton, Jr.
Series Foreword by Robert E. Denton, Jr.
Presidential Rhetoric and Metaphoric Action: A Framework
The Race to Space
Starting a Nation Dreaming Again
Back to the Future
Thirty-Odd Years of Metaphoric Guidance