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Reagan speaks : the making of an American myth

Author: Paul D Erickson
Publisher: New York : New York University Press, 1985.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Ronald Reagan owes much of his astounding political success to his unusual rhetorical powers. Using modern day folktales and sweeping sagas of grand adventure, Reagan reduces the unarguably complex issues of our times to simple allegories of good and evil ... [Author] exposes the technique used by Reagan and his staff to manipulate their audience. We see how Regan skillfully alters facts, makes history into  Read more...
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Details

Named Person: Ronald Reagan; Ronald Reagan; Ronald Reagan
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Paul D Erickson
ISBN: 0814721672 9780814721674
OCLC Number: 12262742
Description: xvi, 172 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction --
A time for choosing --
Analogies, allegories, and homilies --
Stock characters --
America's divine destiny --
What kind of people are we? --
The semblance of politics --
Appendix and selected speeches of Ronald Reagan.
Responsibility: Paul D. Erickson.

Abstract:

"Ronald Reagan owes much of his astounding political success to his unusual rhetorical powers. Using modern day folktales and sweeping sagas of grand adventure, Reagan reduces the unarguably complex issues of our times to simple allegories of good and evil ... [Author] exposes the technique used by Reagan and his staff to manipulate their audience. We see how Regan skillfully alters facts, makes history into allegory, creates 'stock' characters who personify good and evil and uses metaphors, myths and anecdotes to convince the public this way is the only just and moral way. He reduces questions about economic planning, constitutional interpretation, and national defense to the most basic emotional level ... critique of the effects of speechifying it is also a fascinating analysis of the persona of the American public. WE see how Reagan carefully listens to what America wants to hear--easy answers, a simple way out, a guarantee America is number one--and creates the character which personifies these qualities. Reagan has thus become America's projected hero--and to vote against his is to vote against America--and this book tells how he skillfully used his rhetorical genius to capture the American electorate."--Jacket.

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