Political Argumentation in the United States

Historical and contemporary studies

Selected essays by David Zarefsky

David Zarefsky | Northwestern University
ISBN 9789027211248 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027269904 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
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In the United States, political argumentation occurs in institutionalized settings and the broader public forum, in efforts to resolve conflict and efforts to foster it, in settings with time limits and controversies that extend over centuries. From the ratification of the U.S. Constitution to the presidency of Barack Obama, this book contains twenty studies of U.S. political argumentation, grouped under four themes: early American political discourse, Abraham Lincoln’s political argumentation, argumentation about foreign policy, and public policy argumentation since the 1960s.
Deploying methods of rhetorical criticism, argument analysis and evaluation, the studies are rich in contextual grounding and critical perspective. They integrate the European emphasis on politics as an argumentative context with the U.S. tradition of public address studies.
Two essays have never before been published. The others are retrieved from journals and books published between 1979 and 2014. The introductory essay is new for this volume.
[Argumentation in Context, 7] 2014.  x, 386 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“At last there is a volume that brings together David Zarefsky’s thoughtful and wide-ranging insights on rhetoric, argumentation, and significant political puzzles! With characteristic precision and historical sensitivity, Zarefsky perspicuously analyzes the argumentative contours of important rhetorical cases in U.S. politics from the republic’s early days to the present. The collection’s implications for the study and practice of political argument make this eloquent treatment a must-read.”
“The volume [...] reflects the writing of Dr. Zarefsky on subjects related to early American political argumentation, the public argumentation of Abraham Lincoln, argumentation in American foreign policy, and American political argumentation since the 1960s. [A]n outstanding contribution to the distinguished series [...].”
“Throughout his long and distinguished career as a scholar and critic, Zarefsky has analyzed early and modern U.S. public discourse offering academic audiences his insights into the links between public discourse and public policy. This collection enables a wider audience to enjoy his perceptive critiques.”
“This magisterial collection showcases the work of David Zarefsky, an international leader in the study of argumentation in context. Studying more than two centuries of U.S. political history, Zarefsky adroitly deploys argumentation as an analytic perspective in order to demonstrate the power of public discourse at specific moments as well as the trajectory of argumentative practices across time. The volume is essential reading for scholars of argumentation and rhetorical history alike.”
“A superb critic of political argumentation, David Zarefsky has consistently focused on the rhetorical strategies that define political reality. Taken together, these extraordinary essays chart and explain the
linguistic realities that have made American politics from their founding to the present. It is an invaluable collection.”
“When it comes to rhetorical discourse in America, David Zarefsky is the dean of historical and critical analysis. In this collection of his writings over the course of the last 30 years, Zarefsky ranges widely—from the early Republic to the debate over Texas annexation to Lincoln and the Civil War to civil rights rhetoric of the 1960s and on into the Obama era. Ever the careful student of history, Zarefsky brings a rhetorical scholar’s acumen to the analysis of specific texts and movements. For those interested in how a master rhetorician wields the tools of critical analysis, I can think of no better introduction.”
“This collection of essays reflects the extraordinary breadth and depth of Zarefsky’s work on American political argumentation. The essays identify and explore important argument dynamics in a wide range of cases including constitutional debates in the early republic, the slavery controversy in the nineteenth century, mid-twentieth century domestic policy debates, and early twenty-first century foreign policy issues. I can’t recommend it more highly.”
Cited by

Cited by 8 other publications

Greco, Sara
Hernández, Alfonso
2021. Journalists’ moves in political press conferences and their implications for accountability. Journal of Argumentation in Context 10:3  pp. 281 ff. DOI logo
Hollihan, Thomas A.
2021. Media Coverage of the North Korea Nuclear Controversy in the United States. In Diplomatic and Mediated Arguments in the North Korean Crisis [Palgrave Macmillan Series in Global Public Diplomacy, ],  pp. 25 ff. DOI logo
Lawrence, John, Jacky Visser, Chris Reed, Randy Allen Harris & Chrysanne Di Marco
2017. Harnessing rhetorical figures for argument mining. Argument & Computation 8:3  pp. 289 ff. DOI logo
Lewiński, Marcin & Dima Mohammed
2016. Argumentation Theory. In The International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Santulli, Francesca & Chiara Degano
2022. The Inaugural Address: Fostering Objects of Agreement. In Agreement in Argumentation [Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology, 31],  pp. 113 ff. DOI logo
Santulli, Francesca & Chiara Degano
2022. Agreement through Language. In Agreement in Argumentation [Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology, 31],  pp. 49 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2015. Introduction. In Argumentation in Political Deliberation [Benjamins Current Topics, 76],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 13 may 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Communication Studies

Communication Studies

Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2014012491 | Marc record