Words of Crisis as Words of Power

The jeremiad in American presidential speeches

Marta Neüff | Humboldt University of Berlin
ISBN 9789027200501 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027264268 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
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The volume explores crisis rhetoric in contemporary U.S. American presidential speechmaking. Rhetorical leadership constitutes an inherent feature of the modern presidency. Particularly during times of critical events, the president is expected to react and address the nation. However, the power of the office also allows him or her to direct attention to particular topics and thus rhetorically create or exploit the notion of crisis. This monograph examines the verbal responses of George W. Bush and Barack Obama to pressing issues during their terms in office. Assuming an interdisciplinary approach, it illuminates the characteristics of modern crisis rhetoric. The aim of the book is to show that elements of Puritan rhetoric, and specifically the tradition of the jeremiad, although taken out of their original context and modified to suit a modern multiethnic society, can still be detected in contemporary political communication. It will be of interest to students and scholars of presidential rhetoric, political communication, sociolinguistics, and cultural studies.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“In times of crisis, American presidents, Republican or Democrat, return to the rhetorical form of the jeremiad. But how they use it, what they transport with it, and how successful they are in their crisis management differs. In this magnificent book, Marta Neüff has greatly added to our understanding how the rhetorical presidency in America works.”
“Read through the lenses of communication studies, discourse analysis, and pragmatics, Marta Neüff offers a vigorous and incisive interpretation of 21st century presidential crisis rhetoric that both refines and challenges our understanding of the shifting strategies and increasing power of presidential communication at a time of profound transformations in the tools and spaces of political conversation. Well written and researched, this book provides important insights into the mechanism of the growing presence of presidential self-staging in the United States and beyond.”
“This interdisciplinary contribution provides a wealth of literature and methodology and opens new dimensions on political discourse study. It will appeal to researchers and students in fields like rhetoric, critical discourse analysis, and politics.”
Cited by

Cited by 3 other publications

Gilmore, Jason, Charles M. Rowling, Jason A. Edwards & Nicole T. Allen
2020. Exceptional “We” or Exceptional “Me”? Donald Trump, American Exceptionalism, and the Remaking of the Modern Jeremiad. Presidential Studies Quarterly 50:3  pp. 539 ff. DOI logo
Paul, Wm. Bryan, Joel Lansing Reed & Josh C. Bramlett
2024. Mr. Flake Gets Out of Washington: The Jeremiadic Martyrdom of Jeff Flake. Western Journal of Communication 88:1  pp. 240 ff. DOI logo
Scott Felder, Ryan
2024. Sacramental Action in Response to “Urban Crisis”: An Incarnational Critique of the General Convention Special Program. Anglican Theological Review 106:1  pp. 40 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 23 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

LAN009030: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Pragmatics
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2017056556 | Marc record