The Prospect of Presidential Rhetoric

Culminating a decade of conferences that have explored presidential speech, The Prospect of Presidential Rhetoric assesses progress and suggests directions for both the practice of presidential speech and its study. In Part One, following an analytic review of the field by Martin Medhurst, contributors address the state of the art in their own areas of expertise. Roderick P. Hart then summarizes their work in the course of his rebuttal of an argument made by political scientist George Edwards: that presidential rhetoric lacks political impact. Part Two of the volume consists of the forward-looking reports of six task forces, comprising more than forty scholars, charged with outlining the likely future course of presidential rhetoric, as well as the major questions scholars should ask about it and the tools at their disposal. The Prospect of Presidential Rhetoric will serve as a pivotal work for students and scholars of public discourse and the presidency who seek to understand the shifting landscape of American political leadership.