Cold War rhetoric: strategy, metaphor, and ideology by Martin J. Medhurst

By Martin J. Medhurst

Chilly battle Rhetoric is the 1st e-book in 20 years to carry a sustained rhetorical critique to undergo on significant texts of the chilly warfare. The rhetorical texts which are the topic of this e-book comprise speeches through Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, the Murrow-McCarthy war of words on CBS, the speeches and writings of peace advocates, and the routine subject of unAmericanism because it has been expressed in quite a few media during the chilly struggle years. all of the authors brings to his texts a selected method of rhetorical criticism--strategic, metaphorical, or ideological. each one presents an introductory bankruptcy on method that explains the assumptions and strengths in their specific procedure.

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Example text

The parties interested in any critical give-and-take concerning the Cold War, or any other complex topic, will be not only a plurality but one that shifts. Inevitably the life of concepts, as well as biological life, will evolve. "Once and for all" is an illusion. Even if we gain a highly satisfactory state of being, we can count on that state being temporary. We may endeavor to maintain whatever equilibrium we gainregardless of the sort of equilibrium on which we focusbut we should recognize that equilibrium is fundamentally a consistency of change.

Medhurst A strategic approach to Cold War rhetoric is predicated upon a realist view of the world; not the world as it ought to be or as we might wish it to be, but the world as it currently exists with its varying political systems, governmental philosophies, economic assumptions, power relationships, and dominant personalities. By adopting a realist position, one also embraces an accompanying axiom: that systems, philosophies, assumptions, relationships, and personalities change and that one's response to any given situation must change with them, reflecting reality as it currently exists or is perceived to exist rather than what existed last week, last month, or last year or what might exist tomorrow, next week, or next year.

It is a contest involving such tangibles as geography, markets, spheres of influence, and military alliances, as well as such intangibles as public opinion, attitudes, images, expectations, and beliefs about whatever system is currently is ascendancy. The contest, in other words, is both material and psychological in nature. The currency of Cold War combatthe tokens used in the contestis rhetorical discourse: discourse intentionally designed to achieve a particular goal with one or more specific audience.

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