Reagan at Westminster
Foreshadowing the End of the Cold War
5.5 x 8.5, 160 pp.
1 b&w photo. Index.
Pub Date: 09/28/2010
Library of Presidential Rhetoric
  cloth
Price:        $40.00 x

978-1-60344-215-2
  paper
Price:        $19.95

978-1-60344-216-9
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Reagan at Westminster

Foreshadowing the End of the Cold War

Robert C. Rowland and John M. Jones

President Ronald Reagan’s famous address to the Houses of Parliament is now considered—in its spirit if not in its actual words—to be the initial enunciation of his “Evil Empire” stance. In this important volume by two experienced rhetorical scholars, Robert C. Rowland and John M. Jones offer a historical-descriptive treatment that includes both rhetorical analysis and a narrative of the drafting of the speech. They consider Reagan’s focus on “ultimate definition,” “dialectical engagement,” and other rhetorical tools in crafting and presenting the momentous address. They also note the irony of Reagan’s use of Leon Trotsky’s phrase “ash-heap of history” to predict the demise of Communism.

Rowland and Jones present three reasons for the importance of this speech. First, it offers new insights into President Reagan himself, through a view of his role in the drafting of the speech as well as the ideas it contains. Second, the speech is an act of rhetorical history, and its analysis helps recover a significant rhetorical artifact. Finally, the address ultimately expresses a rhetorical framework for the Cold War that systematically subverted the narrative, ideology, and values of Marxism.

Although initial response to the speech was tepid, Reagan considered it one of his most important addresses, and the hindsight afforded by the fall of Communism a decade later lends validation to that view, the authors suggest. Reagan at Westminster: Foreshadowing the End of the Cold War will highly commend itself to students and scholars of rhetoric, the Presidency, and political communication.

ROBERT C. ROWLAND, professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas, is the author or coauthor of four books, one of which, Shared Land/Conflicting Identity: Trajectories of Israeli and Palestinian Symbol Use, won the Karlyn Kohrs Campbell Prize in Rhetorical Criticism.

JOHN M. JONES, associate professor of communication at Pepperdine University, has focused his research and publication on the rhetoric of Ronald Reagan. He holds a PhD from the University of Kansas.

What Readers Are Saying:

"This book will be of interest to scholars in communication studies, political science, and history. Furthermore, it is written at a level that will allow graduate and undergraduate students to gain a better understanding the importance of presidential speechmaking." - A.L. Warver, Clemson University, Choice

"...a valuable rhetorical criticism of Ronald Reagan's rhetoric...thorough execution of rhetorical criticism...innovative observations...thorough and insightful...an insightful piece of scholarship...written in a clear, concise manner...an excellent choice for a case study...easy for readers to follow...a meaningful experience."--Valerie Lynn Schrader, Pennsylvania State University, Schuylkill Campus, from Rhetoric and Public Affairs


"...an excellent contribution to the Reagan historical archives..."--H.H. Gaffney, CNA Corporation, Project MUSE


"...exemplary in its details...an excellent contribution to the Reagan historical archives."--H.H. Gaffney, CNA Corporation, former official in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Journal of Cold War Studies


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