Proclaiming the Truman Doctrine
The Cold War Call to Arms
Presidential Studies - Rhetoric
5.5 x 8.5, 206 pp.
1 b&w photo.
Pub Date: 07/10/2008
Library of Presidential Rhetoric
  cloth
Price:        $34.95 x

978-1-60344-032-5

Published by Texas A&M University Press

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2010 Bruce E. Gronbeck Political Communication Research Award, presented by the National Communication Association

Proclaiming the Truman Doctrine

The Cold War Call to Arms

By Denise M. Bostdorff

In this work, Denise M. Bostdorff considers President Truman’s address to a joint session of Congress on March 12, 1947. She focuses on the public and private language that influenced administration perceptions about the precipitating events in Greece and Turkey and explores the news management campaign that set the stage for Truman’s speech. Bostdorff even examines how the president’s health may have influenced his policy decision and how it affected his delivery of the address and campaign for congressional approval.

After a rhetorical analysis of the Truman Doctrine speech, the book ends with Bostdorff’s conclusions on its short- and long-term impact. She identifies themes announced by Truman that resound in U.S. foreign policy down to the present day, when George W. Bush has compared his policies in the war on terror to those of Truman and members of his administration have compared Bush to Truman.

This important work is a major contribution to scholarship on the presidency, political science, and public rhetoric.

DENISE M. BOSTDORFF is a professor of communication at The College of Wooster (Ohio). She is the author of The Presidency and the Rhetoric of Foreign Crisis and is also a contributor to two volumes in Texas A&M University Press’s Presidential Rhetoric Series. Her Ph.D. is from Purdue University.

What Readers Are Saying:

“The writing style, organization, coverage of how the speech came to be written, and the depth of coverage of the immediate reactions to the speech are excellent…makes a contribution to understanding the origins of the cold war.”--Robert P. Newman professor emeritus, Department of Communication, University of Pittsburgh; author of <i>Truman and the Hiroshima Cult

"The book is well written and makes a modest contribution to the literature." -CHOICE

“The writing style, organization, coverage of how the speech came to be written, and the depth of coverage of the immediate reactions to the speech are excellent…makes a contribution to understanding the origins of the cold war.” --Robert P. Newman professor emeritus, Department of Communication, University

“Drawing upon extensive archival research, Denise Bostdorff provides a well-written, thorough, and thoughtful analysis of the Truman Doctrine speech. She locates the speech in both its historical and institutional context, arguing forcefully for the pivotal role rhetoric plays in our public affairs, and demonstrating how the echoes of this speech resound through the Cold War and into the war on terror. She uses this case to analyze how persuasive campaigns work, and how a single rhetorical frame can take on a life of its own. Students of history, rhetoric and politics will find this book both readable and insightful.” --Mary E. Stuckey, Professor Communication & Political Science, Georgia Sta

“This talented author has written the first full-length rhetorical analysis of the most important document produced by the Truman Administration---the Truman Doctrine speech of March 12, 1947, which publicly announced a change of policy toward the Soviet Union. And she has done it the proper way, from available manuscripts, together with interviews. This is the book on the subject.” --Robert H. Ferrell, professor emeritus of history, Indiana University; author

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