Who Belongs in America?
Presidents, Rhetoric, and Immigration
Presidential Studies - Rhetoric
6 x 9, 296 pp.
3 cartoons.
Pub Date: 07/11/2006
Presidential Rhetoric and Political Communication
  cloth
Price:        $39.95 s

978-1-58544-505-9
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Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Who Belongs in America?

Presidents, Rhetoric, and Immigration

Edited by Vanessa B. Beasley

“How can the immigrant of yesterday be lionized as the very foundation of the nation’s character, while the immigrant of today is often demonized as a threat to the nation’s safety and stability?” ask volume editor Vanessa B. Beasley in her introduction to this timely book.

As the nation’s ceremonial as well as political leader, presidents through their rhetoric help to create the frame for the American public’s understanding of immigration. In an overarching essay and ten case studies, Who Belongs in America? Explores select moments in U.S. immigration history, focusing on the presidential discourse that preceded, address, or otherwise corresponded to events.

These chapters, which originated as presentations at the Texas A&M University Conference on Presidential Rhetoric, share a common interest in how, when and under what circumstances U.S. presidents or their administrations have negotiated the tension that lies at the heart of the immigration issue in the United States. The various authors look at the dual views of immigrants as either scapegoats for cultural fears, especially during trying times. U.S. presidents have had to navigate between these two motifs, and they have chosen different ways to do so. Indeed, as these studies show, their words have sometimes been at odds with their deeds and policies.

Since 9/11, few issues have more public significance than how America views immigrants. The contributors to this volume provide context that will help inform the public debate, as well as the scholarship, for years to come.

Vanessa B. Beasley, an associate professor of communication at the University of Georgia, is the author of You, the People: American National Identity in Presidential Rhetoric, also published by Texas A&M University Press. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Texas at Austin.

Vanessa B. Beasley, an associate professor of communication at the University of Georgia, is the author of You, the People: American National Identity in Presidential Rhetoric, also published by Texas A&M University Press. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Texas at Austin.

What Readers Are Saying:

“A welcome addition to studies of the rhetorical presidency. Not only does this book fill in a major gap in the rhetorical literature on the presidency, it does so with scholarly grace, clarity, and distinction. [The essays] probe important issues and periods, and the analyses they undertake will challenge scholars to pay more attention to a singularly important, but too often overlooked area.”--Steven R. Goldzwig, Marquette University

“A welcome addition to studies of the rhetorical presidency. Not only does this book fill in a major gap in the rhetorical literature on the presidency, it does so with scholarly grace, clarity, and distinction. [The essays] probe important issues and periods, and the analyses they undertake will challenge scholars to pay more attention to a singularly important, but too often overlooked area.” --Steven R. Goldzwig, Marquette University

“Vanessa Beasley takes readers on a solid, academic analysis of addresses and messages by U.S. presidents that provide a unique perspective on what it means to be an American Highly recommended fro all university libraries supporting public affairs, political science, and communications curriculum.” --Review of Texas Books

“Illuminates the circumstances under which U.S. presidents or their administrations have negotiated the tension that lies at the heart of the immigration issue.” --Hispanic Outlook

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