Writing JFK: Speechwriting and the Press in the Bay of Pigs Crisis provides the full text of both speeches and the press conference, as well as Benson’s analysis of what would come to be known as “spin control.” He demonstrates how the speeches display the implicit collaboration of Kennedy with his speech writers and the press to create a depiction of Kennedy as a political and moral agent. A central feature of the book is Benson’s exploration of “the enormous power of the presidency to compel press restraint and to command the powers of publicity.”
In this brief but intensive examination, Benson holds a magnifying glass of rhetorical inquiry to the processes of contemporary government. These speeches have never before been studied in such depth, and Benson has drawn on many sources to arrive at unique historical and critical understanding of them. The resulting insight into the relationship among the press, politics, and public policy will appeal to all those interested in politics and rhetoric, the power of the American president, and the legacy of JFK.
About the Author
Published by Texas A&M University Press