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Reconsidering Obama

Reflections on Rhetoric

Series:

Robert E. Terrill

Perhaps no other presidential candidate or sitting president has attracted as much attention from rhetorical critics as Barack Obama. Much of this work was conceived and written during Obama’s initial presidential campaign, or relatively early in his two terms in office. This book provides rhetorical critics an opportunity to revisit their published work on Obama in light of events that have occurred since its publication. In each chapter, these eminent critics begin by summarizing the analysis and conclusions in their original essays on Obama, and then reflect on their previous conclusions, revising or extending them in response to developments since the publication of the original work. The chapters provide a glimpse into the inventional strategies of practicing critics and into some of the ways that that critical insights may evolve over time. Scholars rarely have an opportunity to publish essays that reflect on their own previous work, even though few resources can be of greater use to both beginning critics and to established scholars seeking to continue to hone and reflect on their critical practice. This book, then, makes an important contribution not only to the existing literature on the 44th president of the United States, but also and perhaps most significantly to the study of the art and craft of rhetorical criticism.

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Table OF Contents Table OF Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii Robert E . Terrill Chapter One: Rhetorical Charges: Mercurian Figures and Democratic Hope after Obama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Peter Simonson Chapter Two: A Wrestling of Brothers: (Re)Writing Obama Separately and Together (Again) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 David A . Frank and Mark Lawrence McPhail Chapter Three: Barack Obama’s Neo- Racial Responses to Black Death . . . . . . . . . . 33 Amy L . Heyse and Ebony A . Utley Chapter Four: Obama’s Rhetoric of Myth and Reason . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Robert C . Rowland Chapter Five: Barack Obama at the Threshold of a New America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Robert L . Ivie and Oscar Giner Chapter Six: The Once and Future Teleological Discourse of Barack Obama . . . . . 89 Richard W . Leeman Chapter Seven: Testing the Narrative Signature Perspective: The Case of Obama and Health Care Reform . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Martin J . Medhurst Chapter Eight: Losing Patience with an Imperfect President and Imperfect People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 Derek R . Sweet and Margret McCue- Enser Chapter Nine: How Selective Amnesia Brought Us the First Black Socialist President of the United States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 Kristen Hoerl vi | table of contents Chapter Ten: A Reflection on the Obama Phenomenon, Our Heroic Expectations, and the Obama Presidency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 Jennifer R . Mercieca Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169 Selected Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183

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