Reflections on Rhetoric
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.
Introduction (Robert E. Terrill)
Robert E. Terrill
Barack Obama has attracted a lot of attention from rhetorical critics. From the moment that he arrived on the national stage, delivering a career-defining speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, through his 2008 presidential campaign, and then through his two terms as president of the United States, Obama, his discourse, and the discourse that has been produced about him, in support of him, and in opposition to him, all have proven to be exceptionally productive for the study of rhetoric.
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