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A Critical Search for Values in George W. Bush’s State of the Union Addresses


Agnieszka Sowińska

This book focuses on values and valuation in the State of the Union addresses delivered by the former U.S. President George W. Bush. What values are invoked in the speeches? How are these values constructed? How can they be classified? How are particular construals of values conducive to the actions the speaker wants to legitimize? Drawing on Critical Discourse Studies, the book examines pragmalinguistic tools applied in political legitimization, such as proximization, metaphor or assertion. The analysis reveals three ideological values used in the context of foreign policy making: security, terrorism and freedom.
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This book grew out of my doctoral dissertation entitled: “A Critical Analysis of Values in President George W. Bush’s and President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Addresses (2001–2010).” It grew out of interactions with a number of colleagues.

I would like to thank Prof. Zdzisław Wąsik, who has provided the encouragement and guiding hand over the years.

I am greatly indebted to Prof. Patricia Dunmire for her constructive criticism of an earlier draft of this book and for the helpful suggestions she made. My thanks are due also to Prof. Przemysław Żywiczyński and Dr. Katarzyna Molek-Kozakowska, who read and commented on different parts of this book.

I wish to thank all my colleagues from the English Department at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń – for their inspiration, encouragement, and friendship. I’m grateful to the Head of the English Department and the Dean at the Faculty of Languages, who agreed to fund this publication.

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