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Stolen Thunder

The Cultural Roots of Political Communication

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Lisa Clair Harvey

Although political communication and public opinion research have established the importance of emotion in determining voter behavior, little attention has been paid to the cultural understructure of the media environment within which both public life and political emotion take place. Using an innovative combination of historical, critical, and anthropological techniques, this book explores that important intellectual terrain. It focuses on two complementary case studies - the 1988 presidential election and the Bush Administration's self-described «War on Drugs» - to probe the mythic underpinnings of American political vision, suggesting that in the age of television, presidential elections are important primarily as public rituals.