Martin J. Medhurst is Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and
Communication at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He is the author
or editor of ten books, is a frequent contributor to journals in
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Eisenhower's War of Words
Rhetoric and Leadership
Winner of the National Communication Association, Public Address
Division, 1995 Marie Hochmuth Nichols Award for Outstanding
This volume paints a revisionist portrait of Dwight Eisenhower as a
strategic communicator who was highly involved in the series of
crises that characterized his administrations. As a consummate cold
warrior, Eisenhower understood that words, images, perceptions, and
the shaping of attitudes were central to the ongoing battle with the
Soviet Union. He used rhetoric--actions and messages intentionally
designed to persuade--to achieve many of his goals. To Ike, rhetoric
was the central weapon for waging--and winning--the cold war.
Understood as a strategic art of selection, arrangement, nuance,
timing, and audience adaptation, rhetoric became, for Eisenhower,
preferred means for conflict resolution.
Examining both foreign and domestic crises,
Eisenhower’s War of Words reveals a chief executive who was
always thinking, planning, and looking for the opportune moment to
strike. Individual chapters are devoted to the crises concerning
Vietnam, McCarthyism, the H-bomb, massive retaliation, Open Skies,
the Suez, Sputnik, Little Rock, the U-2 Affair, and the military-
industrial complex. Eisenhower’s rhetorical leadership saw America
through a decade that was anything but tranquil. This book examines
one of the primary means by which he accomplished that goal.
Rhetoric and Public Affairs Series
Notes, photographsWorld rights
300 pp., 6.00" x 9.00", 2002