The Rhetoric of American Exceptionalism

Critical Essays

$29.95

In stock

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist

About the Book

The American experience has been defined, in part, by the rhetoric of exceptionalism. This book of 11 critical essays explores the notion as it is manifested across a range of contexts, including the presidency, foreign policy, religion, economics, American history, television news and sports. The idea of exceptionalism is explored through the words of its champions and its challengers, past and present. By studying how the principles of American exceptionalism have been used, adapted, challenged, and even rejected, this volume demonstrates the continued importance of exceptionalism to the mythology, sense of place, direction and identity of the United States, within and outside of the realm of politics. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Jason A. Edwards is an assistant professor of communication studies at Bridgewater State University. His research interests center on the intersections of presidential rhetoric, American foreign policy culture and international politics.

David Weiss is an assistant professor of mediated, political, and strategic communication at the University of New Mexico. His research interests include critical media discourse, representations of “culture war” issues in popular culture, and religious communication in the political and public sphere.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Jason A. Edwards and David Weiss

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5970-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8681-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Introduction: American Exceptionalism’s Champions and Challengers
DAVID WEISS and JASON A. EDWARDS      1

Part I. Champions of American Exceptionalism
1. The Rhetoric in the Modern Presidency: A Quantitative Assessment
RICO NEUMANN and KEVIN COE      11
2. Resolving Rhetorical Tensions
M. KAREN WALKER      31
3. One Nation Under God: Mormon Theology and the American Continent
BRETT LUNCEFORD      48
4. Re- Contextualizing Americanism: The National Association of Manufacturers’ Jeremiad for Free Enterprise During the Roosevelt Era
BURTON ST. JOHN, III      63
5. The Redeem Team Saves USA Basketball: An Analysis of the U.S.-China 2008 Olympic Games
KATHERINE L. LAVELLE      82

Part II. Challengers to American Exceptionalism
6. Mormonism and America as Promised Land in Joseph Smith’s Letter from Liberty Jail
DAVID CHARLES GORE      101
7. Henry Cabot Lodge and the Rhetorical Trajectory
MICHAEL J. HOSTETLER      118
8. Discursive Characterization as Embodiment and Critique: The Divergent Rhetorical Trajectories of Pat Tillman as an American Hero
ARTHUR W. HERBIG      132
9. The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site: Challenge to and Reification of American Exceptionalism
LINDSAY R. CALHOUN      153
10. Those Who Bear the Heaviest Burden: Warfare and American Exceptionalism in the Age of Entitlement
CHRISTINA M. KNOPF      171
11. Promoting America: U.S. Public Diplomacy and the Limits of Exceptionalism
CRAIG HAYDEN      189

About the Contributors      211
Index      215

Book Reviews & Awards

“The writers take turns championing and challenging the notion of American exceptionalism…a lot of today’s issues have their roots in the idea of American exceptionalism…a good introduction…an important subject”–Enterprise News