Franklin D. Roosevelt's Rhetorical Presidency


"Building on the premise that the 20th century has witnessed the rise of the rhetorical presidency, ' Ryan parses the public addresses of a master persuader. Overall, FDR's verbal gifts strengthened his hand while enriching the language of American politics. Ryan examines the mechanics of a typical Roosevelt speech, considering such factors as intonation, rhythm, and choice of metaphor, as well as Roosevelt's incomparable body language--these are the best parts of the book. Ryan effectively treats the question of authorship, arguing that although FDR wrote little of his own material, his speeches bore a distinct Roosevelt imprint. . . . Ryan's work makes clear why the packaging of a speech must be considered as significant as its substance." Choice