The World Is Our Stage: The Global Rhetorical Presidency and the Cold War, Allison M. Prasch

Reviewed by Justin W. Kirk

Drawing on archival research, news reporting, contemporaneous reactions, and a depth of rhetorical analysis, Allison Prasch offers readers an unparalleled examination of the Cold War presidency and its impact on global affairs. Prasch develops a theory of the rhetorical presidency that connects it to Cold War events by revealing monumental shifts in presidential power and global politics. Throughout, Prasch shows how communication technologies developed alongside and advanced by the growth of foreign press travel. She reveals how presidents developed a complex communication apparatus around the proselytizing of American values and how place can function as dramatic scene and resource for argument.

Prasch provides an account of the Cold War presidency that reveals an executive branch obsessed with optics and communication. The analysis shows how the movement of the presidential body was a carefully orchestrated and calibrated event intended to circulate images, sounds, and words in support of U.S. global leadership, for good or ill. For presidential studies scholars, the book expands and makes more relevant the use of extensive archival research across five administrations. Prasch's insightful reconstruction of major Cold War events like Kennedy's speech in Berlin or Nixon's trip to China offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at decision-making wit

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