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The Kennedy Persuasion : The Politics of Style Since JFK - Paul R. Henggeler

The Kennedy Persuasion

The Politics of Style Since JFK

Hardcover Published: 1st March 1995
ISBN: 9781566630788
Number Of Pages: 335

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In this original and convincing piece of history, Paul Henggeler explores the haunting of American politics since the assassination of John Kennedy. Focusing on the behavior of presidents and presidential candidates, he shows how the Kennedy mystique has altered the style - and demeaned the substance - of presidential politics.
"The Texas School Book Depository, once a warehouse for books, today houses our imagination," Mr. Henggeler writes. Americans' shared nostalgia for the Kennedy years, with their imagined hope and promise, is confirmed in polls that reveal a yearning for the optimism and confidence associated with JFK's brief presidency. Keenly aware of these feelings among the electorate, American political leaders have energetically laid claim to the Kennedy mantle.
From Lyndon Johnson's pledge to "Let us continue" to Bill Clinton's widely publicized handshake with JFK, the Kennedy legend has prompted presidents and candidates to adjust their public image and their message to accommodate persistent longings for the return of Camelot. In The Kennedy Persuasion, Mr. Henggeler uses fresh archival sources to describe how Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, have invoked the Kennedy mythology, adopted the Kennedy strategy, even tried to summon up the Kennedy appearance in order to influence Congress, the media, and the American public. The author also draws on extensive interviews with key political players of the era as well as numerous aides, associates, and reporters.
By the 1970s and 1980s, as Mr. Henggeler points out, it was seldom Kennedy's ideology or programs that politicians drew upon; like the public, they were mindful of Kennedy's style. As JFK became a source less of inspiration than of impersonation, presidents and candidates became distracted, producing behavior and decisions that were often debilitating. Thus the Kennedy legend "has contributed to the derivativeness of presidential leadership," the author argues. "It has frustrated incumbents who have competed against romanticized memories of a glorified past."
The Kennedy Persuasion is a disquieting and often surprising appraisal of the great political icon of our time.

Industry Reviews

This well-rendered treatise draws history onto important ground tracking the influence of a single, powerful symbol in an age when political power came to reside increasingly in media spectacle. Kirkus Astute...meticulously researched...offers important insights on the power of myth in presidential politics. -- Amos Kiewe Presidential Studies Quarterly

Introductionp. 3
Lyndon Johnson: The Interloperp. 11
Johnson as His Own Manp. 39
Richard Nixon: The Anti-Kennedyp. 65
Nixon in the White Housep. 88
Restoration: Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carterp. 122
Carter and the Challenge of Edward Kennedyp. 145
Reinvention: Ronald Reaganp. 172
The Rise and Fall of Gary Hartp. 184
1984: Reagan Reduxp. 207
Re-creation: The Sentimental Journey of Michael Dukakisp. 219
Bill Clinton and the Laying On of Handsp. 244
The Prison of the Pastp. 270
Notesp. 277
A Note on Sourcesp. 305
Indexp. 311
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781566630788
ISBN-10: 1566630789
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 335
Published: 1st March 1995
Publisher: IVAN R DEE INC
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 16.13  x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.63

Earn 102 Qantas Points
on this Book