The Department of Government
The Department of Government

The Rhetorical Presidency by Professor Jeffrey Tulis is Subject of Symposium

Fri, June 20, 2008

Previously the focus of several conferences and symposia the book is currently the subject of a special issue of the journal Critical Review (V. 19, Ns. 2-3). In the issue some seventeen scholars contribute articles assessing the impact and continuing relevance of the book. Tulis explores the use of popular rhetoric by presidents from the earliest days of the republic through the late eighties. He argues that the contemporary impulse to judge presidents by their ability to inspire through their words is a recent development and quite out of step with the position of the founders. The scholars who reread Tulis twenty years later find his work stands the test of time. Issue editor Jeffrey Friedman writes that the book is “one of the two or three most important and perceptive works written by a political scientist during the twentieth century, and it is the one that may help the most to explain the pathological aspects of modern politics—not only in the United States but in all social democracies.”

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