- Hardcover: 229 pages
- Publisher: Praeger (July 22, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0313382506
- ISBN-13: 978-0313382505
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#3,529,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #2881 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Elections & Political Process > Political Parties
- #3755 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > United States > Executive Branch
- #3871 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Elections & Political Process > Elections
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Podium, the Pulpit, and the Republicans, The: How Presidential Candidates Use Religious Language in American Political Debate
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"Stecker's book provides illuminating analytical insights, fascinating textual examples, and even some interesting personal anecdotes." - Presidential Studies Quarterly
"This challenging book takes a unique look at political discourse in the US since the early 1970s. . . . Students of religion and politics as well as readers interested in political discourse will find this book useful." - Choice
"Christian evangelical identification has been (and continues to be) a particular staple within the Republican party. That's why The Podium, the Pulpit, and the Republicans: How Presidential Candidates Use Religious Language in American Political Debate by Episcopal minister Frederick Stecker is so timely and such a valued contribution to the growing body of literature concerning the impact and influence of religion upon American politics, politicians, and political movements. . . . The Podium, The Pulpit, And The Republicans is informed, informative, thoughtful, thought-provoking, and directly relevant to today's national presidential politics, making it a highly recommended addition for academic and community library reference collections, as well as supplemental reading lists for American Political Science curriculums." - Midwest Book Review
"This book provides a vital understanding of [political speech] that [breeds] fear and intolerance arousing the primitive and irrational within us. Citizens should use it as an important guide." (Stephen Soldz, President, Psychologists for Social Responsibility)
"In times of increasing partisan divisiveness, shifting communication networks, and extraordinarily rapid information exchange, attitudes are shaped and colored in often surprising and unchangeable ways. The premise of this volume is understanding how core attitudes about national identity relate to deeply held religious beliefs and shape the political discourse. Dr. Stecker brings together disciplines that do not always speak to one another, especially in such a contentious current climate. And in his openness to examining such core issues in the political landscape, he also asks us to listen more closely to the turns of speech and phrases that are influencing each of us every day in these rapidly changing ― and often crisis laden ― times. This is a provocative volume that if taken to heart will make each of us slow down and listen again to the many voices joining in the political discourse of our nation." (Linda C. Mayes, M.D., Arnold Gesell Professor, Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology, Yale Child Study Center)
Top customer reviews
Fr. Stecker's book is both incisive and informed. It avoids the clichés of contemporary media discourse while speaking directly to the categories that enframe those clichés. Particularly cogent in displaying how certain religious tropes resonate with various groups of voters, Fr. Stecker's documentation is impressive, presented informally in the text. Like Lakoff, Fr. Stecker could be charged with speaking as a liberal, but that doesn't trouble me; and I think the quantitative evidence in this qualitative study is forceful.
That's not what I want to talk about, however. Fr. Stecker traces the rise of the religious right in post-1960s American politics in his second and third chapters and links that history both with the economic interests it serves and with its growth as a counter-culture. Central to his primary argument in the chapters that follow is an analysis of how George W. Bush and Richard Cheney (perhaps under the tutelage of Karl Rove) combined use of religious language identifying themselves with the supposed certainties of "faith" and skillful manipulation of the fear of terrorism to foster and maintain a siege mentality in the public mind during the years following 9/11 until support for the Iraq war began to erode.
A chief finding of Fr. Stecker's research is that these rhetorical gestures and the gestures they provoked from Democratic candidates were successful for Republicans in 2000 and 2004 and validate Lakoff's "nation as family" metaphors; but a further finding is that Barack Obama was able to turn the Republicans' rhetoric against them and reclaim both the language of faith and the language of patriotism for his own campaign and best "the Republicans at their own game" in 2008. It is this latter finding for which I am particularly grateful.
A fuller version of this review may be found on my blog.