The Nuclear Freeze Campaign

Un libro in lingua di Hogan J. Michael edito da Michigan State Univ Pr, 1994

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In the first in-depth, critical analysis of the nuclear freeze campaign, J. Michael Hogan examines the rhetorical strategies of freeze activists in political speeches, mass-market paperbacks, direct-mail, documentaries, and even public school curricula. Through a series of case studies Hogan examines the reasons for the campaign's success as a media phenomenon, while also accounting for its failure as a policy initiative. The rhetorical strategies of the freeze campaign, Hogan argues, attracted sympathetic news coverage, especially on television news, but those very strategies doomed the campaign to failure in institutional political contexts and produced only superficial and transitory public support.
The Nuclear Freeze Campaign explores what public debate and deliberation can and cannot accomplish in the telepolitical age. In focusing upon the freeze campaign, Hogan offers a new, more critical interpretation of a political cause often praised for empowering the public in the nuclear debate. He also explains why such an apparently powerful political movement had so little impact on electoral politics and strategic arms policies. Above all, however, Hogan warns of larger threats to American democracy, threats posed by dangerous trends in the ways Americans identify, discuss, debate, and resolve important public issues. These are the threats posed by the politics of imagery and emotionalism, of sloganeering, and sound-bites, that suggest to Americans that politics is a spectator sport.

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