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The Teleological Discourse of Barack Obama

By Richard W. Leeman

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Format: Hardback, 284 pages
Published In: United States, 11 May 2012
The Teleological Discourse of Barack Obama, by Richard Leeman, provides an in-depth analysis of President Barack Obama's speeches and writings to explain the power of the 44th president's speaking. Highly regarded for his eloquent and inspiring rhetoric, Obama is often compared to Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. However, Leeman's study shows that Obama's teleological philosophy and discourse more closely resembles Ronald Reagan's rhetoric.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Teleological Discourse Chapter 2. The Pre-Presidential Discourse of Barack Obama Chapter 3. The Presidential Discourse of Barack Obama Chapter 4. Presidential Rhetoric and Teleological Discourse Chapter 5. Teleological Discourse and the Rhetoric of Civil Rights Chapter 6. Barack Obama, Teleological Discourse and the American Polity

About the Author

Richard Leeman is professor of communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


Most Americans, regardless of their political persuasions, are captivated by President Barack Obama's soaring rhetoric. Even when his rhetorical brilliance is the target of criticism, as it certainly has been, few can deny the powerful and dynamic effect of his speeches. Richard W. Leeman, in his insightful and in-depth work, The Teleological Discourse of Barack Obama, sets out to identify exactly what it is about Obama's rhetoric that touches and inspires his listening audiences. In doing so, Leeman masterfully critiques not only Obama's rhetorical style, but also his leadership qualities, his values, and his vision for the American polity. ... Taken as a whole, Leeman's argument that Obama's discourse, worldview, and character are teleological is both cogent and fully nuanced. Indeed, the book itself stands as a teleological ideal, striving toward an understanding of the essential nature of political rhetoric. Presidential Studies Quarterly Leeman presents a thoughtfully conceived, theoretically grounded, and analytically sound argument for understanding Barack Obama, first and foremost, as a teleological rhetor. His thorough explication of Obama's books, campaign oratory, and presidential speeches stands as the most comprehensive examination of Obama's rhetorical efforts to date and should be recognized as a definitive text on the subject. Leeman's work is an excellent continuation of the public address scholarship concerning telos, presidential oratory, national identity, anD American polity. Although a scholarly work, Leeman's ability to write complexly, yet clearly and concisely, makes this book well worth the time of public address scholars, presidential historians, and any individuals who have an interest in the Obama presidency. Institutional libraries, as well as public libraries, would do well to make this text available to their patrons. Rhetoric & Public Affairs Richard Leeman has written a careful analysis of Barack Obama's rhetoric that provides important insights into the man, his values, and his vision for America. -- Craig Allen Smith, North Carolina State University

EAN: 9780739174081
ISBN: 0739174088
Publisher: Lexington Books
Dimensions: 23.9 x 16.1 x 2.4 centimetres (0.57 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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