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The Resource Reagan's mythical America : storytelling as political leadership, Jan Hanska, (electronic book)

Reagan's mythical America : storytelling as political leadership, Jan Hanska, (electronic book)

Label
Reagan's mythical America : storytelling as political leadership
Title
Reagan's mythical America
Title remainder
storytelling as political leadership
Statement of responsibility
Jan Hanska
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
This book is the first full-length study into the Reagan presidency with the tools of narratology. It expands the understudied field of research into political narratives as concrete policy tools and provides a new means of understanding the continuing popularity of Reagan as a President.
Member of
Cataloging source
UK-WkNB
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Hanska, Jan
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Reagan, Ronald.
  • Political oratory
  • Discourse analysis, Narrative
  • Communication in politics
  • United States
Summary expansion
American Storyverse introduces narratology as a relevant approach to the study of any US President, but especially Ronald Reagan. While initially much of the research conducted into the Reagan presidency was highly critical, many of the books written lately have been more like hagiographies. Reagan has been subjected to almost a worshipful attitude in the past two decades (see e.g. D'Souza 1997, Kengor 2006, Wallison 2003), and only recently more level-headed and objective studies have begun to emerge (see e.g. Wilentz 2008). There is a need to keep researching Reagan, but by taking new stances and original approaches. Hanska introduces a new interpretation of Reagan's success that goes beyond explaining his rhetoric. He takes a more comprehensive view by arguing that Reagan's political leadership focused on the use of stories as factual tools of policymaking. Reagan was a man fond of stories and his tendency to illustrate even the most confounding political challenges in short anecdotes and parables are an example of his ability as a storyteller. But that was not the whole scope of his narrative-based policies. The main argument is that with the aid of multiple stories about America, the American Way of Life and especially the American Dream Reagan narrated into existence a mythical America, which could be characterized as America where all its highest aspirations and ideals were manifested. This was not the world Americans lived in, but with aid of the ability of stories to create alternative realities or storyworlds (Herman 2004) of their own Reagan managed to alter the perception of people about the country they lived in. Instead of the mere storyworld that is built in the narrates interaction with the story Hanska introduce a concept of 'storyverse' to illustrate how such a complex and multifaceted storytelling as Reagan's was able to knit storylines into a 'storyweb' where common-sensical, ideological, cultural, political, mythical and even religious beliefs worked as snares to draw the audience into accepting one storyline and by following it deeper into the narrative superstructure were enticed to accept more and more beliefs without even consciously noticing their influence. Reagan's mythical America was not the United States of America that exists with clear boundaries on the map, but rather an imagined community that people were happy to inhabit. It was a place of everyday heroism and good deeds, love within families and communities, a land where indeed there always was a 'new morning for America.' The skillful storytelling created an entire storyverse of belief of what it meant to be an American and a part of this mythical community and by maneuvering people in and out of different storyworlds within the entire metanarrative Reagan was able to immerse the citizenry in his storyverse and exclude politically disadvantageous factors almost completely. Of course, just as in every story, the audience needs to accept it as worth listening to, and this requires belief. This explains why Reagan was simultaneously loved and hated by the citizens. There was no middle ground. If one chose not to accept Reagan's political vision of America as fundamentally 'true,' they were strongly opposed to all Reagan stood for
Label
Reagan's mythical America : storytelling as political leadership, Jan Hanska, (electronic book)
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (p. 229-248) and index
Contents
An Introduction and Methodological Remarks The Narrative Approach to Reagan's Policymaking Structuring a Political Narrative Reagan and Other Characters in the Stories Beyond Authorship - Reagan as Narrator Audience as Storyworld Participants Re-Creating the Mythical America as a Storyverse Possible Worlds as Products of Narratives Political Manipulation of the Storyworld Combining Storyworlds into a Storyverse American Religion Sacred Profanity - Religion and Politics in the U.S. Reagan's Personal Faith and Beliefs 'American Civil Religion' Reagan's Vision of American Way of Life American Dream as Object Of Belief Blending the Mythical and Religious into Politcal Religion and Narrative Religion as Material for Myth Americanonized Myths of U.S. Politics Exodus into the New Eden The Shining City on a Hill Unified Past, Present and Future in Mythical America Coda
Control code
9781137273000
Extent
xviii, 256 p.
Form of item
electronic
Governing access note
Users can print and/or download individual articles/chapters and other individual items from Palgrave Connect ebooks, limited to no more than one chapter per title per authorised user
Isbn
9781137273000
Specific material designation
unspecified
Type of computer file
PDF.
Label
Reagan's mythical America : storytelling as political leadership, Jan Hanska, (electronic book)
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (p. 229-248) and index
Contents
An Introduction and Methodological Remarks The Narrative Approach to Reagan's Policymaking Structuring a Political Narrative Reagan and Other Characters in the Stories Beyond Authorship - Reagan as Narrator Audience as Storyworld Participants Re-Creating the Mythical America as a Storyverse Possible Worlds as Products of Narratives Political Manipulation of the Storyworld Combining Storyworlds into a Storyverse American Religion Sacred Profanity - Religion and Politics in the U.S. Reagan's Personal Faith and Beliefs 'American Civil Religion' Reagan's Vision of American Way of Life American Dream as Object Of Belief Blending the Mythical and Religious into Politcal Religion and Narrative Religion as Material for Myth Americanonized Myths of U.S. Politics Exodus into the New Eden The Shining City on a Hill Unified Past, Present and Future in Mythical America Coda
Control code
9781137273000
Extent
xviii, 256 p.
Form of item
electronic
Governing access note
Users can print and/or download individual articles/chapters and other individual items from Palgrave Connect ebooks, limited to no more than one chapter per title per authorised user
Isbn
9781137273000
Specific material designation
unspecified
Type of computer file
PDF.

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