SimpsonxFassett_book_review

SimpsonxFassett_book - Quarterly Journal of Speech Vol 91 No 3 August 2005 pp 327/335 Book Reviews Tarla Rai Peterson ed Green Talk in the White

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Book Reviews Tarla Rai Peterson, ed., Green Talk in the White House: The Rhetorical Presidency Encounters Ecology $25 (paperback). Green Talk in the White House: The Rhetorical Presidency Encounters Ecology offers a collection of essays intersecting public address, presidential scholarship, and environmental rhetoric. Compiled by prominent environmental communication scholar Tarla Rai Peterson, Green Talk is divided into four thematic sections: Theodore Roosevelt, political pragmatism, Bill Clinton, and environmental governance. The power of economic considerations is an overarching theme woven throughout the book’s collected analyses of presidential environmental rhetoric. In her Introduction, Peterson points to the urgency of environmental issues arguing that ‘‘environmental communication studies require a more convincing demonstration of practical utility’’ (9) than most public address scholarship. Noting public address theory benefits environmental rhetoricians in their analyses, Peterson adds that ‘‘environmental communica- tion studies can help to redeem the promise of practicality for public address scholarship’’ (9). Of interest to scholars of environmental rhetoric, the Introduction’s historical portion is a critically engaging overview; furthermore, it provides the public address scholar with a succinct review of the sub-discipline. The first section of the collection provides two analyses of the Theodore Roosevelt presidency. ‘‘Preaching Conservation: Theodore Roosevelt and the Rhetoric of Civil Religion’’ by Leroy Dorsey identifies an intersection of sacred rhetoric and ‘‘secular’’ environment in the rhetoric of Teddy Roosevelt, criticizing his overemphasis on economic justifications for environmental policy. Christine Oravec’s ‘‘Presidential Public Policy and Conservation: W. J. McGee and the People’’ builds on the theoretical concepts of Michael McGee and Maurice Charland to study how administration official W. J. McGee constituted ‘‘the people’’ in a way that reached across the American population and established the conservation movement. Oravec skillfully establishes W. J. McGee’s influence on Gifford Pinchot, Theodore Roosevelt, and his administration. The next three chapters, Section 2 of the text, move from Franklin Roosevelt through the Reagan Revolution. Here, Suzanne Daughton and Vanessa Beasley address the economic arguments in presidential rhetoric with their contribution, ‘‘The President and the Reformer: Rhetoric, Politics, and the Environment under Franklin Delano Roosevelt.’’ Daughton and Beasley’s well written narrative of the exchange between Roosevelt and the Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist Jay Norwood Darling is meant to ‘‘recover’’ a counter-perspective to the frequent lauding of Roosevelt’s environmental record by environmental advocates, historians, and other presidential scholars. Michael Vickery’s ‘‘Conservative Politics and the
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SimpsonxFassett_book - Quarterly Journal of Speech Vol 91 No 3 August 2005 pp 327/335 Book Reviews Tarla Rai Peterson ed Green Talk in the White

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