This first book-length assessment of Ike's consummate skills as a communicator shows how, contrary to popular belief, he used language effectively as a weapon to achieve well-conceived strategic ends during the Cold War. Medhurst demonstrates how Eisenhower chose his audiences and times deliberately. This reference is an invaluable text and resource for students, scholars, and professionals in rhetorical studies, mass communications, public opinion, presidential studies, and Cold War history.
The critical analysis shows that, despite caricatures of Eisenhower as fuzzy, muddle-headed, and obscure in his public speeches, he pondered over just the right words and employed half-truths, was ambiguous and indirect in a tactical manner. He knew exactly what he was doing and why. Texts of speeches exemplify how he served as a strategic communicator. A selected chronology points to his most important speeches. The bibliography is the most comprehensive to date on Eisenhower as a public speaker. The study is based on extensive use of primary research materials from the Eisenhower Library.