"Power was at the heart of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's relationship with the media: the power of the nation's chief executive to control his public messages versus the power of a free press to act as an independent watchdog over the president and the government. Here is a compelling study of Roosevelt's consummate news management skills as a key to FDR's political artistry and leadership legacy. [The author] explores FDR's adroit handling of the media within the classic conflict between confidentiality and openness in a democratic society. She explains how Roosevelt's manipulation of the press and public opinion changed as his administration's focus shifted from economic to military crises. During the depression FDR's leadership mode was flexible and open, seeking new answers for problems that had not responded to conventional solutions. Coreespondingly, his dealings with the media were frank and freewheeling. During the perilous years of World War II, when invasion was a legitimate fear and information could be used as a weapon, FDR was forced to be more secretive and less candid. Powerful publishers might have despised FDR, but Winfield shows how he bypassed them. Roosevelt elevated his personal relations with the working press to an unrivaled level of goodwill. He also held a record number of press conferences, nearly two per week during his twelve years in the White House. His famed fireside chats were carefully rationed for maximum impact. His press secretary, Steve Early, proved expert in promoting good press rapport. Winfield includes anecdotes and assessments culled from FDR's personal communications with journalists of the period from diaries and accounts of those who worked closely with FDR. She also gleans insights from the 1933-45 press conference and radio transcripts, journalists' responses, news articles, memoirs, letters to the White House, and the era's newspapers"--Jacket.
Based upon extensive research in the papers of President Harry S. Truman and in several journalistic collections, Harry S. Truman and the News Media recounts the story of a once unpopular chief executive who overcame the censure of the news media to ultimately win both the public's and the press's affirmation of his personal and presidential greatness. Franklin D. Mitchell traces the major contours of journalism during the lifetime and presidency of Truman. Although newspapers and newsmagazines are given the most emphasis, reporters and columnists of the Washington news corps also figure prominently for their role in the president's news conferences and their continuing coverage of Truman and his family. Broadcast journalism's expanding coverage of the president is also explored through chapters dealing with radio and television. President Truman's advocacy of a liberal Fair Deal for all Americans and a prudent and visible role for the nation in world affairs drew fire from the anti-administration news media, particularly the publishing empire of William Randolph Hearst, the McCormick-Patterson newspapers, the Scripps-Howard chain, and the Time-Life newsmagazines of Henry R. Luce. Despite press opposition and the almost universal prediction of defeat in the 1948 election, Truman was victorious in the greatest miscalled presidential election in journalistic history. During his full term, Truman's relations with the news media became contentious over such matters as national security in the Cold War, the conduct of the Korean War, and the continuing charges of communism and corruption in the administration. Although Truman's career in politics was based on honesty and the welfare of the people, his early political alliance with Thomas Pendergast, Kansas City's notorious political boss, provided the opportunity for a portion of the press to charge Truman with subservience to Pendergast's own agenda of corrupt government. The history and the dynamics of the Truman presidency and the American news media, combined with biographical and institutional sketches of key individuals and news organizations, make Harry S. Truman and the News Media a captivating and original investigation of an American president. Well written and researched, this book will be of great value to Truman scholars, journalists, and anyone interested in American history or presidential studies.
Donald Trump’s presidency was marked by angry attacks on journalists, an extraordinary ability to capture the media spotlight, a flood of disinformation from the White House, and bitter partisanship reflected in the media. Trump’s dysfunctional relationship with the press affected how the United States dealt with the crises of COVID-19, climate change, social unrest due to systemic racism, and efforts to overturn the 2020 election. But Trump’s troubled relationship with the press didn’t happen by chance. Clash explores the political, economic, social, and technological forces that have shaped the relationship between U.S. presidents and the press during times of crisis. In addition to Trump’s presidency, Clash examines those of John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Some of these presidents faced military or international crises. Others were challenged by economic downturns or political scandals. And sometimes the survival of America’s system of government was at stake. By examining what happened between presidents and the press during these pivotal times, Clash helps us understand how we arrived at our current troubled state of affairs. It concludes with recommendations for strengthening the role the press plays in keeping presidents accountable.
"This book analyzes Franklin D. Roosevelt's construction as a cultural icon in American memory from two perspectives. First, the author examines the historical leader who intentionally shaped his own public image. Second, she looks at portrayals and negotiations of FDR as an icon in cultural memory from the vantage point of the early twenty-first century"--
One of the greatest American presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt built a coalition of labour, ethnic, urban, low-income and African-American voters that underwrote the Democratic Party's national ascendancy from the 1930s to the 1980s. Over his four terms, he promoted the New Deal – the greatest reform programme in US history – to meet the challenges of the Great Depression, led the United States to the brink of victory in the Second World War, and established the modern presidency as the driving force of American politics and government. Iwan Morgan takes a fresh look at FDR, showing how his leadership enabled the United States of America to become the most successful country of the twentieth century. This astute and original assessment of a highly consequential presidency explains how Roosevelt enhanced the governing capacity of his office, promoted a constitutional revolution through his dealings with the Supreme Court, and forged a new intimacy between the president and the American people through his genius for political communication. It also demonstrates the significance of his organizational and strategic leadership as commander-in-chief in America's greatest foreign war, his role in holding together the US-British-Soviet Grand Alliance against the Axis powers, and his pioneering development of the national-security presidency that sought to promote a lasting post-war peace for the world. In fluid, immensely readable prose, Morgan focuses on the ways in which FDR transformed the presidency into an institution of domestic and international leadership to establish the modern ideal of the office as an assertive, democratic executive charged with meeting the challenges facing the US at home and abroad.
In this political communication text, Richard M. Perloff examines the various ways in which messages are constructed and communicated from public officials and politicians through the mass media to the ultimate receivers-the people. With a focus on the history of political communication, he provides an overview of the most significant issues in the study of politics and the media. In addition to synthesizing facts and theories, and highlighting the scholarly contributions made to the understanding of political communication effects, Political Communication addresses such factors as the rhetorical accomplishments of American presidents, the ongoing tangles between the press and the presidency, and the historical roots of politics as it is practiced and studied today. It also addresses major issues about the press and politics that continually resurface, such as question of press bias and the use and manipulation of media by politicians to accomplish national goals. As a comprehensive and engaging introduction to contemporary political communication, this volume provides all readers with a historical perspective on American politics and press and offers a unique appreciation of the strengths and virtues of political communication in America.
Defining the Chief Executive via flash powder and selfie sticks Lincoln’s somber portraits. Lyndon Johnson’s swearing in. George W. Bush’s reaction to learning about the 9/11 attacks. Photography plays an indelible role in how we remember and define American presidents. Throughout history, presidents have actively participated in all aspects of photography, not only by sitting for photos but by taking and consuming them. Cara A. Finnegan ventures from a newly-discovered daguerreotype of John Quincy Adams to Barack Obama’s selfies to tell the stories of how presidents have participated in the medium’s transformative moments. As she shows, technological developments not only changed photography, but introduced new visual values that influence how we judge an image. At the same time, presidential photographs—as representations of leaders who symbolized the nation—sparked public debate on these values and their implications. An original journey through political history, Photographic Presidents reveals the intertwined evolution of an American institution and a medium that continues to define it.
With the landmark election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932, decades of Republican ascendancy gave way to a half century of Democratic dominance. It was nothing less than a major political realignment, as the direction of federal policy shifted from conservative to liberal-and liberalism itself was redefined in the process. Electing FDR is the first book in seventy years to examine in its entirety the 1932 presidential election that ushered in the New Deal. Award-winning historian Donald Ritchie looks at how candidates responded to the nation's economic crisis and how voters evaluated their performance. More important, he explains how the Democratic Party rebuilt itself after three successive Republican landslides: where the major shifts in party affiliation took place, what contingencies contributed to FDR's victory, and why the new coalition persisted as long as it did. Ritchie challenges prevailing assumptions that the Depression made Roosevelt's election inevitable. He shows that FDR came close to losing the nomination to contenders who might have run to the right of Hoover, and discusses the role of newspapers and radio in presenting the candidates to voters. He also analyzes Roosevelt's campaign strategies, recounting his attempts to appeal to disaffected voters of all ideological stripes, often by altering his positions to broaden his popularity. With the advent of the New Deal, Americans came to enjoy a wide federal safety net that provided everything from old age pensions to rural electricity-government innovations so embraced by voters that even later conservative presidents recognized their importance. Ritchie traces this legacy through the Reagan and Bush years, but he relates how FDR in 1932 was often vague about the specifics of his program and questions whether voters really knew what they were in for with the New Deal. As pundits, politicians, and citizens eye the upcoming 2008 campaign, Electing FDR reminds incumbents not to take their party support for granted or to underestimate their opponents-and reminds students of history that understanding the New Deal begins with the 1932's transformative election.
In early 1944, with the outcome of World War II by no means certain, many in the United States felt that FDR, as wartime Commander-in-Chief, was an indispensable part of prosecuting the war to a victorious conclusion. Yet although only 62, Roosevelt was mortally ill with congestive heart disease - a fact that was carefully shielded from the American public prior to the election of 1944. In a media environment where we get more details about politicians' health than we sometimes prefer, it is hard to imagine how a paper as authoriative as The New York Times could describe FDR's death as "sudden and unexpected" on its front page. Dr. Hugh Evans looks at the issue of Roosevelt's health not only from a medical ethics perspective, but also with a keen eye for the political and media considerations that led to the decision to run and not disclose the extent of Roosevelt's illness.
A Companion to Franklin D. Roosevelt presents a collection of historiographical essays by leading scholars that provides a comprehensive review of the scholarship on the president who led the United States through the tumultuous period from the Great Depression to the waning days of World War II. Represents a state-of-the-art assessment of current scholarship on FDR, the only president elected to four terms of office and the central figure in key events of the first half of the 20th century Covers all aspects of FDR's life and times, from his health, relationships, and Supreme Court packing, to New Deal policies, institutional issues, and international relations Features 35 essays by leading FDR scholars
The story behind the 1940s Commission on Freedom of the Press—groundbreaking then, timelier than ever now "A well-constructed, timely study, clearly relevant to current debates."—Kirkus, starred review In 1943, Time Inc. editor-in-chief Henry R. Luce sponsored the greatest collaboration of intellectuals in the twentieth century. He and University of Chicago president Robert Maynard Hutchins summoned the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, the Pulitzer-winning poet Archibald MacLeish, and ten other preeminent thinkers to join the Commission on Freedom of the Press. They spent three years wrestling with subjects that are as pertinent as ever: partisan media and distorted news, activists who silence rather than rebut their opponents, conspiracy theories spread by shadowy groups, and the survivability of American democracy in a post-truth age. The report that emerged, A Free and Responsible Press, is a classic, but many of the commission’s sharpest insights never made it into print. Journalist and First Amendment scholar Stephen Bates reveals how these towering intellects debated some of the most vital questions of their time—and reached conclusions urgently relevant today.
Explores how U.S. presidents' cultural pursuits shaped their leadership while examining how the reading habits of early presidents have been sidelined by such technological advances as the radio, the television, and the Internet.