Rhetorical Analysis of Six Hollywood Films About Politics: Presenting the Candidate as a Movie Star

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This study provides a rhetorical criticism of movies about national politics, with a primary focus on the value judgments, political consciousness and political implications surrounding the films Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), The Candidate (1972), The Contender (2000), Wag the Dog (1997), Power (1986), and Primary Colors (1998).


“Even if we know that films about politics and politicians have rhetorical merit as well as entertainment value, Dr. Walton, in this book, informs us in depth about the messages and the messengers from the perspective of rhetorical scholarship.” – John J. Makay, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, The School of Communication Studies, Bowling Green University

“The study is methodologically sound and will provide future scholars with a model for the analysis and rhetoric of film.” - Aaron V. Burton, Instructor, Bowling Green State University, School of Communication Studies

“Walton leaves her readers questioning every move their politicians make through her fascinating discussion of electoral politics discussing how candidates, advisors, and technology can distort reality . . .”- Alisa L. Agozzino, Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Arts, Ohio Northern University

Table of Contents

Foreword Acknowledgements
1. Introduction
2. Rhetorical Functions of Political Films
3. American Values and Political Reflection
4. Political Implications of a Political Consciousness
5. Conclusion

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