Publication date:

11 November 2015

Length of book:

280 pages


Lexington Books

ISBN-13: 9781498501958

Issue framing is the way that people, especially politicians, get other people to view a particular problem or issue. By framing the issue in a particular way, the goal is to get people to think about the issue, to believe that an action is required and, most importantly, to believe that a particular action (the one being proposed by the framer) is the right one. The use of language and imagery is an essential part of issue framing and has been an integral part of the presidency since our nation’s founding, but it has become particularly important since Theodore Roosevelt began to take his message directly to the people.

This work examines a selected speech delivered by every president from Roosevelt through Barack Obama to show how language has been instrumental in directing policy. Each chapter will examine the situation or background for the problem, include a transcript of the speech the president delivered, and conclude with an analysis of the speech in terms of the particular frame that the speech utilized and the eventual outcome, or policy direction, inspired by the speech.
This book does a wonderful job of combining political science, history, and communication studies. Contributors from across disciplines unite under a single theme: the president is in a unique position to use language to influence public policy. With historical background and analysis of what each president has attempted to do, each chapter is both informative and fun to read.