Introduction Hail to the Salesman in Chief

Edited by Andrew L. Johns and Kenneth Osgood

in Selling War in a Media Age

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034669
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038742 | DOI:
Introduction Hail to the Salesman in Chief

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The idea of selling war is not exclusive to the modern presidency. The words and deeds of the nineteenth-century presidents resonate with parallels during the “media age” and set precedents for their successors. The selling of war—or any U.S. foreign policy initiative—to the American public predates the American century. Propaganda as a tool of foreign relations predates the United States by centuries. Political leaders have always intuited the importance of dealing with public opinion, both in terms of reacting to it and shaping it. The advent of technology, evolution in the role and scope of the federal government and the increasing sophistication of propaganda, and public relations techniques would fundamentally alter the relationship between the Oval Office and domestic political opinion.

Keywords: modern presidency; selling war; U.S. foreign policy; foreign relations; Oval Office; political leaders

Chapter.  7450 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies

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