AUTHOR'S NOTE: I thank David Domke, Leah Ceccarelli, Crispin Thurlow, and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.
The Language of Freedom in the American Presidency, 1933-2006
Article first published online: 30 JUL 2007
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Volume 37, Issue 3, pages 375–398, September 2007
How to Cite
COE, K. (2007), The Language of Freedom in the American Presidency, 1933-2006. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 37: 375–398. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5705.2007.02603.x
- Issue published online: 30 JUL 2007
- Article first published online: 30 JUL 2007
Freedom is the most familiar symbol in American political culture, but little is known about how presidents have employed this symbol in their discourse. This study uses quantitative and qualitative analysis to examine the language of freedom in more than seventy years worth of presidential speeches. The findings reveal a presidential narrative of freedom that has been remarkably constant over time. However, within this broad narrative, presidents' political ideology and the context in which they spoke led to significant differences in the way they defined freedom and in the way they used the term to define the nation.