AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Rick Herder, Maureen Vernon, and the anonymous reviewers of this article for their critiques and suggestions.
Sanctioning Foreign Policy: The Rhetorical Use of President Harry Truman
Article first published online: 17 JUL 2009
© 2009 Center for the Study of the Presidency
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Volume 39, Issue 3, pages 454–472, September 2009
How to Cite
EDWARDS, J. A. (2009), Sanctioning Foreign Policy: The Rhetorical Use of President Harry Truman. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 39: 454–472. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5705.2009.03686.x
- Issue published online: 17 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 17 JUL 2009
This article examines how contemporary presidents invoke the memory of President Harry Truman within their foreign policy discourse. Specifically, it is argued that Truman has become an authorizing figure—a person of historical importance that rhetors invoke and interpret in justifying their own policies and principles. Presidents Reagan, Clinton, and Bush cited and interpreted Truman's words and deeds in various ways to serve different foreign policy ends. Exploring how contemporary presidents use and appropriate Truman's memory presents an opportunity to mine the contour of the thirty-third president's foreign policy legacy and to obtain a better understanding of collective memory in presidential rhetoric.