Allegories of Reading Tulis

Author
Diane Rubenstein
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
Critical Review
Volume
19
Issue Number
2
Publication Date
January 2007
Institution
Critical Review Foundation
Abstract
Jeffrey Tulis's The Rhetorical Presidency is deceptively titled. It is not about rhetoric or political symbolism or even about the American presidency as such, as were many postmodern studies produced in the Reagan era. Rather, Tulis re-situates rhetoric: a minor theme in a story about the presidency becomes an important avenue into profound questions of political order and republican governance. Like Tulis, I approach my thesis obliquely; I distinguish his from other, seemingly similar, works (and realign him with other rhetorical readers, such as Paul de Man and Jacques Derrida) to underscore what I see as the book's lasting legacy: its explication of the double binds and central paradoxes of republican governance (seen, for example, in presidential prerogative), and its articulation of the role of rhetoric in institutional transformation.
Topic
Government, Governance
Political Geography
America