Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication and Rhetorical Studies


Bradford Vivian


Enemy Construction, Epideictic, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Memory, Metaphor, War

Subject Categories



I add to existing scholarship an explanation of the rhetorical priming work that Franklin D. Roosevelt employed to overcome isolationism in the United States. Roosevelt asked the American people to trust him through the next great world crisis and used his prior two terms as well as strategic enemy construction as support. He framed the memory of his first two terms tightly and told them what to remember from their shared experiences to formulate an America ready for war. His leadership through the Banking Crisis and initiation of many domestic policies to keep America great were the basis upon which Roosevelt would prime the American people to venture through yet another trying crisis with him. The generation who would fight in the noble and good war against the evil Nazi regime was still reeling from the Great Depression and the sting of involvement from the first world war. They would need to be rhetorically primed to be moved out of their isolationist slumber.


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