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Rhetoric, Politics and Society

Donald Trump and the Kayfabe Presidency

Professional Wrestling Rhetoric in the White House

Authors: O'Brien, Shannon Bow

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  • Explores the idea of manufactured realities within the context of the American Presidency
  • Brings insight from theater and performance studies to areas such as presidential rhetoric, political communication, and media and politics
  • Places the unprecedented Trump presidency within the historical context of past administrations
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eBook $44.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-50551-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $59.99
price for USA
About this book

This book examines Donald Trump's longstanding connections to professional wrestling in relation to how he uses and exploits language, and the ways in which he has weaponized going public never before seen in previous administrations. Trump utilizes the language of wrestling to make rhetorical appeals and draws upon its theatrical tactics to redefine expectations of spaces to fundamentally change the nature of political expectations and expression. Wrestling is almost always about stories within a confined space, and Donald Trump inculcated many of its techniques to command an audience with rhetoric. The emotional performance supersedes truth or accuracy; factual exactness matters less than your presentation of the material. As Donald Trump blends performance and public service, social confusion over boundaries has occurred. Theatrical norms, when applied to daily life, generate vastly different reactions than within the artificial confines of an arena. It is not simply a muddling of public and private, but rather a jumbling of theatrical and generalized social standards. This book examines these aspects and explores how Donald Trump has also utilized well-established presidential tools in completely new ways in an attempt to build the strongest executive branch in American history.


About the authors

Shannon Bow O’Brien is an Assistant Professor of Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin. She specializes in American politics with a focus upon executive politics and presidential rhetoric. Her previous book, Why Presidential Speech Locations Matter: Analyzing Speechmaking from Truman to Obama, was published in 2018.


Reviews

“In Donald Trump and the Kayfabe Presidency, Shannon Bow O’Brien offers a unique assessment through the lens of professional wrestling to better understand the public presidency of Donald Trump. Given Trump’s long connection to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), comparing Trump’s public performances to the entertainment strategies used in the genre places the tone and combativeness of his public performances into a relevant context. This book offers a fascinating addition to the literature on presidential communication through a case study of Trump’s distinctive style of campaigning and governing.” —Lori Cox Han, Professor of Political Science, Chapman University, USA

Table of contents (5 chapters)

Table of contents (5 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Pages 1-10

    O’Brien, Shannon Bow

  • Manufacturing Realities: Truth Is What You Can Get Away With

    Pages 11-37

    O’Brien, Shannon Bow

  • Wrestling with the Presidency: How Donald Trump Uses Wrestling and Theatrical Tactics in the Public Sphere

    Pages 39-58

    O’Brien, Shannon Bow

  • Going Re“public”an: How Donald Trump Uses Speeches to Target Audiences and Mask Reality

    Pages 59-83

    O’Brien, Shannon Bow

  • Why Does Any of This Matter?: What Can We Learn from These Strategies?

    Pages 85-104

    O’Brien, Shannon Bow

Buy this book

eBook $44.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-50551-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $59.99
price for USA

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Donald Trump and the Kayfabe Presidency
Book Subtitle
Professional Wrestling Rhetoric in the White House
Authors
Series Title
Rhetoric, Politics and Society
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Pivot
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-50551-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-50551-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-50550-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 108
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics