The Presidents We Imagine

Two Centuries of White House Fictions on the Page, on the Stage, Onscreen, and Online

; Paul S. Boyer

In such popular television series as ""The West Wing"" and ""24"", in thrillers like Tom Clancy's novels, and in recent films, plays, graphic novels, and internet cartoons, America has been led by an amazing variety of chief executives. Les mer
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Om boka

In such popular television series as ""The West Wing"" and ""24"", in thrillers like Tom Clancy's novels, and in recent films, plays, graphic novels, and internet cartoons, America has been led by an amazing variety of chief executives. Some of these are real presidents who have been fictionally reimagined. Others are 'might-have-beens' like Philip Roth's President Charles Lindbergh. Many more have never existed except in some storyteller's mind. In ""The Presidents We Imagine"", Jeff Smith examines the presidency's ever-changing place in the American imagination. Ranging across different media and analyzing works of many kinds, some familiar and some never before studied, he explores the evolution of presidential fictions, their central themes, the impact on them of new and emerging media, and their largely unexamined role in the nation's real politics. Smith traces fictions of the presidency from the plays and polemics of the eighteenth century - when the new office was born in what Alexander Hamilton called 'the regions of fiction' - to the digital products of the twenty-first century, with their seemingly limitless user-defined ways of imagining the world's most important political figure. Students of American culture and politics, as well as readers interested in political fiction and film, will find here a colorful, indispensable guide to the many surprising ways Americans have been 'representing' presidents even as those presidents have represented them.

Fakta

Innholdsfortegnelse





















































































List of Illustrations

ix
Acknowledgmentsxi
Introduction Presidents in the American Imagination3(11)




Imagining a President





George Washington and His Fictional Predecessors

14(31)




Seeing Double





Clowns, Carnival, and Satire in the Antebellum Years

45(37)




Deep, Yet Transparent





Myth, Mystery, and ``Common Sense'' in Post-Civil War Presidential Fictions

82(38)




A Simple, Honest Man





Presidential Character in the Fictions of the 1930s and 1940s

120(41)




The Human Element





Presidential Strength, Weakness, and Difference in the 1960s and 1970s

161(45)




Who Am I?





Presidents and Their ``Issues'' in Fictions of the 1990s

206(40)




Fictitious Times





Imagining Presidents at the Turn of the Millennium

246(34)




Conclusion {Your Name Here} for President

280(11)
Notes291(58)
Bibliography349(28)
Index377

Om forfatteren

Jeff Smith is assistant professor at the Center for Management Communication in the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California. He has been a political reporter, commentator, and television news consultant, a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University's Rothermere American Institute, and the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships for the study and teaching of American culture.