"Un-Americans" and "Anti-communists" : [electronic resource] : the rhetorical battle to define twentieth-century America /Show full item record
|Title||"Un-Americans" and "Anti-communists" : [electronic resource] : the rhetorical battle to define twentieth-century America /|
|Author||McNiece, Matthew A|
|Description||Title from dissertation title page (viewed Dec. 8, 2008).
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Texas Christian University, 2008.
Department of History; advisor, Mark T. Gilderhus.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (electronic thesis) in PDF.
Manichaeism imbues both the history and the historiography of domestic American anticommunism. Within the latter, two major schools dominate. One identifies anticommunism as little more than an anti-intellectual anti-liberalism directed by conservatives against various social and political dissenters. The other rejects this view as dangerous revisionism that obscures the very real threat posed to the United States by the agents of (especially Soviet) communism. This study proposes a new understanding of domestic American anticommunism as a rhetorical battle to define the parameters of legitimacy and authenticity within the twentieth-century United States. In this view, neither of the main branches of the historiography fully guides the historian. Instead, tools from the field of rhetoric studies aid more traditional historical inquiry in illuminating the multivariate ways in which social and political forces deployed the construct of anticommunism as a tool for legitimation or delegitimation. Various chapters explore the interactions of political liberalism and conservativism with mainstream definitions of anticommunism, as well as the social construction of a national identity or a hero mythology within a peculiarly American anticommunist environment. Ultimately, domestic American anticommunism may be seen as a fundamentally conservative force for defining authenticity, and in a Manichean way, illegitimacy. For the better part of a century, anticommunism helped delineate "us" from "them" in U.S. social and partisan politics.
|Subject||Communism United States History.
Anti-communist movements United States History.
Rhetoric Political aspects United States History.
United States Politics and government 20th century.
This item appears in the following Collection(s)
- Theses and Dissertations