The Rhetorical Presidency, Propaganda, and the Cold War, 1945-1955
Both Truman and Eisenhower combined bully pulpit activity with presidentially directed messages voiced by surrogates whose words were as orchestrated by the administration as those delivered by the presidents themselves. A Review of the private strategizing sessions concerning propaganda activity and the actual propaganda disseminated by the Truman and Eisenhower administrations reveals how they both militarized propaganda operations, allowing the president of the United States to serve as the commander-in-chief of propaganda activity. As the presidents minimized congressional control over propaganda operations, they institutionalized propaganda as a presidential tool, expanded the means by which they and their successors could perform the rhetorical presidency, and increased presidential power over the country's Cold War message, naturalizing the Cold War ideology that resonates yet today. Of particular interest to scholars and students of political communication, the modern presidency, and Cold War history.