FDR's body politics: the rhetoric of disability

Front Cover
Texas A&M University Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 141 pages
0 Reviews
Franklin Roosevelt instinctively understood that a politician of his era who was unable to control his own body would be perceived as unable to control the body politic. He therefore took great care to hide his polioinduced lameness both visually and verbally. In FDR's Body Politics, Davis W. Houck and Amos Kiewe draw on never-before-used primary sources to analyze the silences surrounding Roosevelt's disability, the words he chose to portray himself and his policies as powerful and health-giving, and the methods he used to maximize the appearance of physical strength. They examine his broad strategies, as well as the speeches Roosevelt delivered during his political comeback after polio struck, to understand how he overcame the whispering campaign against him in 1928 and 1932. Ultimately, this is a story of triumph and courage that reveals a master politician's understanding of the body politic in the most fundamental of ways.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Keeping Secrets
In Sickness and in Health

3 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Davis W. Houck is an assistant professor of communication at Florida State University. He has written several works on presidential rhetoric, including Rhetoric as Currency: Hoover, Roosevelt, and the Great Depression and FDR and Fear Itself: The First Inaugural Address, also published by Texas A&M University Press. His Ph.D. is from Pennsylvania State University.Amos Kiewe, director of the speech communications department and associate dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University, holds a Ph.D. from Ohio University. He has written and edited several books, including The Modern Presidency and Crisis Rhetoric, and A Shining City on a Hill: Ronald Reagan’s Economic Rhetoric, 1951–1989.