Editing Internet Texts/American Exceptionalism and National Myths in John F. Kennedy's Rhetoric

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

The ideas of American exceptionalism may be found easily in American presidential rhetoric. Throughout years presidents have presented the United States as the exemplary country with a divine mission, and as the savior and protector of freedom and liberty. One may observe many ideas of American exceptionalism in Kennedy's discourse. The aim of this project is to analyze John F. Kennedy's best-known speeches in terms of rhetorical devices he uses in order to craft the image of America as an exceptional nation. The project is dedicated to users with a knowledge of basic rhetorical terms, and those interested in American presidential discourse.

The course is divided into five parts:

  1. where you can find a short historical overview of American Presidential Rhetoric, types of presidential speeches, and a brief note on the role of media in presidential speeches
  2. where you can find a brief biography of JFK, his debates with Nixon, and features characteristic of JFK's rhetoric
  3. where you can find some information about American exceptionalism and national myths
  4. where you can find the analyses of the selected speeches (Inaugural Address, "City Upon a Hill", Fourth of July Speech 1962)
  5. where you can find rhetorical devices quiz

Table of Contents[edit | edit source]

  1. American Presidential Rhetoric
  2. John F. Kennedy
  3. American Exceptionalism and National Myths
  4. Analysis of the Selected Speeches
  5. Tasks