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The Politics of Resentment PB


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Table of Contents

Essay iEssay ii Essay iiiCONTENTSAcknowledgments / vii Introduction:DemocracyandResentment / 1Reimagining the People: From DuasCivitates to E Pluribus Unum to E Unibus Duo / 25The Rise of the Politics of Resentment / 70 The Rhetoric of Violence / 103Conclusion: Resentment Ad Hominemand Ad Ratio: A Plea for Rhetorical Criticism / 144Notes / 163 Bibliography / 183 Index / 199

About the Author

Jeremy Engels is Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University.


"What is the relationship between rhetoric and violence? Jeremy Engels addresses that question in the aftermath of the 2011 shooting spree that seriously wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed several others. Drawing on wide-ranging scholarship in political theory and American public discourse, he argues that political elites hijack justified popular resentment against oppressive social systems and redirect it against powerless individuals, thereby creating the potential for violence. Provocative in its understanding of democracy, compelling in its case studies of Richard Nixon and Sarah Palin, and challenging in its call for reinvigorated rhetorical criticism, this is a book that makes us think."

-David Zarefsky, former president of the National Communication Association and of the Rhetoric Society of America

"There may be no more pressing problem in contemporary U.S. political culture than a flourishing politics of resentment, which divides citizens, stalls policy, and excuses injustice. In The Politics of Resentment, Jeremy Engels helps readers understand how resentment has arisen as a political force and how scholars and citizens may respond. Toward these ends, The Politics of Resentment deftly weaves together history, criticism, and theory. Engels argues eloquently that we cannot 'ban resentment from the public sphere,' but he suggests ways to productively turn resentment toward disclosing structural violence, thereby helping achieve justice and promote a public good."

-Robert Asen, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Recommended for scholars of public address and rhetorical theory alike, The Politics of Resentment will soon be required reading for courses on deliberative democracy-and deservedly so. With proper exposure, this book may well contribute to the growth of a more peaceful, less resentful nation."

-Eric C. Miller, Southern Communication Journal

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