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A New Beginning
A Textual Frame Analysis of the Political Campaign Film
A New Beginning
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Joanne Morreale - Author
SUNY series in Communication Studies
Hardcover - 154 pages
Release Date: July 1991
ISBN10: 0-7914-0608-3
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-0608-3

Out of Print
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 154 pages
Release Date: July 1991
ISBN10: 0-7914-0609-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-0609-0

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

This book is a postmodern analysis of Ronald Reagan's 1984 film, A New Beginning, which marked the coming-of-age of the televisual political campaign film. The film was a landmark in the art of political filmmaking. Its thesis proclaimed a resurgence of American pride, patriotism, and prosperity under the leadership of Ronald Reagan. A New Beginning was unprecedented for a number of reasons: it replaced the traditional nominating speech for the candidate at the Republican National Convention; its form was a hybrid documentary and advertisement; it illustrated the use of televisual rebirth rhetoric to gain public support for a political ideology; and, most importantly, the masterful project documented a shift from verbal to visual rhetoric in American presidential campaigning.

The author examines the film as a cultural text and as an effective political tool. Framing, ideology, myth, and visual cliche are analytic tools used to deconstruct the film; the method combines rhetorical theory with communication theory and semiotically-based theories of film and television. Morreale gives insight into the increasingly prevalent use of television to create a political reality.

Joanne Morreale is Assistant Professor of Speech Communication at Northeastern University.

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Table of Contents



1. Political Campaign Films

2. Framing a Rebirth

3. Ronald Reagan and the Conservative Movement

4. Mythic Rhetoric in A New Beginning

5. Rebirth of Myth in A New Beginning

6. The Artful Use of Visual Cliché

7. Critically Reframing A New Beginning

8. Methodological Implications



Selected Bibliography


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