LINGUIST List 14.473

Mon Feb 17 2003

Books: Pragmatics, Semantics: Silberstein

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  1. jleppig, War of Words: Silberstein

Message 1: War of Words: Silberstein

Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 17:08:49 +0000
From: jleppig <>
Subject: War of Words: Silberstein

Title: War of Words
Subtitle: Language, Politics and 9/11

Publication Year: 2002
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis)		 
Author: Sandra Silberstein

Hardback: ISBN: 0415290473, Pages: 172, Price: 25.00

At first there were no words to describe the horror of September 11,
only a national hush that expressed the sudden absence of so many
innocent lives.

Then the floodgates opened: eyewitness accounts, expert analyses,
bitter denunciations, tributes to fallen heroes, patriotic
exortations, eulogies.spin. Almost immediately, the Bush
Administration and the media launched an unprecendented rhetorical
campaign aimed at manufacturing support for the "War on Terror." A
fascinating glimpse into the full impact of 9/11 on America's psyche,
War of Words takes a critical look at the strategic use of language to
create a series of national transformations: A terrorist attack became
an "act of war," requiring commensurate response. The President,
until then the butt of national jokes, ascended to Commander in Chief,
while the leader of the city we love to hate became "America's mayor."
TV ads for cars and clothing featured flags and firemen, showing that
'consumerism is patriotism'. With a keen ear for the hidden messages
in our national stories, Sandra Silberstein unearths the dark side of
this patriotic rhetoric, including the attacks on those who question
U.S. policy and the denunciation of liberal intellectuals by the
conservative American Council of Trustees and Alumni. Timely and
penetrating, War of Words shows how the stories we told after the
attacks fashioned a post-9/11 American identity and reinscribed our
national beliefs.

"War of Words is a compelling analysis of the way language was used in
the political construction of the horrifying historical events of
September 11th. Silberstein's analysis gives us a fresh look at the
juggernaut of world politics as it is constructed in the linguistic
actions of the media, of world leaders, and of the ordinary people who
experience world events." --Ron Scollon, Georgetown University

Lingfield(s): Pragmatics
Subject Language: English (Language Code: ENG)
Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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