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The volume explores crisis rhetoric in contemporary U.S. American presidential speechmaking. Rhetorical leadership constitutes an inherent feature of the modern presidency. Particularly during times of critical events, the president is expected to react and address the nation. However, the power of the office also allows him or her to direct attention to topics and thus rhetorically create or exploit the notion of crisis. This monograph examines the verbal responses of George W. Bush and Barack Obama to pressing issues during their terms in office. Assuming an interdisciplinary approach, it illuminates the characteristics of modern crisis rhetoric. The aim of the book is to show that elements of Puritan rhetoric, and specifically the tradition of the jeremiad, although taken out of their original context and modified to suit a modern multi-ethnic society, can still be detected in contemporary political communication. It will be of interest to students and scholars of presidential rhetoric, political communication, sociolinguistics and cultural studies.