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Book Cover
Author Smith, Jeff, 1958 January 25-

Title The presidents we imagine : two centuries of White House fictions on the page, on the stage, onscreen, and online / Jeff Smith
Published Madison : University of Wisconsin Press, ©2009


Description 1 online resource (xiii, 391 pages) : illustrations
Series Studies in American thought and culture
Studies in American thought and culture.
Contents Imagining a president: George Washington and his fictional predecessors -- Seeing double: clowns, carnival, and satire in the Antebellum years -- Deep, yet transparent: myth, mystery, and "common sense" in post-Civil War presidential fictions -- A simple, honest man: presidential character in the fictions of the 1930s and 1940s -- The human element: presidential strength, weakness, and difference in the 1960s and 1970s -- Who am I? Presidents and their "issues" in fictions of the 1990s -- Fictitious times: imagining presidents at the turn of the millennium
Summary "In such popular television series as The West Wing and 24, in thrillers like Tom Clancy's novels, and in recent films, plays, graphic novels, and internet cartoons, America has been led by an amazing variety of chief executives. Some of these are real presidents who have been fictionally reimagined. Others are "might-have-beens" like Philip Roth's President Charles Lindbergh. Many more have never existed except in some storyteller's mind." "In The Presidents We Imagine, Jeff Smith examines the presidency's ever-changing place in the American imagination. Ranging across different media and analyzing works of many kinds, some familiar and some never before studied, he explores the evolution of presidential fictions, their central themes, the impact on them of new and emerging media, and their largely unexamined role in the nation's real politics." "Smith traces fictions of the presidency from the plays and polemics of the eighteenth century when the new office was born in what Alexander Hamilton called "the regions of fiction" to the digital products of the twenty-first century, with their seemingly limitless user-defined ways of imagining the world's most important political figure. Students of American culture and politics, as well as readers interested in political fiction and film, will find here a colorful, indispensable guide to the many surprising ways Americans have been "representing" presidents even as those presidents have represented them."--Jacket
Bibliography Includes bibliogr. references (pages 349-376) and index
Notes Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. MiAaHDL
Print version record
digitized 2010 HathiTrust Digital Library committed to preserve pda MiAaHDL
Subject USA / Präsident <Motiv>
American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism
Political fiction, American -- History and criticism
Presidents in literature.
Political plays, American -- History and criticism
Presidents in motion pictures.
ART -- Reference.
ART -- Performance.
American literature
Political fiction, American
Political plays, American
Presidents in literature
Presidents in motion pictures
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2008039542
ISBN 9780299231835