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AuthorTalks at the Alexander Library Welcomes David Greenberg, Author of Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency

June 27, 2016
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Rutgers University–New Brunswick faculty author David Greenberg will speak about his book, Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency (W.W. Norton, 2016) from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on July 6, 2016 at Alexander Library, 169 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ. Following the presentation, Greenberg will take questions and sign copies of the book. Rutgers’ Office of Summer & Winter Sessions will sponsor a drawing for 10 free copies and additional books will be available for purchase, courtesy of the Rutgers University Bookstore.

Americans are perhaps never more attuned to the rhetoric of politicians than they are during an election year, as regularly broadcast debates, interviews, and advertisements feature candidates vying tirelessly for our political favor—and this practice of purposefully shaping public opinion doesn’t simply end on the campaign trail. While we may instinctively distrust the pollsters, speechwriters, advertisers, and others who are tasked with spinning a president’s message, David Greenberg’s most recent book moves beyond cynicism to ask more probing questions about the convergence of politics and public relations in the Oval Office—how has spin affected the landscape of American democracy in the last century, and are we right to regard it as manipulative and deceitful?

Republic of Spin traces the rise of the White House spin machine from Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama, chronicling more than 100 years of American political history. The book gives insight into the devices that presidents have employed to craft their image in the public’s eye—the Fireside Chats of Franklin Roosevelt, the nightly news sound bites of Ronald Reagan, the “Mission Accomplished” spectacle of George W. Bush—and pulls back the curtain on the teams of spin doctors who helped make it all happen. Drawing on this history and the work of political critics ranging from Walter Lippmann to Stephen Colbert, Greenberg shows that spin has been used to greater ends than simply misleading the public.

Greenberg is a professor of history in the School of Arts and Sciences and of journalism and media studies in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. He is a recipient of the Rutgers University Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence, and author of numerous prize-winning books including Nixon’s Shadow: The History of an Image (W.W. Norton, 2003), which was awarded the Washington Monthly Annual Political Book Award, the American Journalism History Award, and Columbia University’s Bancroft Dissertation Award. Formerly a full-time journalist, he served as managing editor and acting editor of the New Republic, where he was a contributing editor until 2014. He has been a regular contributor to Slate since its founding and has written for the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and other scholarly and popular publications. He graduated from Yale and earned his PhD from Columbia.

About AuthorTalks
AuthorTalks is a series of talks co-sponsored by Rutgers University Libraries and the Office of Summer & Winter Sessions. From great books come great ideas and this series intends to engage the Rutgers community during the summer and winter sessions in both. Featuring Rutgers faculty authors, these book readings and discussions are free and open to the public.

Visitors may park in Lots 26, 30 & College Avenue Deck without permits. Special event parking is only for visitors to the university which does not include free metered parking. Faculty, staff, and students must park only in lots they are authorized to park in.