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Why did 62 million Americans vote for Donald Trump? Trump and Us offers a fresh perspective on this question, taking seriously the depth and breadth of Trump's support. An expert in political language, Roderick P. Hart turns to Trump's words, voters' remarks, and media commentary for insight. The book offers the first systematic rhetorical analysis of Trump's 2016 campaign and early presidency, using text analysis and archives of earlier presidential campaigns to uncover deep emotional undercurrents in the country and provide historical comparison. Trump and Us pays close attention to the emotional dimensions of politics, above and beyond cognition and ideology. Hart argues it was not partisanship, policy, or economic factors that landed Trump in the Oval Office but rather how Trump made people feel.
Civic Hope is a history of what everyday Americans say - in their own words - about the government overseeing their lives. Based on a highly original analysis of 10,000 letters to the editor from 1948 to the present published in twelve US cities, the book overcomes the limitations of survey data by revealing the reasons for people's attitudes. While Hart identifies worrisome trends - including a decline in writers' abilities to explain what their opponents believe and their attachment to national touchstones - he also shows why the nation still thrives. Civic Hope makes a powerful case that the vitality of a democracy lies not in its strengths but in its weaknesses and in the willingness of its people to address those weaknesses without surcease. The key, Hart argues, is to sustain a culture of argument at the grassroots level.