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We will never kw the precise identity of America's first political consultant. It is likely that candidates were seeking favorable coverage in colonial newspapers as early as 1704; it is also likely that by 1745 candidates were using handbills and pamphlets to augment press coverage of campaigns; and we kw that one successful candidate, George Washington in 1758, purchased refreshments for potential voters. These traditional approaches to winning votes have in recent years been amplified by consultants who have shown how cable networks, videocassettes, modems, faxes, focus groups, and other means of communication can be put to partisan use. In this book, Robert V. Friedenberg examines all of the communication techniques used in contemporary political campaigning. After providing a history of political consulting, Friedenberg examines the principal communication specialities used in contemporary campaigns. Throughout, political consultants discuss their approaches and evaluate the benefits and shortcomings of these methods. An invaluable text for what is arguably the most rapidly changing field of applied communication, this work is must reading for students and researchers of American politics, applied communication, and contemporary political theory.
ROBERT V. FRIEDENBERG is Professor of Communication at Miami University, Ohio. He is the author or editor of numerous studies of political communication, including Rhetorical Studies of National Political Debates and Rhetorical Studies of the 1996 Political Debate (Praeger, 1993 and 1997, respectively), and, with Judith Trent, Political Campaign Communication: Principles and Practices (Praeger, 1995).