Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump Audiobook, by Jennifer Mercieca Play Audiobook Sample

Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump Audiobook

Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump Audiobook, by Jennifer Mercieca Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Suzie Althens Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 6.67 hours at 1.5x Speed 5.00 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: July 2020 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781799961017

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

63:52 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

05:03 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

24:52 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

Historic levels of polarization, a disaffected and frustrated electorate, and widespread distrust of government, the news media, and traditional political leadership set the stage in 2016 for an unexpected, unlikely, and unprecedented presidential contest. Donald Trump’s campaign speeches and other rhetoric seemed on the surface to be simplistic, repetitive, and disorganized to many. As Demagogue for President shows, Trump’s campaign strategy was anything but simple.

Political communication expert Jennifer Mercieca shows how the Trump campaign expertly used the common rhetorical techniques of a demagogue, a word with two contradictory definitions—“a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power” or “a leader championing the cause of the common people in ancient times” (Merriam-Webster, 2019). These strategies, in conjunction with post-rhetorical public relations techniques, were meant to appeal to a segment of an already distrustful electorate. It was an effective tactic.

Mercieca analyzes rhetorical strategies such as argument ad hominem, argument ad baculum, argument ad populum, reification, paralipsis, and more to reveal a campaign that was morally repugnant to some but to others a brilliant appeal to American exceptionalism. By all accounts, it fundamentally changed the discourse of the American public sphere.

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“Jennifer Mercieca, like no one else, immersed herself in the rhetoric of Donald Trump, explicating in real time and with meticulous precision and clarity how a bombastic pitchman emerged as America’s authoritarian PT Barnum…This book is essential to understanding how he did it and the peril it poses for democracy.”

— Jonathan Tilove, chief political writer, Austin American-Statesman 


  • “Highly recommended.”

    — Politico
  • “A must-read.”

    — Salon
  • “A brilliant dissertation on Trump’s patented brand of balderdash. That makes it one of the most important political books of this perilous summer.”

    — Washington Post
  • “A rollicking tour of Donald Trump and his rhetorical excess. Jen Mercieca hits all of the high points.”

    — Roderick P. Hart, author of Political Tone: How Leaders Talk and Why
  • “Brilliantly decoding Trump’s strategic deployment of his rhetorical arsenal, Mercieca shows how Trump turns America’s foundational pillar—speech—against its own underlying values. Her book is an eye-opening Rosetta Stone for deciphering—and countering—Trump’s oratorical tactics.”

    — Asha Rangappa, senior lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and CNN legal and national security analyst
  • “Mercieca’s work…iin popular press outlets has tremendous reach. In that regard, the book is the cherry on top…People will buy it and read it and teach it and talk about it.”

    — Anna M. Young, professor and chair of the department of communication, Pacific Lutheran University


  • A Literary Hub Pick of Best Books of Summer

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About Jennifer Mercieca

Jennifer Mercieca is associate professor in the Department of Communication at Texas A&M University. She is the author of Founding Fictions and coeditor of The Rhetoric of Heroic Expectations: Establishing the Obama Presidency. She frequently appears as an expert commentator and consultant for national and international media outlets.

About Suzie Althens

Suzie Althens records from her professional studio in Alaska, near the beautiful Matanuska Glacier. She narrates regularly for major publishers and specializes in audiobooks and e-learning. Suzie is enthusiastic about narrating nonfiction as it provides opportunities to share amazing memoirs, medical discoveries, and inspiration, but she also enjoys mysteries and women’s fiction.