of Pennsylvania Press) and is currently working on a study of U.S. relations with North Africa over the period of the early republic. Enemyship: Democracy and Counter-Revolution in the Early Republic. By Jeremy Engels. (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2010. Pp. 316. Cloth, $59.95.) Founding Fictions. By Jennifer R. Mercieca. (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2010. Pp. 274. Cloth, $53.00.) Reviewed by Peter A. Dorsey Engels's Enemyship and Mercieca's Founding Fictions employ communication theory to describe how early national politicians sought to build consensus and stifle dissent at a time when the powers and limits of citizenship were very much in flux. Engels explains that ``enemyship'' became a recurring and effective rhetorical strategy for containing and disciplining democracy in the early United States. Thomas Paine coined the term in Common Sense, where he united the North American colonists against Britain by raising their fears and persuading them that communication and therefore reconciliation were impossible. Limiting discourse in this way, Paine convinced the colonists that armed rebellion was the only possible remedy. Engels, however, argues that enemyship never perfectly constrains its audience, and Paine's subsequent attack on Quakers and other moderates demonstrates how the rhetorical strategy often failed
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Feb 8, 2012
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