Metaphor is vital to the language of political leadership because it mediates between conscious rational ideology and unconscious myth. Drawing on 'corpus linguistics' techniques, this fascinating study of political rhetoric shows how metaphor was used by: Winston Churchill to create a myth of Britain as a heroic warrior; Martin Luther King to create a myth of himself as a messiah; Margaret Thatcher to activate the myth of Boedicia; and George W. Bush to sustain a moral accounting myth that appeals to American ethics. Rhetorical analysis reveals how Bill Clinton used rhetoric to restore his credibility through creating a vulnerable image of moral regeneration, and how Tony Blair developed a conviction rhetoric in which he is a dynamic agent in a mythological struggle between good and evil. Comparisons between these politicians serve to identify the role of metaphor in establishing ethical integrity, and rhetoric heightening emotional impact, policy communication, and in political myth creation.

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