Press Room

The Twitter Presidency Addresses a Presidency Like No Other

February 27, 2019
Association News
Government, Political

New book explores President Donald Trump’s rhetorical style and use of Twitter

Washington, DC, February 28, 2019 The Twitter Presidency: Donald J. Trump and the Politics of White Rage explores President Donald J. Trump’s rhetorical style when speaking and on his favorite social media platform, Twitter. The authors, Brian L. Ott, Professor of Communication Studies and Director of the TTU Press at Texas Tech University, and Greg Dickinson, Professor and Chair of Communication Studies at Colorado State University, argue that Trump’s general manner of speaking reflects an aesthetics of white rage, which is rooted in authoritarianism, narcissism, and demagoguery.

“In the current state of American politics, we felt inclined to analyze President Trump’s unique use of social media,” said Brian Ott. “We found that Trump uses Twitter to take advantage of the platform’s basic features, which include simplicity, impulsivity, and incivility, to engage his followers and to transmit the affective dimensions of white rage.”

In the book, the authors explore how Trump’s general communication practices resonate strongly with the communication platform of Twitter, a resonance that struck a powerful emotive chord with the president’s followers, who feel disenfranchised as a result of the perceived decentering of whiteness and masculinity in today’s social environment. 

In addition to charting the defining characteristics of Trump’s ongoing dialogue with the public, The Twitter Presidency exposes how Trump’s rhetorical style threatens democratic norms, principles, and institutions.

“Ott and Dickinson remind us that even in an age of digital communication and social media, rhetoric matters. Their analysis of the rhetorical dynamics within Donald Trump’s use of Twitter is insightful and provocative. This is a book anyone interested in the state of American rhetoric, politics, and culture should read,” said Kendall R. Phillips, Professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University. 

The Twitter Presidency is the first release of the National Communication Association’s short form series, NCA Focus on Communication Studies, being published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis. 

The book is available here

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To arrange an interview with the authors, contact Sandra L. Rodriguez at 202-534-1104 or

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