More Than a Doctrine

More Than a Doctrine

The Eisenhower Era in the Middle East

Randall Fowler
Foreword by Martin J. Medhurst

272 pages
1 map, 2 tables, index


May 2018


$34.95 Pre-order

About the Book

Given on January 5, 1957, the Eisenhower Doctrine Address forever changed America’s relationship with the Middle East. In the aftermath of the Suez Crisis, President Dwight D. Eisenhower boldly declared that the United States would henceforth serve as the region’s “protector of freedom” against Communist aggression. Eighteen months later the president invoked the Eisenhower Doctrine, landing troops in Lebanon and setting an enduring precedent for U.S. intervention in the Middle East.

How did Eisenhower justify this intervention to an American public wary of foreign entanglements? Why did he boldly issue the doctrine that bears his name? And, most important, how has Eisenhower’s rhetoric continued to influence American policy and perception of the Middle East? Randall Fowler answers these questions and more in More Than a Doctrine. With the expansion of America’s global influence and the executive branch’s power, presidential rhetoric has become an increasingly important tool in U.S. foreign policy—nowhere more so than in the Middle East. By examining Eisenhower’s rhetoric, More Than a Doctrine explores how the argumentative origins of the Eisenhower Doctrine Address continue to impact us today.


Author Bio

Randall Fowler teaches rhetoric at the University of Maryland, College Park. He previously taught at Baylor University and at Jordan Applied University in Amman as a Fulbright instructor. Martin J. Medhurst is Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Communication and professor of political science at Baylor University. He is the founding editor of the journal Rhetoric and Public Affairs.


“Randall Fowler’s timely and provocative book addresses an important and enduring question: How did Americans come to see the Middle East as an area of vital U.S. interest? . . . Grounded in the most important case studies of the 1950s, More Than a Doctrine illuminates the long-term significance of this critical turning point in American globalism, which set the stage for decades of regional entanglement.”—Kenneth Osgood, author of Total Cold War: Eisenhower’s Secret Propaganda Battle at Home and Abroad

“Deeply researched and cogently argued. . . . This study could not come at a more appropriate time.”—Jerry M. Long, associate professor in the Honors College and director of Middle East Studies at Baylor University and author of Saddam’s War of Words: Politics, Religion, and the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait

“Fowler reveals the ways that future presidents were heirs of Eisenhower’s political precedents and rhetorical warrants that normalized U.S. interventionism as its dominant foreign policy in this war-torn region of the world.”—Shawn J. Parry-Giles, professor of communication at the University of Maryland and author of The Rhetorical Presidency, Propaganda, and the Cold War, 1945–1955

Table of Contents

Eisenhower Doctrine Address    
1. The Eisenhower Doctrine: A Species of Containment    
2. Operation Ajax: Eisenhower’s Rhetoric of Misdirection    
3. From Baghdad to Cairo: The Limits of Rhetorical Surreption    
4. Lion’s Last Roar, Eagle’s First Flight: Eisenhower at Suez    
5. The Doctrine Applied: Intervention in Lebanon and the Rhetoric of Justification    

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