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De los Santos, René Agustín

Special Issue, 45:3, pages 199-211

“The Future of our History”: Rhetorics of Transformation and Power in Plutarco Elías Calles’ 1928 Informe

Abstract: This article uses the specter of Mexican presidential rhetoric (specifically, Plutarco Elías Calles’ 1928 informe) to remark on the nationalistic limitations of US presidential rhetoric scholarship as a whole. Such limitations can lead to possible mis- and under-readings that can hinder the applicability of US scholarship to other “American” places. These observations are then followed by a reading of Calles’ informe that argues for a wider hemispheric approach to our understanding of “American” presidential rhetoric. Such an approach aims to push our collective gaze beyond the territory of the United States to the point where the rhetorical histories of Latin America rub uncomfortably but productively against our own US-centrism.

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