The public rhetoric of mikhail gorbachev and the promise of peace

Colleen E. Kelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This essay examines some of the rhetorical choices of General Secretary Mikhail Gor­bachev which dramatize Soviet calls for nuclear weapons de-escalation. Two Burkean dramas are identified. In the first, nuclear weapons must be disarmed so that the world may survive, and in the second, nuclear technology is presented as a roadblock to socialism. Another version of the second drama envisions imminent Soviet economic collapse due to the expense of the arms race. The essay concludes by speculating that Gorbachev’s peace efforts are sincere, because they are motivated by twin crises of a failing economy and a threatened world community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-334
Number of pages14
JournalWestern Journal of Speech Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication


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