Timothy Raphael

The President Electric: Ronald Reagan and the Politics of Performance

In The President Electric: Ronald Reagan and the Politics of Performance, Raphael shows how Ronald Reagan effectively used the techniques and technologies of mass-mediated performance to rise to power, and how those techniques defined his governing and campaign styles. He shows how all of Reagan's background, in broadcasting, the movies, television and public relations and advertising - as a spokesman for General Electric - contributed different skills and experience to Reagan's persona as the "great communicator."

Electronic media, argues Raphael, were "the dynamo of the Reagan revolution," and he describes Reagan as the "president electric who powered a new regime of political representation and ineradicably altered the course of American politics."

Yale University's Joseph Roach called The President Electric "an important contribution to the disciplinary fields of American studies and performance studies, and an important contribution to public affairs."

Raphael is an associate professor of theatre in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media, and director of the Center for Migration and the Global City at Rutgers University in Newark. As a theater director and producer, he has developed more than 50 new American plays. He holds a doctorate in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, and has taught theater, performance studies and American studies at Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, Wesleyan University, Ursinus College, Georgetown University, and the Universidade Aberta in Lisbon, Portugal.