Date of Award

Spring 1983

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Lorraine M. Lees

Committee Member

Patrick Rollins

Committee Member

John W. Kuehl

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H47B47


This thesis asks the question: what rhetorical factors were applied to the reorientation of American public opinion toward the Soviet Union immediately after June 22, 1941. A brief review of American diplomatic trends leading to June 22, 1941 is provided. The term rhetoric is operationally defined and the limits establishing causation between persuasion and opinion are delineated. The national communication process is explained and a national opinion profile, as it existed in the spring of 1941, is described. Initial persuasive responses to the Russo-German war are addressed and analyzed. The primary persuasive goals are identified as improving the public's image of the Soviet government and people and generating public belief that the Soviet Union could avoid defeat. The persuasive appeals applied toward these goals are identified in publications that represented the majority of publications that supported increased American aid to the Soviet Union.


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