Sailing into the “wondrous now”: The myth of the American navy's world cruise
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When President Theodore Roosevelt announced that America's battleship fleet was making an unprecedented world cruise, Congress condemned him for provoking foreign militancy; the media chastised him for leaving the country unprotected and went so far as to call for the president's impeachment. Despite this, the world cruise became a cause célèbre at home and abroad, helping to establish the United States as a technologically powerful and culturally sophisticated agent of world peace. This essay argues that the media's coverage, under Roosevelt's influence, mythologized the world cruise. By redefining mythic images of the universe and the hero in American culture, the popular press submerged the martial nature of the cruise. The resulting myth focused temporally on a "wondrous now" that avoided reminding audiences of its violent past and/or projecting an uncertain future. © Quarterly Journal of Speech. All rights reserved.
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