Friday, December 08, 2006

Required Reading

The recently released Iraq Study Report has a number of interesting rhetorical features. At a time when government reports about terrorist attacks or space shuttles crashing open up with dramatic purple prose, this report is relatively matter-of-fact. In fact, it favors short, simple sentences of the kind a bored fifth grader might produce. I like the way that they encourage free dissemination and downloading and uses a creative commons model to foster the translation process.

The report's electronic context is almost as interesting as its contents, since the website on which it appears is hosted by the United States Institute for Peace. I had also never heard of the Center for the Study of the Presidency until the posting of this report. Both websites are big on white backgrounds and blue type with almost no ornamentation. A third sponsor, The Center for Strategic & International Studies, which appears to be a conventional think tank emphasizes its bipartisan, nonprofit status.



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