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Rhetoric is what gives words power. It's nothing to be afraid of. It isn't the exclusive preserve of politicians: it's everywhere, from your argument with the insurance company to your plea to the waitress for a table near the window. It convicts criminals (and then frees them on appeal). It causes governments to rise and fall, best men to be shunned by brides, and people to march with steady purpose towards machine guns.
In this highly entertaining (and persuasive) book, Sam Leith examines how people have taught, practised and thought about rhetoric from its Attic origins to its twenty-first century apotheosis. Along the way, he tells the stories of its heroes and villains, from Cicero and Erasmus, to Hitler, Obama - and Gyles Brandreth.
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Highly entertaining and erudite ... He handles the important ancient texts, which can be rebarbative in their raw form, with a deliciously light touch, without sacrificing seriousness or finesse ... Reading this book is the equivalent of lounging in a leather club armchair, wreathed in cigar smoke and a couple of whiskies down, alongside a companion who's being funny and clever about Homer and Hello! magazine by turns. (Charlotte Higgins Guardian)
Entertaining ... You finish this book more than ready to rock a first in rhetoric. (Hermione Eyre Evening Standard)
Witty and revealing ... the chapter on Arrangement alone would probably bump up most student degrees by a class, not to mention the average oration (James McConnachie Sunday Times)
Leith gives modern relevance to an ancient practice. Though he is rigorous in his analysis of rhetoric, he is no dull pedagogue; his language is demotic, vernacular, colloquial ... Read this entertaining and instructive book and you will never again mistake an occultatio for an occupatio. (Ian Finlayson The Times)
Genius ... Leith's great gift is the ability to plunder the everyday to illustrate the rarefied ... even after the most cursory dip into this, you begin to hear the world in a completely different, illuminated way. (Telegraph)
this is the best available analysis, by a sensitive literary critic, of what rhetoric is, and how it works (Boris Johnson Mail on Sunday)
A work of both form and substance, sizzle and sausage - to use metonymy - and full of practical tips for any speaker or writer, this is a model of its kind (Ross Leckie Country Life)
irresistibly accessible...if you want to recreate the effects of Obama or Churchill, either by speaking in public or down the pub, this is the book for you (Metro Books of the Year)
highly entertaining...written with such charm and persuasion...if you like words and enjoy language you will love this book (Avanti! Magazine)
a sprightly, erudite and often very funny book about rhetoric...also an exceptionally astute examination of how politics works. I relished every page of it (Christopher Hart Literary Review)
A witty, elegant enquiry into the art of persuasion
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Book Description Profile Books. Condition: new. Seller Inventory # think1846683157
Book Description Profile Books, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB1846683157