Words Like Loaded Pistols
Rhetoric From Aristotle to ObamaBook - 2012
A lighthearted survey of the practice, teaching and regard of rhetoric cites its ubiquitous presence in virtually all aspects of life, tracing the art of persuasion as it has shaped various cultural arenas while revealing how inspirational language has been used by famous individuals throughout history.
In Words Like Loaded Pistols, Sam Leith traces the art of persuasion, beginning in ancient Syracuse and taking us on detours as varied and fascinating as Elizabethan England, Milton’s Satanic realm, the Springfield of Abraham Lincoln and the Springfield of Homer Simpson. He explains how language has been used by the great heroes of rhetoric (such as Cicero and Martin Luther King Jr.), as well as some villains (like Adolf Hitler and Richard Nixon.)
Leith provides a primer to rhetoric’s key techniques. In Words Like Loaded Pistols, you’ll find out how to build your own memory-palace; you’ll be introduced to the Three Musketeers: Ethos, Pathos and Logos; and you’ll learn how to use chiasmus with confidence and occultation without thinking about it. Most importantly of all, you will discover that rhetoric is useful, relevant and absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
Leith, a British journalist and writer, offers a no-nonsense introduction to rhetoric for an intelligent, but non-academic audience. He uses both historical and contemporary, real and literary examples to present where western rhetoric comes from and how it has been taught/used over the ages; what the terms of rhetoric are; why different arguments work the way they do and why some arguments work while others don't. The aim of the book is to instill a practical awareness for rhetoric. He considers five parts of rhetoric--invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery--as well as three branches of oratory--deliberative, judicial, and epideictic rhetoric. Along the way he draws on great speeches and "champions of rhetoric," from Martin Luther King to Satan to Barack Obama to Hitler to Cicero. There is a glossary of rhetorical terms in the back. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Cites rhetoric's ubiquitous presence in virtually all aspects of life, tracing the history of the art of persuasion while revealing how inspirational language has been used by famous individuals.