You Talkin' to Me?: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama Paperback – 5 Jul 2012
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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)
This is the best available analysis (Boris Johnson)
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. Read this entertaining and instructive book and you will never again mistake an occultatio for an occupatio. (Ian Finlayson The Times)
A witty, elegant enquiry into the art of persuasionSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
In a introduction which starts with a funny and apposite scene from The Simpsons, Sam Leith says 'So although rhetoric is all around us, we don't see it. Indeed it's precisely because it's all around us that we don't see it. Explaining rhetoric to a human being is, or should be, like explaining water to a fish.' He goes on to say 'We use language to cajole and seduce, to impress and inspire, to endear and to justify. Language happens because human beings are desiring machines; and what knits desire and language is rhetoric.' At that point I was sold - my interest was piqued. What kept me reading was his clear style and wonderful examples from Milton's Satan in Paradise Lost to The Simpsons, from Churchill to Obama.
The book is structured according to the Five Parts of rhetoric
Ethos, pathos and logos
For example narration, proof and refutation
For example, decorum and jokes
some top tips on using a memory house
and then he explores the three branches of rhetoric:
Judicial Rhetoric and
Don't be put off by the classical terms. If you have an important presentation or speech to give then this book will be very useful, but it's also something that can be dipped in to with pleasure and will reward and enrich the everyday communications.
Sam Leith has pulled off that very difficult balancing act with his book which is entertaining and inspiring as well as informative and educational. It is a master class in rhetoric.
I found the book interesting and engaging, but I wanted to read more examples of the art.
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Most recent customer reviews
Builds to a great climax with analysis of Martin Luther King's epic...Read more
Great for understanding politicians, your peers and your children.