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Conversation A History of a Declining Art

by Stephen Miller

Conversation A History of a Declining Art Synopsis

Essayist Stephen Miller pursues a lifelong interest in conversation by taking an historical and philosophical view of the subject. He chronicles the art of conversation in Western civilization from its beginnings in ancient Greece to its apex in eighteenth-century Britain to its current endangered state in America. As Harry G. Frankfurt brought wide attention to the art of bullshit in his recent bestselling On Bullshit, so Miller now brings the art of conversation into the light, revealing why good conversation matters and why it is in decline.

Conversation A History of a Declining Art Press Reviews

'A charming (and alarming) history of conversation, as elegantly affable as the conversationalists Miller admires... And the measure of his book is that it makes one want to rush out and converse about it.' Michael Bywater, The Independent 'In its disarming fashion, Miller's book has some harsh things to say about the home of free speech.' Will Cohu, The Daily Telegraph 'A funny and trenchant study... The inclusions range from the Book of Job to blogs and chat rooms, with amusing digressions on everything from Spartan pederasty to Bill Clinton... Thankfully, this entertaining study will enliven many a dinner-party discussion.' Alexander Larman, New Statesman 'Miller takes us on a lightning ride through 2,500 years of attitudes towards the subject... This book is important in alerting us to the value of a kind of exchange too often dismissed as having a chat .' Alain de Botton, The Times

Book Information

ISBN: 9780300123654
Publication date: 6th July 2007
Author: Stephen Miller
Publisher: Yale University Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 358 pages
Categories: Cultural studies, Communication studies, Literary studies: general,

About Stephen Miller

Stephen Miller is a freelance writer and a contributing editor to The Wilson Quarterly. His essays on leading eighteenth-century writers have appeared in many magazines, including the Times Literary Supplement, Partisan Review, and Sewanee Review.

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