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Rhetoric An Historical Introduction by Wendy Olmsted

Rhetoric An Historical Introduction


Rhetoric An Historical Introduction by Wendy Olmsted

This introduction to the art of rhetoric analyzes rhetorical concepts, problems, and methods and teaches practical inquiry through a series of classic rhetorical texts. An introduction to the art of rhetoric for those who are unacquainted with it and an argument about invention and tradition suitable for specialists Texts range from Cicero's De oratore and Augustine s On Christian Doctrine to Jane Austen s Persuasion and Stephen Greenblatt s Marvellous Possessions Texts serve simultaneously as works of persuasion and considerations of how rhetoric works Engages readers in using rhetoric to deliberate about challenging issues.


Professor Olmsted has produced a much-needed and unique book: an account of rhetorical thinking through the ages focused on specific texts in their cultural contexts. The book does something far more important than impart mere doctrine: it demonstrates how, and teaches one, to think like a rhetorician. It will make an invaluable contribution in and out of the classroom. Walter Jost, University of Virgina

Wendy Olmsted gives scholars and teachers in many disciplines a valuable new kind of historical introduction to rhetoric. In three interrelated sections she provides a clear overview of classical rhetoric, incisive case studies of literature and rhetoric, and a suggestive discussion of rhetorical invention and argument in literary criticism, politics, and law. This book creatively teaches us how to think rhetorically through concrete historical examples of deliberation and judgment. Steven Mailloux, University of California

About the Author

Wendy Olmsted is Associate Professor in the New Collegiate Division and in the Humanities Division at the University of Chicago as well as Associated Faculty Member in the Department of Classics (PAMW). Her previous publications include A Companion to Rhetoric and Rhetorical Criticism, co-edited with Walter Jost (Blackwell Publishing, 2004) and Rhetorical Invention and Religious Inquiry, co-edited with Walter Jost (Yale University Press, 2000).

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Book Info

Publication date

7th June 2006


Wendy Olmsted

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Blackwell Publishing Ltd an imprint of John Wiley and Sons Ltd


178 pages


Semantics, discourse analysis, etc



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