Rhetoric is often seen as a synonym for shallow, deceptive language, and therefore as something negative. But if we view rhetoric in more neutral terms, as the 'art of persuasion', it is clear that we are all forced to engage with it at some level, if only because we are constantly exposed to the rhetoric of others. In this Very Short Introduction, Richard Toye explores the purpose of rhetoric. Rather than presenting a defence of it, he considers it as the foundation-stone of civil society, and an essential part of any democratic process. Using wide-ranging examples from Ancient Greece, medieval Islamic preaching, and modern cinema, Toye considers why we should all have an appreciation of the art of rhetoric. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Richard Toye studied at the University of Birmingham and subsequently the University of Cambridge, where he completed his Ph.D. He is currently Professor of Modern History at the University of Exeter. His books include Lloyd George and Churchill: Rivals for Greatness (2007) and Churchill's Empire: The World That Made Him and the World He Made (2010).
Introduction ; 1. From the Greeks to Gladstone ; 2. The scaffolding of rhetoric ; 3. Approaches to rhetoric ; 4. Rhetoric in the modern world ; Conclusion