Rhetoric: A Very Short Introduction

OUP Oxford
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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.
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About the author

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).
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
Mar 28, 2013
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Pages
144
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ISBN
9780191653735
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics
Literary Criticism / General
Political Science / General
Social Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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''My aunt, listening to the Prime Minister's speech, remarked of "our greatest orator", "He's no speaker, is he?"' -diary of teacher M.A. Pratt, 11 Nov. 1942. The popular story of Churchill's war-time rhetoric is a simple one: the British people were energized and inspired by his speeches, which were almost universally admired and played an important role in the ultimate victory over Nazi Germany. Richard Toye now re-examines this accepted national story - and gives it a radical new spin. Using survey evidence and the diaries of ordinary people, he shows how reactions to Churchill's speeches at the time were often very different from what we have always been led to expect. His first speeches as Prime Minister in the dark days of 1940 were by no means universally acclaimed - indeed, many people thought that he was drunk during his famous 'finest hour' broadcast - and there is little evidence that they made a decisive difference to the British people's will to fight on. In actual fact, as Toye shows, mass enthusiasm sat side-by-side with considerable criticism and dissent from ordinary people. Yes, there were speeches that stimulated, invigorated, and excited many. But there were also speeches which caused depression and disappointment in many others, and which sometimes led to workplace or family arguments. Yet this more complex reality has been consistently obscured from the historical record by the overwhelming power of a treasured national myth. The first systematic, archive based examination of Churchill's World War II rhetoric as a whole, The Roar of the Lion considers his oratory not merely as a series of 'great speeches', but as calculated political interventions which had diplomatic repercussions far beyond the effect on the morale of listeners in Britain. Considering his failures as well as his successes, the book moves beyond the purely celebratory tone of much of the existing literature. It offers new insight into how the speeches were written and delivered - and shows how Churchill's words were received at home, amongst allies and neutrals, and within enemy and occupied countries. This is the essential book on Churchill's war-time speeches. It presents us with a dramatically new take on the politics of the 1940s - one that will change the way we think about Churchill's oratory forever.
In Always On, Naomi S. Baron reveals that online and mobile technologies--including instant messaging, cell phones, multitasking, Facebook, blogs, and wikis--are profoundly influencing how we read and write, speak and listen, but not in the ways we might suppose. Baron draws on a decade of research to provide an eye-opening look at language in an online and mobile world. She reveals for instance that email, IM, and text messaging have had surprisingly little impact on student writing. Electronic media has magnified the laid-back "whatever" attitude toward formal writing that young people everywhere have embraced, but it is not a cause of it. A more troubling trend, according to Baron, is the myriad ways in which we block incoming IMs, camouflage ourselves on Facebook, and use ring tones or caller ID to screen incoming calls on our mobile phones. Our ability to decide who to talk to, she argues, is likely to be among the most lasting influences that information technology has upon the ways we communicate with one another. Moreover, as more and more people are "always on" one technology or another--whether communicating, working, or just surfing the web or playing games--we have to ask what kind of people do we become, as individuals and as family members or friends, if the relationships we form must increasingly compete for our attention with digital media? Our 300-year-old written culture is on the verge of redefinition, Baron notes. It's up to us to determine how and when we use language technologies, and to weigh the personal and social benefits--and costs--of being "always on." This engaging and lucidly-crafted book gives us the tools for taking on these challenges.
Interorganizational Collaboration: Complexity, Ethics, and Communication centers around three key assertions: (1) interorganizational collaboration is complex and warrants study as a specific type of leadership and communication; (2) successful collaborative relationships are grounded in a principled ethic of democratic and egalitarian participation; and (3) interorganizational collaboration requires a specific communication language of practice. Interorganizational collaboration is influenced by increased interconnectedness, shifting organizational needs, and a changing workforce. Collaboration invokes ethical questions and ethical responsibilities that must be considered in communication practices and structures.

Although there are many popular books and practitioner materials on collaboration, most are not focused on introducing foundational concepts to a novice audience. In addition, the subject of communication in collaboration has been somewhat underdeveloped. The authors focus on communication from a social constructionist stance. One of their primary goals is to develop a collaboration pedagogy based on existing communication scholarship. The authors present communicative practices vital to interorganizational participation, and they view collaboration as something beyond an exchange of resources and knowledge. Unlike group and organizational texts that approach collaboration from a functional or strategic perspective, this text anchors collaboration in the assumption that democratic and principled communication will foster creative and accountable outcomes for participants in collaborative problem solving. The authors articulate a collaborative ethic useful in all communicative contexts. Micropractices of communication are fundamental not only to collaborating across organizations but also to fostering just and trusting relationships.

The book discusses the cornerstone assumptions and principled practices necessary for stakeholders to address problems—for example, recognizing and validating the needs of fellow stakeholders; separating people’s positions from underlying interests; listening for things that are never quite said; identifying overlapping commonalities; building trust while respecting difference; and constructively navigating conflict. The book also focuses on building collaborative praxis based on the assumption of contingency. Praxis cultivates knowledge and ethical understanding of a situation so participants in collaborations can make the best decision based on specific circumstances.
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