Some readers reported being frustrated when they couldn’t figure out where Fish, one of America’s most influential thinkers, stood on the controversies he addressed in the essays—from atheism and affirmative action to plagiarism and postmodernism. But, as Fish says, that is the point. Opinions are cheap; you can get them anywhere. Instead of offering just another set of them, Fish analyzes and dissects the arguments put forth by different sides—in debates over free speech, identity politics, the gun lobby, and other hot-button topics—in order to explain how their arguments work or don’t work. In short, these are essays that teach you not what to think but how to think more clearly.
Brief and accessible yet challenging, these essays provide all the hard-edged intellectual, cultural, and political analysis one expects from Fish. At the same time, the collection includes a number of revealing and even poignant autobiographical essays in which, as Fish says, "readers will learn about my anxieties, my aspirations, my eccentricities, my foibles, my father, and my obsessions—Frank Sinatra, Ted Williams, basketball, and Jews." Reflecting the wide-ranging interests of one of today's leading critics, this is Fish’s broadest and most engaging book to date.
Free speech is under attack at colleges and universities today, as critics on and off campus challenge the value of freewheeling debate. In Speak Freely, Keith Whittington argues that universities must protect and encourage vigorous free speech because it goes to the heart of their mission to foster freedom of thought, ideological diversity, and tolerance. Examining hot-button issues such as trigger warnings, safe spaces, hate speech, disruptive protests, speaker disinvitations, and the use of social media by faculty, Speak Freely describes the dangers of empowering campus censors to limit speech and enforce orthodoxy. It explains why universities must make space for voices from both the Left and Right. And it points out how better understanding why the university lives or dies by free speech can help guide students, faculty, administrators, and alumni when faced with unpopular, hateful, or dangerous speech. Timely and vitally important, Speak Freely shows why universities can succeed only by fostering more free speech, more free thought—and a greater tolerance for both.
A lively and accessible guide to understanding rhetoric by the world class English and Law professor and bestselling author of How to Write a Sentence.
Filled with the wit and observational prowess that shaped Stanley Fish’s acclaimed bestseller How to Write a Sentence, Winning Arguments guides readers through the “greatest hits” of rhetoric. In this clever and engaging guide, Fish offers insight and outlines the crucial keys you need to win any debate, anywhere, anytime—drawn from landmark legal cases, politics, his own career, and even popular film and television. A celebration of clashing minds and viewpoints, Winning Arguments is sure to become a classic.