By Robin Reames
Formats and Prices
- Hardcover $30.00 $39.00 CAD
- ebook $18.99 $24.99 CAD
How rhetoric—the art of persuasion—can help us navigate an age of misinformation, conspiracy theories, and political acrimony
The discipline of rhetoric was the keystone of Western education for over two thousand years. Only recently has its perceived importance faded.
In this book, renowned rhetorical scholar Robin Reames argues that, in today’s polarized political climate, we should all care deeply about learning rhetoric. Drawing on examples ranging from the destructive ancient Greek demagogue Alcibiades to modern-day conspiracists like Alex Jones, Reames breaks down the major techniques of rhetoric, pulling back the curtain on how politicians, journalists, and “journalists” convince us to believe what we believe—and to talk, vote, and act accordingly. Understanding these techniques helps us avoid being manipulated by authority figures who don’t have our best interests at heart. It also grants us rare insight into the values that shape our own beliefs. Learning rhetoric, Reames argues, doesn’t teach us what to think but how to think—allowing us to understand our own and others’ ideological commitments in a completely new way.
Thoughtful, nuanced, and leavened with dry humor, The Ancient Art of Thinking for Yourself offers an antidote to our polarized, post-truth world.
“Required reading for any thinking person.”Kirkus
“In an age of fake news and spin, how ideas are packaged and sold is as important as the ideas themselves. In her latest work, Robin Reames traces the historical threads of rhetoric and rhetorical thinking to the modern day, shedding light on the age-old practices that can help us understand truth and persuasion in today's public discourse.”Yascha Mounk, author of The Identity Trap
If everyone always agreed with everyone else, we would not need rhetoric, as Aristotle once observed. Robin Reames’s new book takes that observation as its premise and presents new ways to think about an old but indispensable art: rhetoric, the art by which things—issues, values, beliefs—come to be held dear. When approached in this way, rhetoric becomes necessary equipment, not for reaching agreement, but for getting where people are coming from and, just as importantly, how they—how we—got here.Debra Hawhee, Penn State University
- On Sale
- Mar 19, 2024
- Page Count
- 304 pages
- Basic Books