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Words Like Loaded Pistols

Words Like Loaded Pistols

Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama

“An entertaining history of great oratory” and a primer to rhetoric’s key techniques (The New Yorker). In Words Like Loaded Pistols, Sam Leith traces the art of persuasion, beginning in ancient Syracuse and taking us up to the Twitterverse. Along the way, he follows detours as varied and fascinating as Elizabethan England, Milton’s Satanic realm, the Springfield of Abraham Lincoln and the Springfield of Homer Simpson. He explains how language has been used by the great heroes of rhetoric (such as Cicero and Martin Luther King Jr.), as well as some villains (like Adolf Hitler and Richard Nixon.) You’ll find out how to build your own memory-palace; you’ll be introduced to the Three Musketeers: Ethos, Pathos and Logos; and you’ll learn how to use chiasmus with confidence and occultation without thinking about it. Most importantly of all, you will discover that rhetoric is useful, relevant — and something you can master.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Political Science / History & Theory

On Sale: April 26th 2016

Price: $17.99 / $23.49 (CAD)

Page Count: 336

ISBN-13: 9780465096190

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

"Delightful and illuminating.... Words Like Loaded Pistols sports a fabulous assortment of examples of time-tested rhetorical gambits in action.... The marvel is not that the old techniques still work, but that we ever persuaded ourselves that we could do without them."—Salon
"Timed for a presidential election year, this sassy, smart book outlines and illustrates nearly every rhetorical trope and flourish related to the art of persuasion.... Leith can be fiendishly entertaining."—Publishers Weekly
"Leith brings to life a forgotten but eternally essential subject.... Leith uses every tool in the rhetorician's arsenal to argue for rhetoric's continuing relevance.... Readers will gain a great deal of insight into how humans use communication to get what they want...the book fulfills Cicero's three objectives of rhetoric: 'to move, educate, and delight.'"—Kirkus Reviews
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