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March 26 , 2011

The Rhetorical Short Story

Best American Short Stories on War and the Military, 1915-2006


In The Rhetorical Short Story, Purcell examines over ninety short stories as rhetorical artifacts of nearly a century of American history. The words of over seventy-five authors present a pastiche of American voices, from the early days of the Great War to the ongoing conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each of the stories features a type of rhetorical depiction that enables its audience to connect vicariously with the experience presented by the author. This account sees the transformation of the American perspective from an insular one, which emphasizes the purpose driven actions of strong individual agents, to ones in which individuals are caught up in the inevitable consequences of an all-determining stream of events.

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