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July 07 , 2007

Five Chapters on Rhetoric

Character, Action, Things, Nothing, and Art


Michael Kochin’s radical exploration of rhetoric is built around five fundamental concepts that illuminate how rhetoric functions in the public sphere. To speak persuasively is to bring new things into existence—to create a political movement out of a crowd, or an army out of a mob.

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Five Chapters on Rhetoric explores our path to things through our judgments of character and action. It shows how speech and writing are used to defend the fabric of social life from things or facts. Finally, Kochin shows how the art of rhetoric aids us in clarifying things when we speak to communicate, and helps protect us from their terrible clarity when we speak to maintain our connections to others.

Kochin weaves together rhetorical criticism, classical rhetoric, science studies, public relations, and political communication into a compelling overview both of persuasive strategies in contemporary politics and of the nature and scope of rhetorical studies.

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