Five Chapters on Rhetoric

Character, Action, Things, Nothing, and Art

By (author) Michael S. Kochin

Hardback - £57.95

Publication date:

23 March 2009

Length of book:

184 pages

Publisher

Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271034553

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.

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.

“Kochin demonstrates the importance of classical rhetoric in making sense of contemporary politics. The book is highly accessible to an audience unfamiliar with rhetorical studies, and the analytic framework will force rhetoricians to rethink their own assumptions about their art and its relationship to truth. The book deserves a wide audience across rhetoric and communication, English, political science, and sociology.”

—James Arnt Aune, Texas A&M University