History and Theory of Rhetoric: An Introduction

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9780205078585: History and Theory of Rhetoric: An Introduction
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The History and Theory of Rhetoric offers discussion of the history of rhetorical studies in the Western tradition, from ancient Greece to contemporary American and European theorists that is easily accessible to students.


By tracing the historical progression of rhetoric from the Greek Sophists of the 5th Century B.C. all the way to contemporary studies–such as the rhetoric of science and feminist rhetoric–this comprehensive text helps students understand how persuasive public discourse performs essential social functions and shapes our daily worlds. Students gain conceptual framework for evaluating and practicing persuasive writing and speaking in a wide range of settings and in both written and visual media. Known for its clear writing style and contemporary examples throughout, The History and Theory of Rhetoric emphasizes the relevance of rhetoric to today's students.

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The History and Theory of Rhetoric offers an accessible discussion of the history of rhetorical studies in the Western tradition, from ancient Greece to contemporary American and European theorists. By tracing the historical progression of rhetoric from the Greek Sophists of the 5th Century B.C. to contemporary studies—such as the rhetoric of science and feminist rhetoric—this concise yet comprehensive text helps students better understand what rhetoric is and what unites differing rhetorical theories throughout history. Student-friendly, The History and Theory of Rhetoric uses contemporary examples throughout and emphasizes the relevance of rhetoric to today's students.

New to This Edition

  • Integrates updated, contemporary examples throughout, inviting students to view the history of rhetoric as relevant to their own lives.
  • Devotes greater attention to women's contributions throughout several periods of rhetorical history, uncovering for students an often hidden or suppressed area of study in the field as well as introducing them to new women writers.
  • Includes extensive updates on contemporary rhetoric and a more contemporary treatment of the ancient sophists, so that it reflects changes in the field of rhetoric and recent research.

About the Author

James Herrick is the Guy Vander Jagt Professor of Communication at Hope College, where he has taught for twenty years. He has served on numerous committees at Hope College and was the Communication Department chair for ten years. Professor Herrick is a member of several editorial boards, including that of the Journal of the Association for Communication Administration. His writings include five books and countless articles and professional papers. Professor Herrick has received many grants and awards from both national institutions and Hope College; in 2003, he was a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar participant, presenting a paper at University of California, Berkeley.

About the Author:

James A. Herrick (MA University of California, PhD University of Wisconsin) is the Guy Vander Jagt Professor of Communication at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, where he has taught since 1984. Herrick is the author or editor of seven books as well as a number of scholarly articles, encyclopedia entries, and reviews. In addition to his work on the history of rhetoric, Professor Herrick’s interests include new religious movements and the social implications of new biotechnologies. In 2013 his co-edited volume, After the Genome: A Language for Our Biotechnological Future, received the National Communication Association’s Ethics Division Edited Collection of the Year Award. Herrick is a founding member of the Baylor University Press series in rhetoric and religion.

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