ANCIENT RHETORICS FOR
ANCIENT RHETORICS FOR CONTEMPORARY STUDENTS
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ANCIENT RHETORICS FOR CONTEMPORARY STUDENTS
Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students by Crowley,Sharon; Hawhee,Debra. [1998,2nd Edition.] Hardcover
Sales Rank: #3551415 in Books ●
Published on: 1998 ●
Number of items: 2 ●
Binding: Hardcover ●
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful. Ancient Rhetoric Made Simple
By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca
Overall, the authors did a good job of explaining the use of ancient rhetorics. For instance,they explained how rhetorics made decisions to resolve disputes and make decisions. Arguments were disaggregated by class, subclass and particulars.
Cicero provided 5 cases of classifying an argument to an audience.The honorable case would find easy support from the audience.The difficult case often finds the audience unsupportive.
The mean case finds the audience marginalizing the argument. Audiences are unsure in the ambiguous case and elusive in the
13 of 19 people found the following review helpful. Macrologia
By Jon Torodash
The concept was good: an entree into a wide and often unread segment of antiquity's literature and its intellectual framework for a modern general audience. This was not realized. Before I had looked at the bios, it was evident from some glaring factual shibboleths in the first chapter that neither Crowley nor Hawhee are classicists (e.g. p.9, "Pericles is usually credited with the establishment of democracy in [Athens]"). This was confirmed when seeing each of the topics quickly veer into an exposition of mostly modern writing and communication. A smattering use of the classics in the preambles to prop up a modern media arts treatise would have been more acceptable if the authors had closely consulted people, who could read Greek and Latin and had more expert knowledge, before spinning their own interpretation. But in all fairness, it's probably not easy to find classicists with a sub-specialty in ancient rhetorics. It was pleasing at least, to see the general division of rhetoric in the ancient model form the book's section and chapter breakdown.
Unfortunately, the book is simply too light on examples of "ancient" rhetoric or its instructive manuals, of which there are many extant. If one were to actually read Demosthenes, Thucydides, Lysias, Isocrates, Cicero, or Quintillian, a different picture of ancient oratory would emerge than we find here (and I might add, a very interesting one in its own right). That is not to say that later heritage isn't worth discussing. Shakespeare's Antony "Friends, Romans, Countrymen..." speech has useful elements, as does the Declaration of Independence, several early American orations, and Letter from a Birmingham Jail, to name a few. There are probably countless others on the other side of the Atlantic I do not know of. Be these shortcomings as they may, students of journalism, law, public relations, and advertising will probably pick up some useful ideas. The philosophical foundations of ancient oratory however, are not mentioned much beyond a few references to Aristotle. Sophistic philosophy's contribution to the manipulation of human belief and emotions might serve as a useful launching point on principles in group psychology, and would have served the authors' goals well.
I might add to Casey Sewell's review below that the book is not only simplistic for many college students, but is simultaneously too dry for high school. Pictures, diagrams, and photographs are virtually non-existent, despite several opportunities. Pages of prose and lengthy excerpts are unhelpful for developing in adolescents a closer attention to the mechanics of syntax, sound, and semantics. And that's a shame, because there is no other book that attempts anything comparable.
"Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students" isn't just a title, it's a pressing need both for better understanding history and improving the higher order skills that involve critical thinking, writing, public speaking, and effective filtering in the information age. Formal rhetoric was a primary skill in antiquity, and its strongest practitioners took extra training in its divisions and techniques as a prerequisite to public service. We would do well to know the art they forged in the court hall, the agora, the battlefield, and the rostrum in its original before modifying it. A better textbook is needed.
15 of 22 people found the following review helpful. Too much bias
This book has good information on how to form a rhetorical argument, which is why I gave it the three stars. However, the authors could not refrain from putting their own political spin on the issues used to demonstrate the methods, which is why I didn't give it five stars. It is a textbook, not a political commentary. The obvious bias compromises its integrity and that of the authors.
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