Comparative Rhetoric: An Historical and Cross-Cultural Introduction

Paperback | August 1, 1997

byGeorge A. Kennedy

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Comparative Rhetoric is the first book to offer a cross-cultural overview of rhetoric as a universal feature of expression, composition, and communication. It begins with a theory of rhetoric as a form of mental and emotional energy which is transmitted from a speaker or writer to an audienceor reader through a speech or text. In the first part of the book, George Kennedy explores analogies to human rhetoric in animal communication, possible rhetorical factors in the origin of human speech, and rhetorical conventions in traditionally oral societies in Australia, the South Pacific,Africa, and the Americas. Topics discussed include forms of reasoning, the function of metaphor, and the forms and uses of formal language. The second part of the book provides an account of rhetoric as understood and practiced in early literate societies in the Near East, China, India, Greece, andRome, identifying unique or unusual features of Western discourse in comparison to uses elsewhere. The concluding chapter summarizes the results of the study and evaluates the validity of traditional Western rhetorical concepts in describing non-Western rhetoric. Addressing both what is general or common in all rhetorical traditions and what is unique or unusual in the Western tradition, Comparative Rhetoric is ideally suited for courses in rhetoric, rhetoric theory, the history of rhetoric, intercultural communication, linguistic anthropology, andcomparative linguistics.

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Comparative Rhetoric is the first book to offer a cross-cultural overview of rhetoric as a universal feature of expression, composition, and communication. It begins with a theory of rhetoric as a form of mental and emotional energy which is transmitted from a speaker or writer to an audienceor reader through a speech or text. In the f...

George A. Kennedy taught classics, comparative literature, and rhetoric at the University of North Carolina for twenty-eight years and now lives in Fort Collins, Colorado. He is the author of many books, and is the renowned translator of Aristotle's On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse (OUP, 1991).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.59 inPublished:August 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195109333

ISBN - 13:9780195109337

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Table of Contents

PART I: RHETORIC IN SOCIETIES WITHOUT WRITING1. Rhetoric Among Social Animals2. Rhetorical Factors in the Early Development of Human Language3. Rhetoric in Aboriginal Australian Culture4. Formal Speech in Some Oral Cultures5. North American Indian RhetoricPART II: RHETORIC IN ANCIENT LITERATE SOCIETIES6. Literacy and Rhetoric in the Ancient Near East7. Rhetoric in Ancient China8. Rhetoric in Ancient India9. Rhetoric in Greece and Rome

Editorial Reviews

"Very useful as a research resource in Intercultural Communication."--Diana Peck, William Patterson University