by Susan Miller
Southern Illinois University Press, 2008
Paper: 978-0-8093-2788-1 | eISBN: 978-0-8093-8767-0
Library of Congress Classification PN183.M55 2008
Dewey Decimal Classification 808.009


Trust in Texts: A Different History of Rhetoric challenges the accepted idea of a singular rhetorical tradition poorly maintained from the Athenian Golden Age until the present. Author Susan Miller argues that oratorical rhetoric is but one among many codes that guide the production of texts and proposes that emotion and trust are central to the motives and effects of rhetoric.

This groundbreaking volume makes a case for historical rhetoric as disbursed, formal and informal lessons in persuasion that are codified as crafts that mediate between what is known and unknown in particular rhetorical situations. Traditional, unified histories of rhetoric ignore the extensive historical interactions among discourses—including medicine, drama, lyric poetry, philosophy, oratory, and literary fiction—that have operated from antiquity across cultures that are historically and geographically joined.

Drawing not just on traditional rhetorical works, but also on texts from philosophy and literature, Miller expands the body of works to be considered in the study of rhetoric. As the first book-length study that calls into question the centrality of logos to rhetoric, Trust in Texts will change the way the history of rhetoric is viewed and taught and will be essential to scholars and students of communications, rhetoric, English, classics, and literary studies.

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