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In Words Like Loaded Pistols, Sam Leith traces the art of persuasion, beginning in ancient Syracuse and taking us on detours as varied and fascinating as Elizabethan England, Milton's Satanic realm, the Springfield of Abraham Lincoln and the Springfield of Homer Simpson. He explains how language has been used by the great heroes of rhetoric (such as Cicero and Martin Luther King Jr.), as well as some villains (like Adolf Hitler and Richard Nixon.) Words Like Loaded Pistols is a primer to rhetoric's key techniques; you'll find out how to build your own memory-palace; you'll be introduced to the Three Musketeers: Ethos, Pathos and Logos; and you'll learn how to use chiasmus with confidence and occultation without thinking about it. Most importantly of all, you will discover that rhetoric is useful, relevant – and absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
In Words Like Loaded Pistols, Sam Leith traces the art of persuasion, beginning in ancient Syracuse and taking us on detours as varied and fascinating as Elizabethan England, Milton's Satanic realm, the Springfield of Abraham Lincoln and the Springfield of Homer Simpson. He explains how language has been used by the great heroes of rhetoric (such as Cicero and Martin Luther King Jr.), as well as some villains (like Adolf Hitler and Richard Nixon.) Words Like Loaded Pistols is a primer to rhetoric's key techniques; you'll find out how to build your own memory-palace; you'll be introduced to the Three Musketeers: Ethos, Pathos and Logos; and you'll learn how to use chiasmus with confidence and occultation without thinking about it. Most importantly of all, you will discover that rhetoric is useful, relevant – and absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
Rhetoric is what gives words power. It's nothing to be afraid of. It isn't the exclusive preserve of politicians: it's everywhere, from your argument with the insurance company to your plea to the waitress for a table near the window. It convicts criminals (and then frees them on appeal). It causes governments to rise and fall, best men to be shunned by brides, and people to march with steady purpose towards machine guns. In this highly entertaining (and persuasive) book, Sam Leith examines how people have taught, practised and thought about rhetoric from its Attic origins to its twenty-first century apotheosis. Along the way, he tells the stories of its heroes and villains, from Cicero and Erasmus, to Hitler, Obama - and Gyles Brandreth.
Writing tends to make people anxious, and with good reason. The first sentence of a job application letter can consign it to the bin. A speech intended to rouse can put a room to sleep. A mistimed tweet can cost you your job. And a letter to a beloved may aim to convey feelings of tenderness but end up making the recipient laugh rather than melt. In this complete guide to persuasive writing, Sam Leith shows how to express yourself fully across any medium, and how to maximise your chances of getting your way in every situation. From work reports to Valentine cards, and from emails of condolence to tweets of complaint, Leith lays bare the secrets to successful communication, eloquence and off- and online etiquette. How do you write a job application, a thank-you card, or an email to your bank manager, to your children's headteacher, to your clients or your boss? How do you prepare a speech to win the argument, get the vote of confidence, or embarrass the bridegroom? Getting these things right - or wrong - can be life-changing. Succinct treatments of the most general principles of style and composition, as well as examinations of specific modes of address (What is a subtweet? How do I write a moving elegy?) are accompanied by concrete and well-illustrated dos and don'ts and examples of wins and fails. Astute, sprightly and illuminating, Write to the Point will give you the skills and confidence you need to get your message across on every occasion.
What makes a political speech 'great'? Which approaches can be used to analyse discourse? How can you use these to become a more persuasive communicator? Exploring speeches by public figures such as Barack Obama, David Cameron, J.F. Kennedy and Tony Blair, this textbook explains the ways in which political speeches can be analysed. It examines the role of language in speeches, and how it can be used to challenge or reinforce prevailing social, cultural and political attitudes. Analysing Political Speeches: ■ investigates a wide range of traditional and critical approaches to discourse analysis ■ illustrates discourse theories by worked examples ■ deconstructs famous political speeches in each chapter ■ provides exercises with commentaries, essential readings and a glossary Analysing Political Speeches brings theory to life with its practical, hands-on analysis. It will be an indispensable guide for students of language and communication at all levels.
To every explorer with his map upside down, to every air-traffic controller suddenly receiving Magic FM through his headphones, to every astronomer whose new planet turns out to be a bit of bran-flake on the eyepiece of his telescope, Sod’s Law says: you are not alone. Sam Leith tells the hilarious—and painful—stories of the unsinkable boat that sunk, the unbeatable horse that lost, and the fireproof theater that burned to the ground. Sod's Law demonstrates that the entire universe is actually set up to ensure that your toast always lands butter side down and, what's more, that it lands precisely where the cat has shed hair all over the carpet. In this age of doubt, fewer and fewer of us are able to believe that a higher power takes an interest in our fate. This book reassures us that indeed it does—and that that higher power is hell bent on buggering things up. Only by laughing heartlessly at the misfortunes of others can we make ourselves feel better. Sod's Law enables us to do just that.
This volume explores culturally and discursively developed forms of knowledge, communicative practices, and persuasive strategies rooted in freedom struggles by people of African ancestry in America.

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