Rediscovering Rhetoric

Rediscovering Rhetoric : Law, language, and the practice of persuasion

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Rhetoric is ubiquitous in modern discourse: from arguments delivered in the High Court, to advertisements disseminated in the high street. For the legal and political advocate, persuasion is also a professional technique that must be perfected properly to practise each art.
In contrast with the classical era and the middle ages, in which grammar, rhetoric and dialectic were basic features of all education, modern curricula almost entirely neglect any theoretical study of the methods of rhetoric.
Rediscovering Rhetoric re-introduces to modern practitioners and students a grasp of the speeches, writings and methodologies of the great classical scholars of rhetoric.
Part 1 - Law and Language in the Greco-Roman Tradition provides a contextualised introduction to significant theorists of rhetoric in the classical period, and consists of four chapters written by practising barristers and a current Justice of the Federal Court of Australia.
Part 2 - The Practice of Persuasion comprises essays by practitioners distinguished in their pursuit of legal persuasion - one former and two current Justices of the High Court of Australia - illuminating their experiences of argument from the perspective of both bench and bar.
Part 3 - The Politics of Persuasion performs a similar function to Part 2, in the related domain of politics. It includes a chapter by Graham Freudenberg, former speechwriter for Gough Whitlam and others.
Together the three parts provide a unique inter-disciplinary perspective on the theory and practice of legal and political persuasion. Published in association with the NSW Bar Association.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • Federation Press
  • Annandale, NSW, Australia
  • English
  • 186287705X
  • 9781862877054
  • 819,521

Table of contents

Foreword by John O Ward Acknowledgements List of contributors Introduction
The nedessity of argument: Recovering a lost tradition
Justin T Gleeson and Ruth CA Higgins

Part 1 - Law and Language in the Greco-Roman Tradition

"The empty eloquence of fools": Rhetoric in Classical Greece
Ruth C A Higgins
Cicero's De Oratore, Pro Milone and the Philippics: Character, Argument and Emotion
Justin T Gleeson
Quintilian and the Public Attainment of Justice
Douglas Hassall
Hermogenes of Tarsus: Rhetorical Bridge from the Ancient World to the Modern
The Honourable Justice Arthur R Emmett

Part 2 - The Practice of Persuasion

The Rise (and Fall?) of the Barrister Class
The Honourable Michael H McHugh AC, QC
Rhetoric in Law - A Case for Optimism
The Honourable Justice Michael D Kirby AC, CMG
Aspects of Rhetoric in Forensic Advocacy Over the Past 50 years
The Honourable Justice J D Heydon AC

Part 3 - The Politics of Persuasion

The Political Rhetoric of American Aspiration
Susan Thomas
20th-Century Political Rhetoric: Churchill, Menzies and Whitlam
Graham Freudenberg AM

Annotated Bibliography for Chapters in Part 1 Table of Cases Index
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Review quote

Rediscovering Rhetoric is a book about advocacy, but not one in the ordinary mould. As befits a collection of essays, the topic is approached from several angles. The book moves from Greco-Roman tradition to modern politics via adversarial court proceedings in the modern era. It contains its fair share of "straight talk" - especially from the ranks of judges of the High Court of Australia, past and present - but an excessively linear path to learning is eschewed. ... The scope and breadth of Rediscovering Rhetoric could have justified subtitles other than that selected. One might have been What We Say, We Are. The editors have assembled an insightful collection of essays which tells us much of the current state of the Australian legal profession as well as the art of advocacy. ... The breadth of Rediscovering Rhetoric's range ensure that there is grist for every mill. The editors are to be commended, as is the New South Wales Bar Association for promoting the seminars which gave birth to the essays. - Australian Bar Review, Summer Edition, December 2008
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