The Rhetorical Tradition
Second Edition   ©2001

The Rhetorical Tradition

Readings from Classical Times to the Present

Patricia Bizzell (College of the Holy Cross) , Bruce Herzberg (Bentley College)

  • ISBN-10: 0-312-14839-9; ISBN-13: 978-0-312-14839-3; Format: Cloth Text

A landmark book for the field of rhetoric. The Rhetorical Tradition is more than a crucial teaching text. This winner of the CCCC Outstanding Book Award has influenced the field by suggesting important new directions in the study of rhetoric.

87 selections from 60 major figures cover rhetorical theory from classical antiquity through the modern period. Reprinting lengthy selections from most authors, The Rhetorical Tradition provides a survey of the tradition of rhetoric so thorough it eliminates the need for separate paperbacks. Included here are the complete texts of Plato's Gorgias and Phaedrus and substantial excerpts from Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Augustine, Kenneth Burke, Chaim Perelman, and Michel Foucault, among many others.

Gives students and instructors access to many important, otherwise unavailable works. Included are Book IV of the Rhetorica Ad Herennium; selections from Isocrates, medieval manuals of letter writing and preaching, Erasmus's Ecclesiastes, Italian women humanists, and Thomas Sheridan; and excerpts from nineteenth-century composition textbooks, among others.

A balanced collection that includes the traditional canon and recent additions. Coverage begins with the Greek Sophists and proceeds to Augustine, Geoffrey of Vinsauf, Desiderius Erasmus, Giambattista Vico, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Michel Foucault. 23 selections by women -- including Christine de Pizan, Margaret Fell, Mary Astell, Virginia Woolf, and Adrienne Rich, as well as discussions of the role of women in each part introduction -- expand the traditional canon.

Substantial and incisive editorial material. The book's extensive editorial matter provides a general grounding in the history of rhetorical theory, setting each selection in a social and intellectual context.
A general introduction defines rhetoric and gives an overview of historical trends.
--Full introductions to each part provide social and intellectual context.
--Lengthy headnotes discuss each author's life and works and the key ideas raised in the selections.
--Bibliographic essays for each part and each author discuss useful primary and secondary sources -- for students who wish to do further research.
--Glossaries for each text explain unfamiliar references, names, historical events, and terms.