Friday, December 21, 2007

Review of Taming Democracy

Harvey Yunis' Taming Democracy: Models of Political Rhetoric in Classical Athens is a thorough discussion of political rhetoric in Ancient Athens.

Political deliberation was an important feature of democratic Athens, and the methods and goals of that deliberation was obviously of great import. Different rhetors had different approaches to how and why one persuades an audience do adopt a particular suggestion.

Yunis addresses Thucydides' (and Pericles'), rhetoric implicit in the famous funeral oration, Plato's Gorgias, Phaedrus, and Laws, which displays the evolution of his thought on Rhetoric, and Demosthenes more practical approach to mass persuasion.

Thucydides, Plato, and Demostheses played radically different roles in classical Athens and their approaches to mass rhetoric, and also thereby, mass education are readily apparent. Yunis does a good job spelling it all out.

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