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The Office of Assertion
A frivolous argument or inflated claim is often dismissed with the reply, “That’s just rhetoric!” But as Scott Crider explains in The Office of Assertion, the classical tradition of rhetoric is both a productive and a liberal art. The ability to employ rhetoric successfully can enable the student, as an effective communicator, to reflect qualities of soul through argument. In that sense, rhetoric is much more than a technical skill. Crider addresses the intelligent university student with respect and humor. This short but serious book is informed by both the ancient rhetorical tradition and recent discoveries concerning the writing process. Though practical, it is not simply a “how-to” manual; though philosophical, it never loses sight of writing itself. Crider combines practical guidance about how to improve an academic essay with reflection on the final purposes —educational, political, and philosophical—of such improvement.