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The Rhetoric Companion

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  76 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
This textbook is designed for students of classical rhetoric who are old enough to drive, and young enough to still be breathing. It is offered in the conviction that God in His common grace bestowed a great deal of practical wisdom about public discourse on the ancient practitioners of rhetoric, and that we must hold what they taught up against the final standard of ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 2011 by Canon Press
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Gwen Burrow
Aug 13, 2013 Gwen Burrow rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rhetoric
I've read Aristotle. I've read Quintilian. I've read Cicero. I've read half a dozen books written by guys who aren't dead yet. And none of them come even close to what Doug and ND Wilson accomplish here.

This is clear, hearty, powerful stuff--not to mention punchy, quotable, and just a real hoot. If you want the wisdom of the ancients (those dead guys I mentioned up there) without their pomposity and paganism, if you want the advice of the current speech-writing hotshots without their paint-by-n
Jul 24, 2013 Suzannah rated it really liked it
This was an excellent book summarising the ancient and honourable art of rhetoric, defined by the Wilsons as "a good man speaking well".

I would recommend this book to just about every good man who wants to learn the art of speaking well. A lot is packed into this short course; while I read it with little difficulty over the course of a few hours, it has the kind of density that rewards careful and repeated study.

I have never studied formal rhetoric, but have been accustomed to write and debate
Matt Pitts
Jul 21, 2012 Matt Pitts rated it really liked it

The book is designed to be used in a classroom setting and includes reading assignments as well as practical homework assignments. Honestly, I wish I had been taught this stuff (and understood it and cared to learn it) when I was in high school.

The Wilsons bring a wealth of experience and practice to this text. It's clear that the Christian use of rhetoric (and yes, there is such a thing) is not just a theory they believe but an art they practice. And they practice it well. So well, that you wi
Mar 27, 2012 Scott rated it really liked it
Purchased via recommendation of a source I trust. And the fact that two of the most enthralling writers I appreciate wrote it.

This is basically a textbook for a classical school. Wonderfully helpful and will be a good resource to go back to over time (e.g. fallacies, deconstructing poetry, etc.) I am actually feeling saucy and kind of want to start reading a dictionary (seriously), pick up Latin again (stopped in high school), and start reading/writing poetry (who knew!)

I'll honestly probably b
Joel Griffis
Apr 29, 2014 Joel Griffis rated it liked it
This was a slightly awkward book. It’s billed and organized as a textbook, but doesn’t read like one at all. While the book is thoughtful and informative, I couldn’t help wishing that the rhetorical cutesy-ness had been ratcheted down a few notches. And this is coming from someone who generally loves the Wilsons' creative style. It just doesn’t seem fitting for a textbook to read like a series of blog posts.
Jordan Dorsett
Feb 09, 2014 Jordan Dorsett rated it liked it
I would love to see a narrative form of this. In it's current format, the workbook is better suited for a classroom (it is a textbook, after all) than for a sit-down read.
The content of the book is great, very typical of Doug Wilson (I'm not yet familiar with his son the co-author). The best of the lessons in my opinion is on the usefulness copiousness and how to achieve it.
Buy it for reference/one-off readings, but don't expect to read it through and absorb all it has to offer.
Brent Pinkall
May 11, 2016 Brent Pinkall rated it really liked it
This book is exactly what it claims to be -- a companion. It does not work as a stand-alone textbook, but it works very well accompanied with Quintilian, Cicero, and even modern writers. The Wilsons are pithy, intelligent, and winsome. Where they especially succeed is in applying ancient -- and what can sometimes seem boring -- rhetorical principals and theory to a modern context.
Jan 10, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Surprised at how Wilson can make rhetoric so interesting and even funny. A great resource for students and teachers who are trying to understand a Biblical basis for persuasion in speech and also writing.
Jun 06, 2011 John added it
Fun stuff. It's text-bookish, but the Wilson duo are punchy and light so as to keep things moving and interesting. See a short reflection of it here.
Leila Bowers
Apr 17, 2014 Leila Bowers rated it really liked it
Fantastic as a companion for rhetoric studies and the general curriculum of classical the name suggests. Not so good for what I was looking for, which was a stand-alone text to introduce rhetoric in an understandable and fun way.
Jun 12, 2012 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some parts were a 3, other parts absolutely a 5. Love the holistic, practical take on the art of rhetoric. Actually a good resource for pastors and teachers in the Church.
Ed Lang
Oct 04, 2011 Ed Lang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful to have it all in one place. Thanks Wilsons. "Senor Cicero"? Which of you did that?

Oct 26, 2013 Victor rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Nothing quite like it.
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“When you depart from standard usage, it should be deliberate and not an accidental lapse. Like a poet who breaks the rules of poetry for creative effect, this only works when you know and respect the rule you are breaking. If you have never heard of the rules you are breaking, you have no right to do so, and you are likely to come off like a buffoon or a barbarian. Breaking rules, using slang and archaic language can be effective, but it is just as likely to give you an audience busy with wincing.” 4 likes
“A man's words reveal, first, the man. The words are not the man, and yet they reveal him faithfully and are to be identified with him. Out of the abundance of the heart, the man speaks. The foundational nature of all language is therefore metaphorical because every word a man speaks reveals himself—just as God reveals Himself through the Word. Every word spoken ultimately reveals the speaker.” 2 likes
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