Rhetoric and Civility

Human Development, Narcissism, and the Good Audience

By Harold Barrett

Subjects: Communication
Series: SUNY series in Communication Studies
Paperback : 9780791404843, 202 pages, January 1991
Hardcover : 9780791404836, 202 pages, January 1991

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Table of contents


1. Rhetoric

2. Rhetorical Interaction in Infancy and Establishment of a Rhetorical Disposition

3. Rhetorical Indisposition

4. Approaching the Analysis and Criticism of Rhetorical Indisposition

5. The Peoples Temple: A Rhetorical Study of Collusion

6. Joseph McCarthy and the American People: A Rhetorical Interpretation of Their Relationship

7. Rhetorical Crippling of Paul Morel

8. Disillusioning Too Late: The Rhetorical Backsliding of Tiberius Gracchus

9. Rhetoric and Civility





This book relates the concept of civility to rhetorical disposition, and incivility to indisposition. The author discusses classical rhetorical theory and interprets it for use in all interactions, exploring origins in infancy of the rhetorical disposition and the rhetorical indisposition. He provides four case-study chapters of the lives of individuals illustrating unhealthy narcissism and rhetorical failure — Jim Jones, Joseph McCarthy, Paul Morel, and Tiberius Gracchus. These cases illustrate how unfavorable narcissism can give adverse direction to the rhetorical imperative and lead to problems in relationships. Barrett offers a rhetorical corrective.

Harold Barrett is Professor in the Department of Speech Communication at California State University in Hayward.