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An American Rhetoric Paperback – June 1, 1980

ISBN-13: 978-0030441660 ISBN-10: 0030441668 Edition: 5 Sub

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt School; 5 Sub edition (June 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0030441668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0030441660
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,380,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Edwin M Curley on December 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I too was a student of Watt's at Lafayette, and one who didn't have to take freshman composition because it was felt that I didn't need it. But I bought Watt's American Rhetoric (2nd edition) to read for my pleasure and instruction, and I have returned to it regularly in a long career of college teaching, as a guide to my own writing and a work I could confidently recommend to my students, children and grandchildren. In the interim I've also acquired a copy of the 4th edition, and recently bought a copy of the 5th for a friend. I know of no better book on English composition, and wish the publisher had not felt it necessary to let it go out of print. Watt's lively writing style, and his good taste in selecting illuminating examples of what to do and what not to do, make this book well worth premium prices. But the world would be a better place if it weren't necessary to pay them. This book deserves as wide a distribution as possible.

As for Watt's personal characteristics, I can well imagine that he may have seemed condescending to some. I'm sure he did not suffer fools gladly, particularly those who could not make the distinction between "affect" and "effect." I took four of his courses: a two-semester survey of English literature and a two-semester course on Shakespeare. These were among the best I ever had. They inspired in me a life-long love of both subjects. As an English major I also had the privilege of being invited to his home more than once, to meet visiting speakers like Robert Frost and W.H. Auden. I found him a warm and gracious host, and overall a wonderful man, as wise as he was witty. I can say of him what Ben Jonson said of Shakespeare: "I loved the man, this side idolatry, as well as any."
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By Ibrahim on October 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
I had to give the book a chance instead of seeing the word "rhetoric" and get intimidated. The author writes as if he is speaking to you in a conversation. I made sure to get this book and read it since I wanted to heed the advice of John Gardner, a master in his his own field. The main reason I wanted to read this book was to improve on "style" in English, but given the fact that this book was first written in 1952, we can imagine the kind of English it was written with, where we have got spoiled too much :) The book, however, does have some excellent concepts and it is a wonderful resource to consult from time to time, provided you are ready for it :) Yet there are more up to date books that seem to sweep me off my feet and and enticingly call me to come and "eat", I mean, read.
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