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Trust in Texts

Trust in Texts

A Different History of Rhetoric

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Susan Miller


E-book (Other formats: Paperback)
6 x 9


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About the Book

Trust in Texts: A Different History of Rhetoric challenges the accepted idea of a singular rhetorical tradition poorly maintained from the Athenian Golden Age until the present. Author Susan Miller argues that oratorical rhetoric is but one among many codes that guide the production of texts and proposes that emotion and trust are central to the motives and effects of rhetoric.

This groundbreaking volume makes a case for historical rhetoric as disbursed, formal and informal lessons in persuasion that are codified as crafts that mediate between what is known and unknown in particular rhetorical situations. Traditional, unified histories of rhetoric ignore the extensive historical interactions among discourses—including medicine, drama, lyric poetry, philosophy, oratory, and literary fiction—that have operated from antiquity across cultures that are historically and geographically joined.

Drawing not just on traditional rhetorical works, but also on texts from philosophy and literature, Miller expands the body of works to be considered in the study of rhetoric. As the first book-length study that calls into question the centrality of logos to rhetoric, Trust in Texts will change the way the history of rhetoric is viewed and taught and will be essential to scholars and students of communications, rhetoric, English, classics, and literary studies.


Susan Miller, a professor of English and a faculty member in the University Writing Program at the University of Utah, teaches the history and theory of rhetoric and composition. She is the author of Writing: Process and Product, Rescuing the Subject: A Critical Introduction to Rhetoric and the Writer, Textual Carnivals: The Politics of Composition, and Assuming the Positions: Cultural Pedagogy and the Politics of Ordinary Writing.


“This book, and the research that supports it, has the potential to change the way we understand and study rhetoric.”—Gregory Clark, Brigham Young University