History as Rhetoric: Style, Narrative, and Persuasion

University of South Carolina Press, 1995 - 350 pagina's
In the realm of the written word, Ronald Carpenter reserves a privileged place for historical writing. He contends that because of its assumed credibility, historical writing holds sway over the present attitudes and future actions of the general public and world leaders. Through extensive primary-source research into the public and private writings of such well-known and widely read American historians as Frederick Jackson Turner, Alfred Thayer Mahan, and Allan Nevins, Carpenter examines what happens to this inherently credible medium when rhetorical prowess helps shape the writing of history. He also evaluates the power that such discourse exercises on the public at large and on individuals empowered with making public policy. Carpenter explicates the roles of style and narrative in enabling the writers of history to persuade through "opinion leadership", a process whereby historical writing authoritatively corroborates what people have learned from other sources. Carpenter portrays several American historians as successful opinion leaders who, at pivotal points in time, persuaded readers with their discourse.

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Part IHistorians as Rhetorical Stylists
Carl Becker and the Epigrammatic Force of Style
Alfred Thayer Mahans Style in History as a Persuasive

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