All of us are faced countless times with the challenge of persuading others, whether we're trying to win a trivial argument with a friend or convince our co-workers about an important decision.
Instead of relying on untrained instinct - and often floundering or failing - we would win more arguments if we learned the timeless art of verbal persuasion, rhetoric.
How to Win an Argument gathers the rhetorical wisdom of Cicero, ancient Rome's greatest orator, from across his works and combines it with passages from his legal and political speeches to show his powerful techniques in action.
The result is an enlightening and entertaining practical introduction to the secrets of persuasive speaking and writing, including strategies that are just as effective in today's offices, schools, courts and political debates as they were in the Roman forum.
How to Win an Argument addresses proof, based on rational argumentation, character and emotion; the parts of a speech; the plain, middle and grand styles; and how to persuade no matter what audience or circumstances you face.
Cicero's words are presented in lively translations, with illuminating introductions. The book also features a brief biography of Cicero, glossary, suggestions for further reading and an appendix of the original Latin texts.
Astonishingly relevant, this unique anthology of Cicero's rhetorical and oratorical wisdom will be enjoyed by anyone who ever needs to win arguments and influence people - in other words, all of us!
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Edited and translated by
James M. May
Princeton University Pres
Country of Publication:
Series: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers
01 August 2016
Professional and scholarly
Preface vii Cicero's Life: A Brief Sketch xiii How to Win an Argument 1 The Origins of Eloquent and Persuasive Speech 1 Nature, Art, Practice 1 Rhetoric and Truth 8 The Parts of Rhetoric, or Activities of the Orator 12 Invention: Identifying and Classifying the Question at Issue According to the Stance of Argument, and Discovering the Sources of Proof 13 Arrangement 40 Style 69 Memory 103 Delivery 110 The Value of Imitating Good Models of Speaking 118 The Value of Writing to Prepare for Effective Speaking 122 The Requirements and Education of the Ideal Speaker 126 A Ciceronian Cheat Sheet for Effective Speaking 135 Latin Texts 141 Glossary 223 Further Reading 243 Text Credits 247
James M. May is professor of classics, the Kenneth O. Bjork Distinguished Professor, and former provost and dean at St. Olaf College. An award-winning teacher, he is a widely recognized expert on Cicero and classical rhetoric and has written and edited many books on these topics. He lives in Northfield, Minnesota.
Reviews for How to Win an Argument: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Persuasion
This is a highly recommended book for anyone teaching Cicero, those who would enjoy the excellent anthology of extracts, and anyone after an absolute bargain. --Adrian Spooner, Classics for All Drawing on his extensive experience as a scholar and teacher of classical rhetoric, May (classics, St. Olaf College) brings together excerpts from Cicero's extensive contribution to rhetorical theory and practice to examine the theme `how to win an argument.' One cannot find a better guide than Cicero. . . . A delightful and accessible foray into an enduring, relevant art. --Choice Drawing on his extensive experience as a scholar and teacher of classical rhetoric, May (classics, St. Olaf College) brings together excerpts from Cicero's extensive contribution to rhetorical theory and practice to examine the theme 'how to win an argument.' One cannot find a better guide than Cicero... A delightful and accessible foray into an enduring, relevant art. --Choice