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Palgrave Macmillan

Analysing Political Speeches

Rhetoric, Discourse and Metaphor

ISBN 9780230274389
Publication Date October 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Paperback Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

What makes a political speech 'great'? Which approaches can be used to analyse discourse? How can you use these to become a more persuasive communicator?
Exploring speeches by public figures such as Barack Obama, David Cameron, J.F. Kennedy and Tony Blair, this textbook explains the ways in which political speeches can be analysed. It examines the role of language in speeches, and how it can be used to challenge or reinforce prevailing social, cultural and political attitudes.

Analysing Political Speeches:
■ investigates a wide range of traditional and critical approaches to discourse analysis
■ illustrates discourse theories by worked examples
■ deconstructs famous political speeches in each chapter
■ provides exercises with commentaries, essential readings and a glossary

Analysing Political Speeches brings theory to life with its practical, hands-on analysis. It will be an indispensable guide for students of language and communication at all levels.

Jonathan Charteris-Black is Professor of Linguistics at the University of the West of England, UK. He is the author of Corpus Approaches to Critical Metaphor Analysis (2004); Politicians and Rhetoric: The Persuasive Power of Metaphor 2nd edition (2011); The Communication of Leadership (2010) and (with Seale, C) Gender and the Language of Illness (2010) as well as numerous articles and book chapters.

1. Classical Rhetoric: Artistic Proofs and Arrangement
2. Classical Rhetoric – Style and Figures
3. Cohesion and Coherence in Discourse
4. Critical Analysis: Context and Persuasion
5. Social Agency and Modality
6. The Discourse-Historical Approach
7. Researching Metaphor in Public Communication
8. Critical Metaphor Methodology
9. Purposeful Metaphor and Social Cognition
10. Rounding up: David Cameron's European Union Speech
Comments on Exercises
Further Reading and References


'Analysing Political Speeches provides a masterly introduction to the linguistic analysis of political speeches and political discourse in general. It combines the insights of classic rhetorical studies into style, figures of speech and oratory with critical discourse analysis and cognitive linguistics to demonstrate how modern rhetoric works.' Andreas Musolff, University of East Anglia, UK
'Consistent with his excellent earlier studies on critical metaphor analysis and related topics, this useful pedagogical introduction offers students a broad range of theory, from classical rhetoric to contemporary Critical Discourse Studies, and many sample political speeches for systematic linguistic, stylistic and rhetorical analysis of persuasion and power abuse.' Teun A. van Dijk, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain
'This new textbook is both ambitious and appealing. It offers a compelling read into manifold ways of analysing political speeches systematically and in detail – probably the most visible and influential genre in the field of politics. This truly innovative book is a must read for both students and scholars across the social sciences who would like to understand the complex rhetorical, cognitive and argumentative strategies of persuasion and manipulation employed by politicians at centre stage.' Ruth Wodak, Lancaster University, UK
'[A]s an insightful introduction to the role and influence of political speeches in contemporary political dialogue, Charteris-Black has made a significant and instructive contribution to the literature.' - Caryl Thompson, University of Nottingham, UK
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