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In today's world of instant communication, we often marvel at the ability of a public figure to handle a hostile audience. Persuasive Encounters studies successful persuasion against tough odds. Through the analyzation of specific historical and rhetorical evidence, the events presented here illustrate and sometimes challenge the viability of current abstract models. Detailed studies of encounters involving such diverse figures as Edward R. Murrow, Edward Kennedy, Thomas Szasz, and Ed Koch form the basis of the work. Shorter analyses focus on the sometimes controversial actions of social activists ranging from abolitionst Wendell Phillips to the Beatles' John Lennon. In its scope and assumptions, the book is the first of its kind. Such studies are usually isolated in journals or reduced to short examples in persuasion texts. Persuasive Encounters demonstrates that the understanding of communication processes can never be very far from the analysis of specific settings and events. It goes on to show that confrontations can be positive forces for change.
The text is comprised of five instances of persuasion advocacy combined with six shorter case studies. Each chapter includes background information on the immediate and secondary audiences, a summary of significant events that surrounded the situation, and contemporary accounts of public reaction. In addition, a transcript of the remarks or exchanges that actually took place and an analysis of the persuasion are provided. Students of persuasion, communication theory, and discourse analysis will find this work a valuable resource.
The Politics of Confrontation: From John Lennon to Wendell Phillips
Persuasive Encounters: A Theoretical Overview
Edward Kennedy: Behind Enemy Lines
"This Just Might Do Nobody Any Good:" Edward R. Murrow and the News Directors
The Theatre of Conflict: "Donahue" in Russia
Thomas Szasz and the War against Coercive Psychiatry
"How Am I Doing?:" Gorilla Politics in the "Town Meetings" of Ed Koch