Farnsworth's Classical English Argument

Farnsworth's Classical English Argument

Learn how to argue from the masters. This book is a complete course on the art of argument, taught by the greatest practitioners of it: Churchill, Lincoln, and hundreds of others from the golden age of debate in England and America.

The book's concise chapters provide lessons in all aspects of give and take--the syllogism and the slippery slope, the argumentum ad hominem and reductio ad absurdum, the fallacy and the insult. Ward Farnsworth shows how the full range of such techniques can be used or repelled, and illustrates them with examples that are fascinating, instructive, and fun to read.

The result is a browsable reference in which every page is a pleasure. It will leave you better able to win arguments and to defend yourself under fire. It's also an entertaining reminder that argument can be a source of beauty and delight. As Farnsworth says of the illustrations, they show talented advocates "crossing analytical swords and exchanging abuse when those things were done with more talent and dignity than is common today. They made argument a spectator sport of lasting value and interest."

Farnsworth's Classical English Argument is the fourth book in a series about the ideas and methods embedded in the best speech and writing of an earlier time. Previous titles in the series are Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric, Farnsworth's Classical English Metaphor, and Farnsworth's Classical English Style. Each book is a treasury of insight and an essential reference for all users of language.

Publication Date: 
February 6, 2024