Reading and Writing for Civic Literacy: The Critical Citizen's Guide to Argumentative Rhetoric. Brief edition.

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  • Edition: Brief
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2009-01-30
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
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This brief edition of a ground-breaking textbook addresses the need for college students to develop critical reading, writing, and thinking skills for self-defense in the contentious arena of American civic rhetoric. Designed for first-year or more advanced composition and critical thinking courses, it is one-third shorter than the original edition, more affordable for students, and easier for teachers to cover in a semester or quarter. It incorporates up-to-date new readings and analysis of controversies like the growing inequality of wealth in America and the debates in the 2008 presidential campaign, expressed in opposing viewpoints from the political left and right. Exercises help students understand the ideological positions and rhetorical patterns that underlie such opposing views. Widely debated issues of whether objectivity is possible and whether there is a liberal or conservative bias in news and entertainment media, as well as in education itself, are foregrounded as topics for rhetorical analysis. Online Materials Available -Steve Brouwer's essay, "If We Decide to Tax the Rich" with complete footnotes and works cited -Model Student Research Paper: "From Reagonomics to Obamanomics" -Research Resources -Glossary of Rhetorical and Critical Thinking Terms -Works Cited

Author Biography

Donald Lazere, now at the University of Tennessee, is Professor Emeritus from California Polytechnic State University and editor of American Media and Mass Culture: Left Perspectives (University of California Press).

Table of Contents

Preface for Teachers (and Curious Students) to the Brief Editionp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xii
An Appeal to Studentsp. 3
English as a Survival Skillp. 3
Critical Education in Historical Perspectivep. 13
"An End to History"p. 17
"Majoring in Debt"p. 19
"Where's the Misery?"p. 22
Young America Foundation's Homepagep. 23
"The Voices of Dissent"p. 25
What Is an Argument? What Is a Good Argument?p. 32
What Is a Good Argument?p. 33
"The Intellectual Free Lunch"p. 35
Analysis, Synthesis, and Judgmentsp. 40
Style and Tone, Eloquence and Moral Forcep. 42
Conclusionp. 43
Rhetoric: A Checklist for Analyzing Your Own and Others' Argumentsp. 44
A Historical-Causal Analysis of "The White Problem"p. 49
Definitions and Criteria of Critical Thinkingp. 54
Critical Thinking and Cultural Literacyp. 56
Making Connectionsp. 57
Dialogue in Critical Thinking and Literaturep. 58
Recursiveness, Cumulativeness, and Levels of Meaningp. 59
Drawing the Line and Establishing Proportionp. 61
Avoiding Oversimplification and Recognizing Complexityp. 62
Reading Between the Linesp. 64
Irony and Paradoxp. 66
"My Dungeon Shook"p. 69
"A Noiseless Patient Spider"p. 72
"Can Patriotism Be Compassionate?"p. 73
Semantics in Rhetoric and Critical Thinkingp. 78
Denotation and Connotationp. 79
Definition and Denotation in Argumentp. 79
Connotation in Argument: "Cleans" and "Dirties"p. 80
Euphemismp. 83
Abstract and Concrete Languagep. 84
Unconcretized Abstractionsp. 85
Literal and Figurative Languagep. 85
Literal and Figurative Language in Literaturep. 86
Summary: Applying Semantic Analysisp. 88
A Semantic Calculator for Bias in Rhetoricp. 88
"When Words Cheapen Life"p. 89
"Framing the Issues"p. 90
"Look Behind Statistics for Changing Definitions"p. 94
Writing Argumentative Papersp. 97
Prewritingp. 98
Writingp. 98
Postwritingp. 102
Locating and Evaluating Sourcesp. 103
A Model of the Writing Process in a Student Paperp. 105
from The Beauty Mythp. 116
"The Backlash Myth"p. 120
Attaining an Open Mind: Overcoming Psychological Obstacles to Critical Thinking
From Cocksure Ignorance to Thoughtful Uncertainty: Viewpoint, Bias, and Fairness-Culturally Conditioned Assumptions and Centrismsp. 125
Relativism and Commitmentp. 127
Biased and Unbiased Viewpoints: The ESBYODS Principlep. 128
Acknowledge Your Own and Opposing Viewpointsp. 130
Rogerian Argument, Believers and Doubtersp. 130
Culturally Conditioned Assumptions and Centrismsp. 131
Totems and Taboosp. 131
Ethnocentrismp. 134
American Ethnocentrismp. 136
"Battle over Patriotism Curriculum"p. 136
Questioning Capitalismp. 140
Phallocentrismp. 144
Other Centrismsp. 145
from A Room of One's Ownp. 147
"Anti-Capitalism in Five Minutes or Less"p. 147
Overgeneralization, Stereotyping, and Prejudicep. 153
Prejudicep. 154
Class Prejudicep. 155
Reverse Prejudicep. 160
"An Unexpected Education at St. Anthony's"p. 162
"Life on the Expense Account"p. 163
"Dozens of Billionaires Receive Ag Handouts"p. 165
"Wal-Mart: Rise of the Goliath"p. 166
Authoritarianism and Conformity, Rationalization and Compartmentalizationp. 171
from Networkp. 174
Rationalization, Compartmentalized Thinking, and Double Standardsp. 177
Other Defense Mechanismsp. 180
from 1984p. 181
"On the Merits"p. 182
"Greens Dodge Links to Unabomber"p. 184
Elements of Argumentative Rhetoric
Some Key Terms in Logic and Argumentationp. 191
Deductive and Inductive Argumentsp. 191
Implications and Inferencesp. 199
Setting the Agendap. 199
Tone and Stylep. 202
Polemicsp. 203
Ground Rules for Polemicistsp. 203
"Vouchers, Choice: Opposing Views"p. 204
"Chicken Little Calling Out, 'Global Warming!'"p. 205
"Closing the Wealth Gap"p. 206
Logical and Rhetorical Fallaciesp. 211
Glossary of Logical and Rhetorical Fallaciesp. 212
Causal Analysisp. 222
"Ya Got Trouble"p. 224
"Other People's Children: North Lawndale and the South Side of Chicago"p. 226
"Crisis in American Education"p. 234
Uses and Misuses of Emotional Appealp. 242
Appeals to "Cleans" and "Dirties"p. 242
Puff Pieces and Hatchet Jobsp. 243
"Bunker Hunt's Greatest Investment"p. 244
Predictable Patterns of Wartime Rhetoric: Appeals to Fear and Pityp. 250
"The War Prayer"p. 257
"The Real War 1939-1945"p. 259
"War Is the Supreme Drug," An Interview with Author Chris Hedgesp. 260
Thinking Critically About the Rhetoric of Politics and Mass Media
Thinking Critically About Political Rhetoricp. 267
Political Semanticsp. 267
Liberalism, Conservatism, Democrat, Republicanp. 269
Socialism, Communism, Marxismp. 270
The World Political Spectrump. 271
The American Political Spectrump. 274
A Guide to Political Terms and Positionsp. 274
Notes on the Guide to Political Terms and Positionsp. 279
Predictable Patterns of Political Rhetoricp. 283
A Note on Twenty-First Century Modifications to Table 13.1p. 284
Political Viewpoints in Sourcesp. 285
"If We Decided to Tax the Rich"p. 290
"The Intellectual Class War"p. 294
"Fascism Anyone?"p. 297
Thinking Critically About Mass Mediap. 303
Do the Media Give People What They Want?p. 304
Are News Media Objective? What Are Their Biases?p. 308
The Debate over Political Bias in Mediap. 309
Conclusionp. 319
"The Illiberal Media"p. 320
"Networks Need a Reality Check"p. 323
"Liberal Hate-Speech"p. 325
"Matthews vs. McNulty"p. 328
"Outfoxed Tweaks Rupert Murdoch's Mayhem-isphere"p. 329
Assignment for a Paperp. 333
Deception Detection: Varieties of Special Interests and Propagandap. 334
Special Interests, Conflict of Interest, and Special Pleadingp. 334
Lobbying and Public Relationsp. 337
Varieties of Propagandap. 339
Invective and Smearingp. 340
Government Public Relations; the Military-Industrial-Media Complexp. 341
"The Historic Power of Special Interests"p. 344
"When Money Talks"p. 346
"Flack Attack"p. 347
60 Minutes, "Confessions of a Tobacco Lobbyist"p. 351
Putting It All Together in a Long Paper
A Case Study: Rhetoric and the Wealth Gapp. 361
Goldberg versus Chait on Taxesp. 362
"The Rich Aren't Made of Money"p. 362
"A Very Special Kind of Math"p. 363
Sklar versus the Wall Street Journalp. 368
"Billionaires Up, America Down"p. 368
Wall Street Journal "Movin' On Up: A Treasury Study Refutes Populist Hokum About 'Income Inequality'"p. 369
Analyzing Statistical Tricksp. 373
Summary of Suspicious Statistical Argumentsp. 376
An Outline of Conservative and Leftist Arguments on the Rich, the Poor, and the Middle Classp. 376
Collecting and Evaluating Opposing Sources: Writing the Research Paperp. 384
Assignment for an Annotated Bibliography and Working Outlinep. 385
Sample Annotated Bibliography Entryp. 385
Sample Working Outlinep. 386
Sample Research Paperp. 388
Documentation and Research Resourcesp. 389
Documentationp. 389
Works Cited Sectionp. 390
Research Resourcesp. 392
Indexp. 393
Creditsp. 403
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