Peter Jones

Ancient & Modern | 22 November 2008

Barack Obama has risen to power on the back of an enviable oratorical ability. But it is a two-edged sword. Ancient Greeks, who had a word for it (rhetoric) and were the first people to analyse and describe its rules, were both captivated by and fearful of it. One thinker, Gorgias, likened it to magic for its ability to charm you into unexpected courses of action.

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