When Kenneth Burke was conceiving his celebrated “Motivorum” project in the 1940s and 1950s, he envisioned it in three parts. While Burke never published the third part, A Symbolic of Motives, A Grammar of Motives (1945) and A Rhetoric of Motives (1950) have become canonical theoretical documents. Interestingly, A Rhetoric of Motives was originally envisioned as a two-part book.
Here now is until-now unpublished The War of Words, the second volume of A Rhetoric of Motives. The War of Words brilliantly exposes and theorizes the rhetorical devices that were—and still are—sponsoring war in the name of peace. Discouraging militarism during the Cold War even as it details a catalog of contemporary persuasive tactics and strategies, Burke's book exposes how popular news media outlets can, wittingly or not, foment international tensions and armaments during tumultuous political periods. With an introductory chapter from the editors and a short introduction by Burke himself, chapters include “The Devices,” "Scientific Rhetoric," "The Rhetoric of Bureaucracy," and "The Rhetorical Situation."
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