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military industrial alliance

Booth cites the example of a speech that Leslie Fiedler gave at Chicago a few years ago, in which Fiedler advanced the thesis that “all the younger generation is really imitating Negro culture and that the cultural warfare between what he calls palefaces and redskins accounts for our literature today.” When Booth protested to a student afterwards that Fiedler had not offered any evidence or proof to substantiate his thesis, the student replied, “But that doesn’t matter, because it was so interesting.”l4 This is the kind of irrationality or non-rationality that should disturb all of us in the university community. This is not the desperate rhetoric of a disenfranchised people who have exhausted, or who do not have available, the normal channels of communication with those who can do something to alleviate their miseries. This is the aberrant rhetoric of supposedly intelligent people professionally engaged in the pursuit of truth and reason. The older rhetoricians, who devoted most of their attention in the classroom and in their texts to instruction in the strategies of the logical appeal, would be appalled at this development in contemporary rhetoric. This retreat from reason may be part of the shift to the primacy of the emotional appeal. God help us all. The fourth characteristic, one that is closely allied to the previous mark and one that lends a particular aptness to my metaphor of the closed fist, is that a good deal of contemporary rhetoric is nonconciliatory. By this I mean that whereas speakers and writers once took special pains to ingratiate themselves with their audience