Michael Osborn on Metaphor and Style cover
Michael Osborn on Metaphor and Style
This volume features two dimensions of Michael Osborn’s work with rhetorical metaphor. The first focuses on his early efforts to develop a conception of metaphor to advance the understanding of rhetoric, while the second concerns more recent efforts to apply this enriched conception in the analysis and criticism of significant rhetorical practice. The older emphasis features four of Osborn’s more prominent published essays, revealing the personal context in which they were generated, their strengths and shortcomings, and how they may have inspired the work of others. His more recent unpublished work analyzes patterns of metaphor in the major speeches of Demosthenes, the evolution of metaphors of illness and cure in speeches across several millennia, the exploitation of the birth-death-rebirth metaphor in Riefenstahl’s masterpiece of Nazi propaganda Triumph of the Will, and the contrasting forms of spatial imagery in the speeches of Edmund Burke and Barack Obama and what these contrasts may portend.
Subjects: Rhetoric
Publication Date: July 1st, 2018
357 pages| 6 in x 9 in
MICHAEL OSBORN is a recipient of the NCA's Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, the Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award, the Charles H. Woolbert Research Award, the Samuel L. Becker Distinguished Service Award, the T. Earle Johnson–Edwin Paget Award, and the Distinguished Research Award from the University of Memphis.  

Early Praise

“Michael Osborn on Metaphor and Style is an opportunity to explore Michael Osborn’s rich thinking, past and present, about rhetorical metaphor. I always wondered, Why Memphis? Something mythic, I suspected. He settled there early on, it turns out, because ‘an educated Southerner . . . might do some good in that troubled land.’ There he undertook to live a moral life in troubled times. His writing about metaphor was embedded in that undertaking. He reveals motives for probing the subject deeply. This is a book to read for pleasure, insight, and inspiration.”
Robert Ivie, Professor Emeritus, Departments of American Studies and Communication and Culture, Indiana University

“During the 1960s and 1970s, the field of rhetorical studies was dazzled by Michael Osborn’s four seminal essays on metaphor in public discourse. How wonderful to have them again, all in one place, contextualized with reference to Osborn’s career trajectory and thoughtfully updated to reflect current thinking. And what a special treat to have them complemented by four additional, previously unpublished essays that also justify his reputation as rhetoric’s foremost scholar of metaphor. Truly this book is a rich intellectual feast.”
David Zarefsky, Owen L. Coon Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies, Northwestern University, and author of Lincoln, Douglas, and Slavery: In the Crucible of Public Debate
“What a gift! Michael Osborn on Metaphor and Style should be read by every aspiring critic-theorist as a model for its unabashed embrace of the nature of humanistic scholarship and by seasoned scholars as an antidote to jadedness and a reminder of the joy that should always accompany the enterprise of intellectual exploration.”
James Darsey, Professor of Communication, Georgia State University, and author of The Prophetic Tradition and Radical Rhetoric in America
“This book is Michael Osborn at his best. In it, he reviews and contextualizes his work on metaphor, and does so in an accessible, even chatty way. He draws through lines among and between his most important ideas, connects them to our national and disciplinary history, and elucidates their development. It’s a wonderful read that everyone interested in metaphor should have in their library.”
Mary Stuckey, Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, and editor of the Quarterly Journal of Speech

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