Political Literacy: Rhetoric, Ideology, and the Possibility of Justice

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SUNY Press, 1994 - Law - 189 pages
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Political Literacy confronts and responds to the question: What is required of the citizens of a democracy to ensure their individual and social rights? Exploring the rhetoric of legal interpretation, this book answers that citizens must be so educated as to have an intellectual awareness of the inherently rhetorical nature of language.

Political Literacy explodes the myth that justice is delivered in the measured, seemingly disinterested, written decisions of America's highest courts. Instead, it reveals the political nature of legal opinions and their necessarily ideological perspectives. Using arguments and examples from a variety of ancient and modern writers and thinkers, the book defines political literacy for the first time. Fredric Gale passionately calls for changes in the way the public is educated about the justice system and about the risk of complacency in this crucial area of public life.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
NEW PERSPECTIVES
7
SOURCES AND TRADITIONS OF MODERN JUSTICE
19
CRITICAL APPROACHES TO THE QUESTION OF JUSTICE
65
RHETORIC JUSTICE AND IDEOLOGY
129
LITERACY AND THE POSSIBILITY OF JUSTICE
143
CONCLUSION
161
NOTES
167
WORKS CITED
173
INDEX
187
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About the author (1994)

Fredric G. Gale is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arkansas. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, Gale was formerly a practicing attorney and judge.

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