The Call: Eloquence in Service of Truth

On today’s episode, we’re joined by Craig R. Smith and Michael Hyde to discuss their book The Call: Eloquence in Service of Truth. Thanks for tuning in.
In The Call: Eloquence in Service of Truth, my guests Craig R. Smith and Michael J. Hyde offer a rare examination of a rhetorical phenomenon referred to as “the call,” which is closely linked to eloquence. They explore this linkage by examining various components of eloquence, including examples of its misuse by George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump. The case studies here, include examples drawn from addresses by Barack Obama, Daniel Webster, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Chase Smith, Susan Collins, and Mitt Romney. Smith and Hyde examine religious rhetoric, too, including the Epistles of St. Paul, the writings of St. Augustine, and the preaching of Jonathan Edwards. Finally, the book explores eloquence in films and in communication between artists and writers, concluding with a study of how Annie Dillard evokes the sublime with eloquence and awe.

CRAIG R. SMITH is the director emeritus of the Center for First Amendment Studies at California State University, Long Beach, where he taught for twenty-seven years. In 2010 he received the Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award from the National Communication Association for his contributions to rhetorical theory.

MICHAEL J. HYDE is professor and University Distinguished Chair in Communication Ethics at Wake Forest University. He is a distinguished scholar of the National Communication Association, a fellow of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and a recipient of national, state, and university research grants for his work in “the rhetoric of medicine.”

Craig R. Smith and Michael J. Hyde is available at and other fine booksellers. You can find Craig on the History Rated R podcast. You can connect with the press on Facebook and @msupress on Twitter, where you can also find me @kurtmilb.

The MSU Press podcast is a joint production of MSU Press and the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University. Thanks to the team at MSU Press for helping to produce this podcast. Our theme music is “Coffee” by Cambo. 

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