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Fighting Talk captures the drama, the heroism, the tragedy and the absurdity that unfolds in times of conflict, in the theatre of war. This is much more than an evocative anthology of fighting words. James Inglis provides a thoroughly researched and engaging discussion of the social, political and military context that the words were spoken in. He examines the motives of the speakers, the style of their language and, in many cases, their manipulative verbal tricks. Examples range from the brief but potent, 'The body of a dead enemy always smells sweet' from Roman emperor Vespasian, to full length speeches and addresses, such as that of Elizabeth I at Tilbury as her navy prepared to defend England against the Spanish Armada, and US President George Bush on the invasion of Iraq.
James Inglis is an Australian editor and writer based in Melbourne. He specialises in reviews, interviews and opinion pieces, and has been published in various national and state newspapers and periodicals. His interests include history, adult learning, and analysis of language, particularly where it is abused for ulterior motives.