Why Should I Care About What Fleming Has to Say? ‘So what?’

In David Fleming’s novel, City of Rhetoric, in the final chapter he restates his proposition and the reasons why he is hopeful about the concept of community in American society. His purpose in writing this book is to get people to consider their relationships within their communities and commonplaces and understand their civic responsibilities of not shifting the political allegiance, but instead preserving the multilayered set of cultures within communities (Fleming 212). I believe drawing that conclusion is the most important part of the novel, because in the end he explains why he wrote it, in order to send an essencial message. A message which could have been applied back when the book was written or even even today. It is essential for Fleming to reiterate these ideas because the last chapter is usually the most memorable one and therefore it is where the author speaks directly to the audience. He ends the conversation by expressing his hopes for the future, because in his understanding that now the matter is in the hands of the public and the younger generations.  Therefore he is hopeful for three reasons: by design there is a “countervailing force,” people will always find a way to save the natural environments, and lastly he relies on the younger generation to step up and protect the gift of community (Fleming 214).


Fleming, David. City of rhetoric: revitalizing the public sphere in metropolitan America. Albany, NY, SUNY Press, 2009.

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