He presents an extended essay on conversation in Western civilisation, 'everyday conversation or small talk.' In the first chapter he provides his definition of conversation. He goes on to discuss conversation in the ancient world and looks at the effects religion, commercial expansion and women have had on it. Conversation in the Enlightenment focuses on 18th century Britain. The later chapters are devoted to conversation in America and the future of conversation. (Endangered).
Essayist Stephen Miller pursues a lifelong interest in conversation by taking an historical and philosophical view of the subject. He chronicles the art of conversation in Western civilization from its beginnings in ancient Greece to its apex in eighteenth-century Britain to its current endangered state in America. As Harry G. Frankfurt brought wide attention to the art of bullshit in his recent bestselling "On Bullshit," so Miller now brings the art of conversation into the light, revealing why good conversation matters and why it is in decline.