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Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle,…
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Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can…

by Jay Heinrichs

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The sidebars are a little much. Too many sidebars make for too much disjointedness. I don't do well when people I'm conversing with have side conversations. Don't do it with writing!

On the whole, the examples (good for people who know 90s culture and movies, otherwise...) and terms are all in here. It's a little hard to digest. Took me a good two weeks to slog through it. But there are some interesting bits in here.

I applaud the author's call to inculcate everyone in rhetoric, the good and the bad, but I do not applaud the author condoning the use of manipulative rhetoric with the ignorant. I think that the author forgets, even though he acknowledges this with other fallacies, that any sort of trickery can always backfire. And then there goes that *ethos*. Poof. ( )
  TJWilson | Jul 25, 2013 |
A great primer on argumentation. It has a nice conversational style and doesn't get too hung-up on rhetorical figures or argumentation styles. It gives a usable overview of the major argument "voices" then gives salient examples. This is a very workable place to start a study on rhetoric before moving on to Corbett and Connors. ( )
  luisuribe | Apr 21, 2010 |
As a teacher of high school rhetoric I found this a great book that explains the classical art of persuasion. He uses many great examples from history, his personal experience, politics, television and other things in our culture. He has a funny sense of humor and gets his point across well. It is well organized and he uses sideboards to give other facts or definitions which were helpful. I will recommend this to those who know nothing about rhetoric and also to my students. ( )
  janimar | Jan 17, 2009 |
While the author is to be commended for trying to make a potentially dry subject - rhetoric - interesting, the result in this book is a rather glib and facile attempt to explain rhetoric and its uses to a 'lay audience'. While there are lots of examples, and terminology, not much of it is particularly useful unless you have never previously bothered having an argument or expressing your point of view.

The chapters follow a scheme of organisation, but it is quite disjointed rather than naturally flowing. The side boxes are distracting from the main text (this seems to be a technique used in a lot of self-help and management books, as though the reader will get bored if they are expected to just read paragraphs of text. I would prefer to read blocks of text rather than jump about the page). And the layout is bad in sections.

The real life examples used in the book are humourous, which makes the ideas more approachable, but the author is often very sexist, and boorish.

Overall, if you are interested in how to construct an argument, read Weston's 'A Rulebook for Arugments', if you are interested in public speaking, there are a multitude of better books on the subject out there. ( )
  ForrestFamily | May 12, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307341445, Paperback)

Thank You for Arguing is your master class in the art of persuasion, taught by professors ranging from Bart Simpson to Winston Churchill. The time-tested secrets the book discloses include Cicero’s three-step strategy for moving an audience to actionÑas well as Honest Abe’s Shameless Trick of lowering an audience’s expectations by pretending to be unpolished. But it’s also replete with contemporary techniques such as politicians’ use of “code” language to appeal to specific groups and an eye-opening assortment of popular-culture dodges, including:

The Eddie Haskell Ploy
Eminem’s Rules of Decorum
The Belushi Paradigm
Stalin’s Timing Secret
The Yoda Technique

Whether you’re an inveterate lover of language books or just want to win a lot more anger-free arguments on the page, at the podium, or over a beer, Thank You for Arguing is for you. Written by one of today’s most popular online language mavens, it’s warm, witty, erudite, and truly enlightening. It not only teaches you how to recognize a paralipsis and a chiasmus when you hear them, but also how to wield such handy and persuasive weapons the next time you really, really want to get your own way.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:45 -0400)

Thank You for Arguing is your master class in the art of persuasion, taught by professors ranging from Bart Simpson to Winston Churchill. The time-tested secrets the book discloses include Cicero's three-step strategy for moving an audience to action--as well as Honest Abe's Shameless Trick of lowering an audience's expectations by pretending to be unpolished. But it's also replete with contemporary techniques such as politicians' use of "code" language to appeal to specific groups and an eye-opening assortment of popular-culture dodges, including: The Eddie Haskell Ploy ; Eminem's Rules of Decorum ; The Belushi Paradigm ; Stalin's Timing Secret ; The Yoda Technique. Whether you're an inveterate lover of language books or just want to win a lot more anger-free arguments on the page, at the podium, or over a beer, Thank You for Arguing is for you. Written by one of today's most popular online language mavens, it's warm, witty, erudite, and truly enlightening. It not only teaches you how to recognize a paralipsis and a chiasmus when you hear them, but also how to wield such handy and persuasive weapons the next time you really, really want to get your own way.… (more)

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