Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic” as Want to Read:
The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  133 ratings  ·  24 reviews
“The essential handbook for thinking and talking Democratic—must reading not only for every Democrat but for every responsible citizen” (Robert B. Reich, former Secretary of Labor and author of Beyond Outrage).

Voters cast their ballots for what they believe is right, for the things that make moral sense. Yet Democrats have too often failed to use language linking their mor
Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Free Press (first published June 19th 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Little Blue Book, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Little Blue Book

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 310)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Danielle Allen
As a writer, I find words fascinating. And I'm really interested in how the way we say things, and how the language that we choose, makes a difference in how our message is received. This book explores how language and politics are subconsciously interwoven, and I found it incredibly interesting.

"Language makes use of these deep modes of thought. In the brain, words are defined in terms of these brain mechanisms and not simply in terms of condition in the external world. The link between words
Every progressive worth their salt MUST read this book as soon as possible. Its vital argument is that to further the beliefs we hold, the ideals of democracy and progress and fairness we cherish, we must reclaim the language to frame policy as moral imperative. It is a skill the conservative coalition has been adept at employing, to their advantage, over the last couple decades... and a tradition that made FDR and the New Deal, or LBJ and the Great Society initiatives, so popular in the first p ...more
There's no question that words matter, and this book--like Lakoff's previous one--addresses that point but also expands that notion to look at the idea of framing. How issues are framed is just as important as the words we use to talk about them. For the most part, he says, Democrats have gotten it all wrong and have let Republicans control the debate. The solution, which will take a long time, is stop using their frames and their language.

The argument suggests that a lot of people aren't smart
I picked this up because some conservative activist friends of mine insisted that we conservatives needed to have the enemy playbook, and that this was it. Their rave reviews led me to the same curiosity with which I began Rules for Radicals.

I was even more curious because the author is a linguist, and supposedly specializes in cognitive science. I was certain that I would learn a great deal not only about the enemy's propaganda machine, but also about how I can help ours.

I ended up with the sam
James Klagge
A practical book with lots of examples and suggestions. I recommend it to progressives who wish to proselytize.
The main point is that criticizing an opponent's view can be (or, is) counterproductive, b/c doing so requires stating the view, and stating the view, even for the sake of setting up a criticism, is a way of propagating the view. I suppose an example is the recent form of speaking: "I love Britney Spears: NOT!" I did not think the so-called science behind this was well-explained, but a
Scott Holstad
I finished this book and I'm not really satisfied with it, although I can't quite place my finger on why. I had really looked forward to receiving this book, assuming it would teach Democrats how to go toe to toe with conservatives in rhetoric, debates, etc. To a very minor degree, the second half of this book provides some terms and examples one could use, but that's not really the gist of the book. It's subtitle is "The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic" and I guess it might b ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Feb 26, 2013 Ivonne Rovira rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every Democrat and progressive in America
As in Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate: The Essential Guide for Progressives, author George Lakoff has penned yet another fantastic book for progressives who realize that the linguistic high ground is being stolen by conservatives but don't know how to yank it back.

Is every single one of Lakoff's suggestions a home run? As some other reviewers have pointed out, no. However, Lakoff includes so many brilliant moral frames for language that The Little Blue Book is a
Tolga Akman
Part 1,2,4 of the book was great and have a lot of useful tips, advices and instructions, how to handle debattes.
Part 3 (Ideas We Need) instead was a bit boring and, in my opinion, not useful. Prefabricated arguments, which shoud be used by democrats can't be the way to victory.

Finally, I would advise "The little blue book" to all who want to begin with understanding the art of political discourse. The content is interesting but don't expect too much.
An short, quick read with excellent advice for how to talk about politic--advice Democrats seem to have been ignoring for years while Republicans win the battle of rhetoric. Useful for any one who talks with others about politics--great advice on how to think about language but also about how others hear and react to language, reflecting Lakoff's scholarship on linguistics but in layperson's terms.

I got to moderate a Commonwealth Club talk by Lakoff--introducing him and then doing the Q&A af
This is a great book for everyone left of center. It gave me real insight about why I seem to be speaking in a foreign language when I am talking the right of center folks. I now realize that we have different definitions of the same words/concepts used. Important for everyone on the left to know so that we can have greater effectiveness in presenting our positions.
David Wheeler-reed
Practical book on changing the discourse in political discussions. Major argument is that since facts no longer matter people should start turning political arguments into moral arguments. A number of examples are provided. This work explains what are called "cascades" in linguistic theory. Written for a general audience.
Jim Witkins
Consice, practical guide for making progressive arguments, in language that will resonate with a wider audience. Read it. Practice it. Share it.
Only because the subject didn't interest me that much, being non-American, rather than not agreeing to what's expressed in the book.
M Whiz
It's about values and Democrats have them: good ones; about taking care of each other. Every democrat should read this book.
Nov 14, 2012 Rick added it
I think all progressives should read this. Essential to triggering the value system you believe in that others believe in too.
I LOVE George Lakoff's political view of today. He explains the differences between conservatives and liberals so clearly.
Tina Miller
The biggest take-away for me was how controlling the "framing" language controlled the conversaton. Let's all do it!
Lee Ann
Some things to think about regarding the messages we present without intending. Choose your words carefully.
Good book. It has interesting views on the hows and why of the right and what us lefties need to do about it!
quick interesting primer on the congnative science behind partisan politics
Luis Colon
A must read to understand the underpinnings of modern American politics.
John Buckner
Interesting view points but didn't seem to hold water to reality.
Mostly a reprise of "Don't Think of an Elephant".
Benjamin Wetmore

Sophistry for dummies.
Dr Thomas A Richards
Dr Thomas A Richards marked it as to-read
Nov 22, 2015
Birdi Mylan
Birdi Mylan marked it as to-read
Nov 20, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • What It Means to Be a Democrat
  • The Benghazi Hoax
  • The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington
  • Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent
  • Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility
  • Rebuild the Dream
  • How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative
  • Why We're Liberals: A Political Handbook for Post-Bush America
  • Who Rules America? Power, Politics and Social Change
  • Democracy for the Few
  • If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government
  • The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group
  • The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America
  • The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns
  • The Tragedy of American Compassion
  • The End of Ideology
  • Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do
  • The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It
George Lakoff is Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at UC Berkeley and is one of the founders of the field of cognitive science.

He is author of The New York Times bestseller Don't Think of an Elephant!, as well as Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think, Whose Freedom?, and many other books and articles on cognitive science and ling
More about George Lakoff...

Share This Book