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

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  137 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)
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Danielle Allen
Nov 17, 2013 Danielle Allen rated it really liked it
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
Aug 04, 2012 Dan rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 29, 2015 §-- rated it did not like it
Shelves: politics
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
Mar 17, 2013 James Klagge rated it really liked it
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
Oct 05, 2012 Scott Holstad rated it it was ok
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 it was amazing  ·  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
Feb 02, 2015 Tolga Akman rated it liked it
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.
Aug 26, 2012 Terry rated it really liked it
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
Dec 13, 2012 Beverly rated it it was amazing
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
May 05, 2013 David Wheeler-reed rated it really liked it
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
Dec 15, 2012 Jim Witkins rated it liked it
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
Sep 03, 2012 M Whiz rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 31, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it
I LOVE George Lakoff's political view of today. He explains the differences between conservatives and liberals so clearly.
Tina Miller
Mar 06, 2013 Tina Miller rated it really liked it
The biggest take-away for me was how controlling the "framing" language controlled the conversaton. Let's all do it!
Lee Ann
Oct 03, 2012 Lee Ann rated it liked it
Some things to think about regarding the messages we present without intending. Choose your words carefully.
Nov 14, 2012 Joe rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
Good book. It has interesting views on the hows and why of the right and what us lefties need to do about it!
Dec 29, 2012 Alexander rated it really liked it
quick interesting primer on the congnative science behind partisan politics
Luis Colon
Mar 08, 2013 Luis Colon rated it really liked it
A must read to understand the underpinnings of modern American politics.
John Buckner
Feb 14, 2013 John Buckner rated it really liked it
Interesting view points but didn't seem to hold water to reality.
Oct 15, 2012 Gregory rated it it was ok
Mostly a reprise of "Don't Think of an Elephant".
Benjamin Wetmore
Oct 14, 2012 Benjamin Wetmore rated it did not like it

Sophistry for dummies.
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Emily Gengler marked it as to-read
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Christoffer Riis
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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...

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