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What Americans Really Want...Really: The Truth About Our Hopes, Dreams, and Fears

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  204 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
No one in America has done more observing of more people than Dr. Frank I. Luntz. From Bill O'Reilly to Bill Maher, America's leading pundits, prognosticators, and CEOs turn to Luntz to explain the present and to predict the future. With all the upheavals of recent events, the plans and priorities of the American people have undergone a seismic shift. Businesses everywhere ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by Hachette Books (first published September 1st 2009)
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Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book. I was even more surprised at how much I found myself agreeing with the author.

When I think of Frank Luntz I think of a soldier in the army of conservative republican media pundits. I think of a friend of G W Bush and I think of a guy whose every word I would question.

The book however, although certainly political at times, was more of what I would expect from a true social scientist. Most of it was pretty uncontroversial. Women respond bet
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I have been fascinated with opinion dynamics and polling since my work on my Political Sciencee degree. Many people attack it, but it is a legitimate tool in politics and business. It's important to understand what your clientele or taxpayers are thinking.

Dr. Luntz is a leader in the opinion research industry. He gets a bad rap a lot of times by the left because he is often friendly to conservative ideas. This is an excellent look by him at America as a whole.

There is a lot in here for any busi
Rachel Bayles
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Mostly good. Parts do make me wonder about the accuracy of polls. But it's certainly a solid starting point for trying to figure out what the hell is going on in people's minds. It paints a picture of an America that is in most ways less ignorant than you might imagine, but in some ways is scary. Hats off to Mr. Luntz for highlighting our hypocrisy. The last chapter made me think kindly of the author.
Craig Adamson
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it
A fairly quick read despite “dry” material. I enjoy listening to Frank Luntz speak more than I enjoyed his book. I felt like he was cramming too much information into each chapter. I had to take breather after the first two chapters. Oddly enough, I do like his stream of conscious writing style. I just felt and editor could have helped shape this book more and kept the page count the same but created more chapters. Some it probably had to do with his summaries at the end of each chapter, but tha ...more
Blog on Books
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Have you met the Frank Luntzes? Frank Luntz #1 is a market researcher who helps companies by listening ultra-carefully to what consumers are saying about products and business accountability. Luntz #2 is a political operative who takes his polling information and then advises politicians on new methods of phraseology and wordsmithing to make political messaging more, um, palatable, to the public electorate.

In his latest book, “What Americans Really Want…Really: The Truth About Our Hopes, Dreams,
Oct 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book proved to be a very disquieting or disturbing read. The author clearly made the point that knowledge is power, but it left me wondering exactly what he meant. Is it that once the facts are presented, then one can accurately ascertain the will of a population, or is it that once the facts are uncovered they can be enhanced and spun to control the attitudes of the people? Do focus groups and sociological research teach how society really operates, or do these studies merely provide those ...more
Oct 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Lots of different aspects about American beliefs, opinions and desires from different people and businesses. I felt like it jumped around a bit. The parts the author did seem to stay and focus on for a while were generational differences, which were fascinating, and religion. On the religious sections is where he inserted a big amount of his own opinions. In contrast, the rest of the topics were not opinion driven or even commented on beyond the facts of his different surveys.

Overall, it had a
Drew Johnson
Mar 14, 2010 rated it liked it
I love data, surveys etc so alway enjoy Luntz's views. Some takeaways from the surveys:

In today's media people have reinforcing feedback loops that affirm beliefs rather than inform them. Some stats on attendance at religous services being positively correlated with happiness (similar to the data in Gross National Happiness). On handling employees: don't say things are "fair" and don't assume they know the condition of the company. Words that don't work: bailout, cuts in medicare spending. Words
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was very informative and interesting. I normaly don't read non-fiction like this, but Frank Luntz has a very personal way of writing that kept me engaged and interested. He has done so many focus groups and surveys that I have gained a sense of appreciation knowing that I am reading the hard work of his efforts when i ooh and ahh at how interesting some of the survey information is that he has gathered. It's very informative and it really makes you think like, "wow that makes ...more
May 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: political
Dr. Frank I. Luntz conducts focus groups and takes surveys of people for hundreds of companies and government agencies. He has compiled his understanding of what Americans, in general, are like. I am somewhat suspicious of surveys because how things are worded plays such a role in the outcome, but most of the conclusions Dr. Luntz reaches seem on target when compared to other reading and my experiences. Especially interesting was a section where he talks about what makes America unique and stron ...more
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listened to on audio CD. What an interesting and deeply engaging study on what Americans largely want. Luntz pulls no punches and presents empirical results to his extensive research for support. Oh, I sure wish people would listen to Luntz more (businesses, parents, children, teens, politicians, etc). I especially love his findings surrounding religious people, which turns out to be a damning rebuke to mainstream attempts to remove religion from as many areas as possible. Good stuff!

I thoroughl
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: economics, business
Having nothing better to do, I got a hold of this marketing book. Pretty good. I highly recommend it for people interested in branding. Interesting marketing studies and good instincts on why they say what they do. Which translates into why we consume what we consume. The old truth still holds that women make most purchasing decisions. I'm relieved to see that Dunkin Donuts is more likely to outlive Starbucks than the other way around simply because they get the American ethic of coffee. Interes ...more
Oct 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I really enjoy watching the focus groups that Frank Luntz uses to analyze what the public likes and doesn't like. During the past presidential campaign I think I saw Frank with one of his groups at least once a week. While I don't think you can judge everyone by a focus group, I do think there is a lot to learn about people by watching this.
In this book Frank is polling people about much more than politics. He gives us info about religion, work, and other topics that are important to people.
Gary Sedivy
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Some of the information in this book is unsettling - it may be right on, but the ramifications are troubling.
If the people in the US are as self-centered and selfish as this book protrays, or want outcomes that are untenable, e.g., entering the work-force without any experience, expecting a promotion and raise before anything is accomplished.
"I want what I want when I want it" is the mantra. Unfortunately it won't work that way, and not a few will be angry.
Alex Kenjeev
Mar 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Great book about marketing. Luntz is a master of knowing the huge differences between seemingly similar word choices. He also has a lot of fascinating ideas about where and how to look for new opportunities. For example: anything that will shave 10 minutes off a suburban mother's day. And: consumers will generally try something new for their evenings, but are much less likely to tamper with their morning routine.
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-nonfiction
Liked that it is a blend of other's research and his own research. He does a great job at explaining what people are thinking and feeling about where we are, from employees, older americans, young americans, and everyone inbetween. Very interesting is to know if you work are an employer or you just want to better understand some of neighbor's rational in how and why they think the way they do. Very easy to read and wasn't too high brow or techinal to read.
Feb 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
I listened to this as a book on tape. It had some good points, some things I agreed with and disagreed with, and was sometimes dry to listen to. Despite that, though, Luntz makes some very valid points and has a lot of research to back up his points. While listening it sparks your mind into thinking of various opportunities that you can create yourself.
Jan 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Interesting and easy to read, but a little condescending - he is telling us about ourselves, after all. But his book is really written for businesses; he wants to help entrepreneurs spot an opportunity and act on it. Though you may disagree, he articulates ideas and priorities that you may not have thought about until now.
Oct 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
fascinating book about what Americans believe and what they want in their lives. Luntz does a great job analysing what we want-he's right on the money. Great book for marketers, businesses, politicians (I wish they would read this and actually do what it says)and anyone else that is interested in the pulse of America.
Oct 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Frank Luntz is a pollster and he makes statistics interesting. Who knew? He gives us a good picture of ourselves as a country. Some of the information, especially about teens and high school students is disturbing.

I like Frank Luntz. I like hearing what he says about his focus groups on Fox.
Samuel Lubell
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, book-club
This book is based on polls and Luntz's work as a pollster. There is lots of good information here. Luntz's biases sometimes get in the way, especially when he talks about the importance of religion and traditional lifestyles.
Nov 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Pollsters know us practically better than ourselves. I did like Luntz's critique on living in modern times and how it still comes back to family and friends that make for a meaningful life. Take time for the things most meaningful to us.
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
This is a very good "drive by" look at cultural preferences in American society. What we want, how we want it, what we don't, etc. If you are responsible for shaping product development or for advertising/sales, this is a good, current, quick study.
Dec 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Fascinating book. Frank Luntz gives you an insight into why the general mood is 180 degrees out of phase with the general direction. He approaches politics, employers, employees, producers and consumers from a positive view point. This book is for anyone interested in improving.
John Hendricks
Dec 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-books-read
Well-done book by noted conservative pollster Luntz. Written is a conversational style, it covers a wide range of American opinion. Luntz should also do some international work...would be an intriguing contrast...
Jul 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
Should have been interesting, but for us, it was outdated and just plain boring. Didn't finish.
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Well written. Informative & insightful, I would recommend this book for everyone. We need to look at the future by understanding what Americans are thinking now.
Sue Klasing
Oct 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
Interesting compilation of surveys of Americas opinions.
Apr 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Frank Luntz's perspective is so interesting...and spot on.
Marty Greenwell
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An important book. Makes you throw away your prejudices and look at what Americans ( not necessarily me ) believe and want. The book is apolitical to a point
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