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Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate (A Progressive Guide to Action)

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Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate (A Progressive Guide to Action) Cover

ISBN13: 9781931498715
ISBN10: 1931498717
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Review-A-Day

"Much more than an offering of serious political strategy, Don't Think of an Elephant! is a feel-good self-help book for a stratum of despairing liberals who just can't believe how their commonsense message has been misunderstood by the eternally deceived masses." Marc Cooper, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Don't Think of An Elephant! is the antidote to the last forty years of conservative strategizing and the right wing?s stranglehold on political dialogue in the United States.

Author George Lakoff explains how conservatives think, and how to counter their arguments. He outlines in detail the traditional American values that progressives hold, but are often unable to articulate. Lakoff also breaks down the ways in which conservatives have framed the issues, and provides examples of how progressives can reframe the debate.

Lakoff?s years of research and work with environmental and political leaders have been distilled into this essential guide, which shows progressives how to think in terms of values instead of programs, and why people vote their values and identities, often against their best interests.

Don't Think of an Elephant! is the definitive handbook for understanding and communicating effectively about key issues in the 2004 election, and beyond.

Read it, take action — and help take America back.

Review:

"Lakoff, a cognitive scientist and linguist at Berkeley, believes he knows why conservatives have been so successful in recent years and how progressives like himself can beat them at their own game. This slim book presents a simple, accessible overview of his theory of 'moral politics' and a call to action for Democrats mourning November?s election results. Lakoff?s persuasive argument focuses on two ideas: what he calls 'framing,' and the opposition of liberals? and conservatives? concepts of the family. Conservatives, he says, have easily framed tax cuts as 'tax relief' because of widespread, preexisting views of taxes as burdensome, and liberals have had little success conveying the idea that taxes are a social responsibility. In Lakoff?s view, conservatives adhere to a 'strict father' model of family, in contrast to liberals? 'nurturant parent' view, and he sees this difference as the key to understanding most of the two sides? clashes. His writing is clear and succinct, and he illuminates his theories through easy-to-follow examples from current politics. Although the book has been updated since the election, many of its sections were originally written long beforehand, so some comments are outdated (at one point Lakoff wonders, for example, whether George Bush?s support of the gay marriage amendment will help him keep the White House). However, the process of regaining power may be a long one for Democrats, and Lakoff?s insights into how to deal with conservatives and appeal to the general public are bound to light a fire under many progressives. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Lakoff, a cognitive scientist and linguist at Berkeley, believes he knows why conservatives have been so successful in recent years and how progressives like himself can beat them at their own game. This slim book presents a simple, accessible overview of his theory of 'moral politics' and a call to action for Democrats mourning November's election results. Lakoff's persuasive argument focuses on two ideas: what he calls 'framing,' and the opposition of liberals' and conservatives' concepts of the family. Conservatives, he says, have easily framed tax cuts as 'tax relief' because of widespread, preexisting views of taxes as burdensome, and liberals have had little success conveying the idea that taxes are a social responsibility. In Lakoff's view, conservatives adhere to a 'strict father' model of family, in contrast to liberals' 'nurturant parent' view, and he sees this difference as the key to understanding most of the two sides' clashes. His writing is clear and succinct, and he illuminates his theories through easy-to-follow examples from current politics. Although the book has been updated since the election, many of its sections were originally written long beforehand, so some comments are outdated (at one point Lakoff wonders, for example, whether George Bush's support of the gay marriage amendment will help him keep the White House). However, the process of regaining power may be a long one for Democrats, and Lakoff's insights into how to deal with conservatives and appeal to the general public are bound to light a fire under many progressives." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Read this book and be part of transforming our political dialogue to support our highest ideals and speak to the hearts of Americans." Joan Blades and Wes Boyd, MoveOn.org

Review:

"One of the most influential political thinkers of the progressive movement." Howard Dean

Book News Annotation:

Lakeoff (cognitive science and linguistics, U. of California, Berkeley) examines the ways US conservatives use language to create "frames," phrases fully loaded with significance from the American collective cognitive unconscious. He shows how he believes this misappropriation of language creates the context for discussion amongst candidates, parties, and in the media, rather than the real issues. He asserts that progressives and others committed to full public discourse must learn when it is used, and how to use it themselves to level the playing field. This volume does not include an index or a bibliography.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

George Lakoff, UC Berkeley cognitive linguist and author of Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think, has emerged as one of the leading progressive voices on the importance of language, the framing of political issues, and how to best define and communicate about values. Lakoff has advised top Democrats, such as Howard Dean, Barack Obama and now John Kerry's team, and appears regularly on television and radio programs, such as "Now" and "All Things Considered." To help progressives in the crucial last weeks before November 2, George Lakoff and Chelsea Green Publishing are taking on the challenge of getting out to all progressives a handbook for how to personally reach out to new and undecided voters, and to articulate a progressive vision for America. This book, Dont Think of an Elephant: Progressive Values and the Framing Wars, will be made available just after the Republican Convention, in early September.

About the Author

George Lakoff is Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, and is a founding senior fellow at the Rockridge Institute. He is one of the world's best-known linguists. His expertise is in cognitive linguistics, the scientific study of the nature of thought and its expression in language.
Since the mid-1980s he has been applying cognitive linguistics to the study of politics, especially the framing of public political debate. He is the author of the influential book, Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think, (2nd edition, 2002). Since 2002, he has consulted with the leaders of hundreds of advocacy groups on framing issues, lectured to large audiences across the country, run dozens of workshops for activists, spoken regularly on radio talk shows and tv shows, spoken twice at the Democratic Senators' Policy Retreat, consulted with progressive pollsters and advertising agencies, been interviewed at length in the public media, served as a consultant in major political campaigns, and done extensive research for Rockridge.
In addition to his work on political thought and language, he has been active in his academic discipline. He has lectured at major universities in dozens of countries around the world. He is currently on the Science Board of the Santa Fe Institute (1995-01), has served as President of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association and on the Governing Board of the Cognitive Science Society, and is co-director with Jerome Feldman of the Neural Theory of Language Project at the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley.
He is the author of Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About The Mind (1987) and co-author of Metaphors We Live By (1980; 2003) [with Mark Johnson], More Than Cool Reason (1989) [with Mark Turner], Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge To The Western Tradition (1999) [with Mark Johnson], and Where Mathematics Comes From: How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics Into Being (2000) [with Rafael Nº±ez].

Table of Contents

Foreword by Howard Dean
Introduction by Don Hazen
Preface: Reframing Is Social Change
Part I: Theory and Application
1. Framing 101: How to Take Back Public Discourse
Enter the Terminator!
What's in a Word? Plenty, if It's Marriage
Metaphors of Terror
Metaphors That Kill
Betrayal of Trust: Beyond Lying
Part II: From Theory to Action
7. What the Right Wants
8. What Unites Progressives
9. FAQ
10. How to Respond to Conservatives

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

marytnurse, November 23, 2007 (view all comments by marytnurse)
Wow. I can't say enough about this simple to read book; I have re-read it, and highlighted sections of it. The information packed into the few pages has changed the way I perceive so many things; well beyond politics. The power of words is no news to me; the concept of the vastness of that power--the ability to set the standard for how we reference things--phenomenal. This book has indeed shattered some of my fundamental constructs that I had bought into. I can't wait to read more of his work--but first I need to review this again!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(19 of 37 readers found this comment helpful)
marytnurse, October 11, 2007 (view all comments by marytnurse)
This is one of those VERY few books or news sources where, nearly every conversation I get into, I find myself at least mentally referencing this book. No one has ever been able to explain republican thought processes to me before, in a way that makes sense. No one has been able to explain how they have become so well oiled. This book explains so much to me, and helped so much to understand what goes on in the media and in the political elections. I recommended it several times even before I finished it. I plan to re-read it and highlight this time, which is something I haven't done other than for college courses.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(20 of 39 readers found this comment helpful)
lrt1125, November 19, 2006 (view all comments by lrt1125)
I first learned about this book in an Advocacy Training. I volunteer with an community based umbrella organization which has all of the problems of lower income urban neighborhoods. I use this book to try to change the mind set of the residents. Believe it or not, the youth love the challenge of debating issues on their terms. They make up exercises that deal with their everyday lives and it has also peaked their interest in politics.

Don't Think of an Elephant is a perfet book to use to get people of all social and economic backgrounds to feel empowered to make a difference.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(27 of 49 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781931498715
Author:
Lakoff, George
Publisher:
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
Author:
Hazen, Don
Author:
Dean, Howard
Subject:
Progressivism (united states politics)
Subject:
Communication in politics
Subject:
Political Process - Elections
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Political Process - Political Parties
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Conservatism & Liberalism
Subject:
Communication in politics -- United States.
Subject:
Politics-United States Politics
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20040931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
144
Dimensions:
8.375 x 5.375 in 4 oz

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Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate (A Progressive Guide to Action) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 144 pages Chelsea Green Publishing Company - English 9781931498715 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Lakoff, a cognitive scientist and linguist at Berkeley, believes he knows why conservatives have been so successful in recent years and how progressives like himself can beat them at their own game. This slim book presents a simple, accessible overview of his theory of 'moral politics' and a call to action for Democrats mourning November?s election results. Lakoff?s persuasive argument focuses on two ideas: what he calls 'framing,' and the opposition of liberals? and conservatives? concepts of the family. Conservatives, he says, have easily framed tax cuts as 'tax relief' because of widespread, preexisting views of taxes as burdensome, and liberals have had little success conveying the idea that taxes are a social responsibility. In Lakoff?s view, conservatives adhere to a 'strict father' model of family, in contrast to liberals? 'nurturant parent' view, and he sees this difference as the key to understanding most of the two sides? clashes. His writing is clear and succinct, and he illuminates his theories through easy-to-follow examples from current politics. Although the book has been updated since the election, many of its sections were originally written long beforehand, so some comments are outdated (at one point Lakoff wonders, for example, whether George Bush?s support of the gay marriage amendment will help him keep the White House). However, the process of regaining power may be a long one for Democrats, and Lakoff?s insights into how to deal with conservatives and appeal to the general public are bound to light a fire under many progressives. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Lakoff, a cognitive scientist and linguist at Berkeley, believes he knows why conservatives have been so successful in recent years and how progressives like himself can beat them at their own game. This slim book presents a simple, accessible overview of his theory of 'moral politics' and a call to action for Democrats mourning November's election results. Lakoff's persuasive argument focuses on two ideas: what he calls 'framing,' and the opposition of liberals' and conservatives' concepts of the family. Conservatives, he says, have easily framed tax cuts as 'tax relief' because of widespread, preexisting views of taxes as burdensome, and liberals have had little success conveying the idea that taxes are a social responsibility. In Lakoff's view, conservatives adhere to a 'strict father' model of family, in contrast to liberals' 'nurturant parent' view, and he sees this difference as the key to understanding most of the two sides' clashes. His writing is clear and succinct, and he illuminates his theories through easy-to-follow examples from current politics. Although the book has been updated since the election, many of its sections were originally written long beforehand, so some comments are outdated (at one point Lakoff wonders, for example, whether George Bush's support of the gay marriage amendment will help him keep the White House). However, the process of regaining power may be a long one for Democrats, and Lakoff's insights into how to deal with conservatives and appeal to the general public are bound to light a fire under many progressives." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Much more than an offering of serious political strategy, Don't Think of an Elephant! is a feel-good self-help book for a stratum of despairing liberals who just can't believe how their commonsense message has been misunderstood by the eternally deceived masses." (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
"Review" by , "Read this book and be part of transforming our political dialogue to support our highest ideals and speak to the hearts of Americans."
"Review" by , "One of the most influential political thinkers of the progressive movement."
"Synopsis" by , George Lakoff, UC Berkeley cognitive linguist and author of Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think, has emerged as one of the leading progressive voices on the importance of language, the framing of political issues, and how to best define and communicate about values. Lakoff has advised top Democrats, such as Howard Dean, Barack Obama and now John Kerry's team, and appears regularly on television and radio programs, such as "Now" and "All Things Considered." To help progressives in the crucial last weeks before November 2, George Lakoff and Chelsea Green Publishing are taking on the challenge of getting out to all progressives a handbook for how to personally reach out to new and undecided voters, and to articulate a progressive vision for America. This book, Dont Think of an Elephant: Progressive Values and the Framing Wars, will be made available just after the Republican Convention, in early September.
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