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Friday, August 04, 2006


I have just started reading Don't think of an elephant: know your values and frame the debate by George Lakoff. It looks like the perfect book to me - liberal politics and sociolinguistics. My question now is do people actually know who Lakoff is and do people really read this book, or is that all just his propaganda? If so, has any of you read it and does anyone have anything to say about its influence? On a related point, has anyone read/seen any books on similar topics? I am woefully ignorant about all of this but am absolutely fascinated by this approach, and am convinced of its importance in politics.


Blogger Jeff said...

In my research this summer I was interviewing social activists and came across one avid consumer of this book. The guy was the communications director of a prominant statewide environmental group whose job it was to manage the organization's relations with the media, its coalition partners, and the state legislature. In our discussion he must have mentioned this book four or five times (it was the first I'd heard of it), and in no uncertain terms he praised its usefulness and recommended it to me. For what it's worth, at least some political activists are reading it.

My curiousity is certainly piqued. I'll be looking for your review of it here when you finish it!

Friday, August 04, 2006 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Bozzo said...

Lakoff has been widely discussed in the left-leaning parts of the political blogiverse, and his work informs a lot of blogging that, e.g., seeks to remind Democratic candidates not to accept Republican frames on issues.

Some of it seems obvious, but then, TDEC, you did write, "Using frozen embryos for research should not be done lightly..." Who said it was being "done lightly"?

Saturday, August 05, 2006 6:06:00 AM  
Blogger TDEC said...

Hm. Fair point Tom - mind you I have not finished the book yet so have not decided if subscribe to the ideas it propagates. Slag has it, and is in France reading it, but Jeff, I promise a review as soon as he returns and I get a chance to finish it.

Anyway, it certainly seems to be getting the attention it deserves, and actually I read a somewhat scathing review of it in Mother Jones recently, comparing it to Geoffrey Nunberg's Talking Right. Nunberg apparently has a similar-yet-more-coherent treatment of the topic. I may try to get hold of that one as well, it seems like these issues are fast becoming high profile within the Democrat party.

Monday, August 07, 2006 8:22:00 AM  

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