Saturday, August 25, 2012

Heads Via Hearts

I don’t often recommend books. I am going to do so now and tell everyone that publishes a blog or a twitter stream that they should read this book: Climate blogger( Joe Romm’s Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga.

This book is for anyone who cares about why science doesn’t get through to the public should read it. Abyone who wants to add some additional depth and power to their writing should read it. Anyone who wants to understand the rhetorical tricks that are used by the manipulators and how to defend against them should read it.

It's a treatise on the neglected art of rhetoric, the techniques utilized by Shakespeare, Lincoln, and the writers of the King James Bible.   As Romm points out in the book, modern neuroscience now confirms what the poets always knew about getting to people’s heads through their hearts.

As Joe mentions several times in the book, President Obama, while a very good speaker, has not fully utilized the tools of rhetoric in his speech and also not used these same tools to deflect and counter the rhetorical tricks coming from the other side.

It's not a long book but it is fascinating as Joe points out the various methods and how they have been used by some of the greatest speakers such as Winston Churchhill, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King.

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