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Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate--The Essential Guide for Progressives [Paperback]

By George Lakoff, Howard Dean (Foreward By) & Don Hazen (Introduction by)
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Item description for Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate--The Essential Guide for Progressives by George Lakoff, Howard Dean & Don Hazen...

Offers a handbook for understanding the key issues in the 2004 election and beyond, discussing how progressives need to look at issues to counter conservative arguments.

Publishers Description
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 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.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   124
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Chelsea Green
ISBN  1931498717  
ISBN13  9781931498715  

Availability  0 units.

More About George Lakoff, Howard Dean & Don Hazen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! George Lakoff is a professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of, among other books, Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things and Moral Politics, both published by the University of Chicago Press. Mark Johnson is the Knight Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon. He is the author of The Body in the Mind and Moral Imagination, both published by the University of Chicago Press. Johnson and Lakoff have also coauthored Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought.

George Lakoff currently resides in Berkeley, in the state of California.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Government > Elections
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > Reference
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > U.S.

Reviews - What do customers think about Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate--The Essential Guide for Progressives?

A must read for the prograssives (or Liberal crowd) especially volunteers for the DNC!  Sep 13, 2008
I didn't understand why John Kerry win 3 out of 3 debates and lose the election till I read this....

It's all about the languages used in the debate......

and Framing is one of them....the other is use of fallacies....(not in this book)

a good book for any debater or law school students.
Concept: four stars / Execution: two stars  Aug 3, 2008
This is essentially just a poorly-written, watered-down version of Lakoff's "Moral Politics". If you're seriously interested in Lakoff's theory of politics, skip this and read "Moral Politics" instead. But, if you want just a brief summary of the highlights of Lakoff's theory, without having to read the (much longer and more in-depth) "Moral Politics", then this book will serve the purpose. However, I will warn you that it is not well-written at all. It appears to have been hastily thrown together and poorly edited.

This book is aimed at progressives; and attempts to explain why progressives have struggled politically in recent decades while conservatives have had tremendous success. According to Lakoff, it has a great deal to do with differences in how conservatives and progressives communicate their ideas. Lakoff encourages progressives to adopt many of the same communications strategies that conservatives have been using. However, Lakoff's suggestions tend to lean toward abstract principles rather than practical advice. This is not a step-by-step "how to" guide for communicating progressive ideas and winning elections. It's really more of a "here's-where-we've-gone-wrong" critique of progressive campaign strategies. There are some useful insights here; but this is certainly not Lakoff's best work.
Thinking Outside THE Box  Jul 31, 2008
I was one of millions of people who watched Faux News only-just 'for fun'.

Now I understand why 9 million dollar salary of Bill O'reilly worth every penny.
is george lakoff stupid?  May 17, 2008
progressives can't frame a debate? they don't use emotionally charged language to circumvent the facts? what about terms such as "tax cuts for the rich", "a woman's right to choose", or "he lied about sex"?
only conservatives use orwellian speech? "neocon"? "radcon"? sounds alot like newspeak to me.
eighty percent of the "talking heads on television" are conservative? apparently mr.lakoff only watches fox news.
the "voter revolt frame" ignores the fact that california's problems began during a previous republican administration? blaming the 9/11 attacks on the bush administration ignores the fact that bill clinton was aware of osama bin ladin and did nothing to stop him.
conservatives believe that "once grown, the self reliant, disciplined children are on their own, and the father is not to meddle in their lives"? what's so bad about that. at least conservatives believe that we should be free to choose to ride in "cars without seat belts", to smoke, or eat food containing "poisonous additives".
i don't disagree with many of mr. lakoff's points, i just think he would be far more credible if he didn't present progressives as helpless victims of cruel, sharp tongued conservatives.
so, is mr. lakoff stupid? no, he just knows how to frame his argument.
Understanding Political Preferences  May 8, 2008
_Don't Think of an Elephant_ by George Lakoff is likely to give you new insight on politics in the United States.

Lakoff, a linguist, says that each of us has "frames," mental structures that, unbeknownst to us, shape the way we view the world. A common metaphor giving rise to some of these frames is that the nation is a family. (We speak of "founding fathers," for example.) The main models of idealized family structure are the "strict father" family, where children are taught to be obedient, and the "nurturant parent" family (gender neutral), where children are encouraged to find fulfillment. Although each of us is aware of both models, one is likely to dominate. Sometimes a different model dominates in different situations, such as at home and at work.

Lakoff makes the case that these disparate models of the family underlie the difference between the political left and right, between progressives and conservatives, between Democrats and Republicans. Furthermore, these models -- or frames -- shape our values and affect which policies we support. They determine what we accept as "common sense." When we encounter facts that are contrary to the frames we live by, the frames predominate and the incompatible facts are disregarded. People tend to vote in accordance with their values and their identity, even when that means voting against their own self-interest.

The title of the book is taken from Lakoff's assertion that in order to successfully counter an opponent's platform, the issue must be reframed -- the terminology must be changed. In fact, the subtitle of the book is "Know Your Values and Frame the Debate." When a person is told "Don't think of an elephant," it is difficult to think of anything else. Likewise, when an issue is attacked without being reframed, the original message is reinforced. We "think of the elephant."

_Don't Think of an Elephant_ is a very accessible book, less scholarly than some of Lakoff's other works. It is likely to help readers understand why they -- and others -- believe as they do, and it might help them to more effectively articulate their views.

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