Thank You For Arguing, Revised and Updated Edition: What Aristotle, Lincoln, And Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion

Thank You For Arguing, Revised and Updated Edition: What Aristotle, Lincoln, And Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion

by Jay Heinrichs




For when you really have to get your point across…          
Thank You for Arguing is your master class in the art of persuasion, taught by professors ranging from Bart Simpson to Winston Churchill.
The time-tested secrets this book discloses include Cicero’s three-step strategy for moving an audience to action—as well as Honest Abe’s Shameless Trick of lowering an audience’s expectations by pretending to be unpolished. But it’s also replete with contemporary techniques such as politicians’ use of “code” language to appeal to specific groups and an eye-opening assortment of popular-culture dodges—including The Yoda Technique, The Belushi Paradigm, and The Eddie Haskell Ploy.

Whether you’re an inveterate lover of language books or just want to win a lot more anger-free arguments on the page, at the podium, or over a beer, Thank You for Arguing is for you. Written by one of today’s most popular language mavens, it’s warm, witty, erudite, and truly enlightening. It not only teaches you how to recognize a paralipsis and a chiasmus when you hear them, but also how to wield such handy and persuasive weapons the next time you really, really want to get your own way.

*Expanded and Revised: Including new chapters on leadership, Obama’s oratorical mastery, the pitfalls of apologies—and an “Argument Lab” section to put your new skills to the test.*

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385347754
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 08/06/2013
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

JAY HEINRICHS spent 25 years as a journalist and publishing executive before becoming a fulltime advocate for the lost art of rhetoric. Since then he’s taught persuasion to Fortune 500 companies, Ivy League universities, NASA, and the Pentagon. He is also the author of Word Hero: A Fiendishly Clever Guide to Crafting the Lines that Get Laughs, Go Viral, and Live Forever.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii

Foreword to the new Edition xv


1 Open Your Eyes: The Invisible Argument 3


2 Set Your Goals: Cicero's Lightbulb 15

3 Control the Tense: Orphan Annie's Law 27

4 Soften Them Up: Character, Logic, Emotion 38

5 Get Them to Like You: Eminem's Rules of Decorum 47

6 Make Them Listen: The Lincoln Gambit 57

7 Use Your Craft: The Belushi Paradigm 68

8 Show You Care: Quintilian's Useful Doubt 74

9 Control the Mood: The Aquinas Maneuver 81

10 Turn the Volume Down: The Scientist's Lie 96

11 Gain the High Ground: Aristotle's Favorite Topic 105

12 Persuade on Your Terms: What "Is" Is 115

13 Control the Argument: Homer Simpson's Canons of Logic Defense 128


14 Spot Fallacies: The Seven Deadly Logical Sins 145

15 Call a Foul: Nixon's Trick 164

16 Know Whom to Trust: Persuasion Detectors 181

17 Find the Sweet Spot: More Persuasion Detectors 191

Advanced Offense

18 Get Instant Cleverness: Monty Python's Treasury of Wit 201

19 Speak Your Audience's Language: The Rhetorical Ape 220

20 Make Them Identify with Your Choice: The Mother-In-Law Ruse 229

21 Lead Your Tribe: Mandela's Halo 238

22 Avoid Apologizing: Apple's Fall 249

23 Seize the Occasion: Stalin's Timing Secret 260

24 Use the Right Medium: The Jumbotron Blunder 271

Advanced Agreement

25 Give a Persuasive Talk: The Oldest Invention 281

26 Capture Your Audience: The Obama Identity 294

27 Use the Right Tools: The Brad Pitt Factor 305

28 Run an Agreeable Country: Rhetoric's Revival 318


I Argument Lab 331

II The Tools 373

III Glossary 385

IV Chronology 391

V Further Reading 395

Acknowledgments 397

Index 399

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Thank You For Arguing, Revised and Updated Edition: What Aristotle, Lincoln, And Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book tedious and uninformative. Oh there is plenty of information here but the author is so busy trying to be clever and funny that his points are barely made. His examples are of such fleeting coverage and so intellectually lightweight, I gained little actual knowledge. There are better sources of this material.
Seghetto More than 1 year ago
This book enlightened me as to the art of argument. I used to just argue with people using whatever arrows in my quiver that I could grasp for. Now I am equipped with an arsenal that I will carry with me everywhere. Heinrichs does a fantastic job of categorizing the tools of persuasion, as well as providing some examples to get started on the art of rhetoric. I hope rhetoric comes back, because we lack a true appreciation for heated discussion in the United States.