Words on Fire: The Power of Incendiary Language and How to Confront It

Words on Fire: The Power of Incendiary Language and How to Confront It

by Helio Fred Garcia

Narrated by Patrick Lawlor

Unabridged — 8 hours, 56 minutes

Words on Fire: The Power of Incendiary Language and How to Confront It

Words on Fire: The Power of Incendiary Language and How to Confront It

by Helio Fred Garcia

Narrated by Patrick Lawlor

Unabridged — 8 hours, 56 minutes

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This book is about the power of communication to do great harm and how civic leaders and engaged citizens can hold other leaders accountable to prevent it. Author Helio Fred Garcia focuses on the language President Trump uses that conditions an audience to accept, condone, and commit violence against a targeted group, rival, or critic. Including a history of such rhetoric, this book identifies a playbook consisting of twelve forms of communication that typically precede genocides and other acts of mass violence. The Rwandan Hutu used ten, the Nazis used all twelve, and Trump uses all twelve too. Such language triggers lone wolves to commit violence. Since 9/11, the use of rhetoric that provokes violence has been known as “stochastic terrorism,” a phrase that can be confusing and make discussion difficult. Garcia suggests a more accessible name: lone-wolf whistle violence, on the model of “dog whistle” politics. He draws on the most recent scholarship on lone wolves, their mindset, and what it takes to activate them to commit violence, demonstrating how Trump's increasingly dangerous rhetoric throughout his campaign and first term has motivated such individuals. He also describes the changes in the nation's political culture and media that led to Trump's nomination and presidency but also profiles leaders who dialed back their rhetoric when it was shown to put people's lives in danger. Words on Fire closes with a call to action: we all-civic leaders, engaged citizens, journalists, and public officials-must recognize this phenomenon so that we can take steps to hold our leaders accountable in the future.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Many of us were taught a lie as youngsters that sticks and stones can break our bones, but words will never hurt us. Garcia courageously, graphically, and powerfully illustrates that it is words on fire that cause deep internal permanent damage while often triggering accompanying physical damage. Words On Fire should be mandatory reading and a guide book for every journalist, business school, religious leader, and elected official. Important institutions in our society and culture have the affirmative responsibility to stand up and speak out against the users and use of dangerous language.”

- James E. Lukaszewski, America’s Crisis Guru®

“Drawing on history and his deep expertise in communications, Helio Fred Garcia documents how Trump's barrage of hate, divisiveness, and falsehoods are even uglier and more dangerous than we thought, right out of the autocrat's playbook. This is a highly readable guide to how we can call out and combat Trump's toxic language and malignant agenda, and push back against the corrosive forces that enable Trumpism and put our country in peril.”
- Evan Wolfson, Founder, Freedom to Marry

“Garcia, a proven scholar on communication, enables his readers to understand both the benefits and threats of words that inevitably alter the direction and the values of a nation. He identifies rhetoric that breeds violence, affirms autocracy, and prompts terrorism as well as critical responses to those developments that serve as antidotes to trouble and strategies for building a more equitable, united world.”
- Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President Emeritus, Interfaith Alliance

“Language is powerful. It can uplift or harm. Helio Fred Garcia is an astute student of language and communication. This book offers historic examples, keen insights, and valuable advice on recognizing patterns of language that can lead to violence.”
- David Lapan, Colonel, USMC (ret), Former Pentagon and DHS spokesman

“In this dark moment of hateful and divisive rhetoric in our blessed country, at a time when such original analyses and solutions are scarce, Words on Fire serves as a guiding light. Garcia details the incendiary language used by our leaders and offers practical tools for leaders and citizens to combat it. Every American should read this timely, imperative book if we are to save our democracy.”
- Khizr Khan, Gold Star Parent, Immigrant American

Product Details

BN ID: 2940177173153
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
Publication date: 06/30/2020
Edition description: Unabridged
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