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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 the 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 Eddie Haskell Ploy
Eminem’s Rules of Decorum
The Belushi Paradigm
Stalin’s Timing Secret
The Yoda Technique
Whether you’re an inveterate lover of language books or just want to win a lot more anger-free arguments on the page or at the podium, Thank You for Arguing is for you. Written by one of today’s most popular online 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.
Visit the author's fun website www.figaro.com or www.thankyouforarguing.com for video demonstrations, author information, and more. Jay Heinrichs is also available for free phone or e-chats to classes using the book. Email: LeLee@randomhouse.com for more details.
Praise for Thank You for Arguing:
"I use his Daily Figaro site all the time for my classes. It's a lot of fun; he uses current politics, Monty Python, etc. to elucidate rhetorical devices. I'm also making my way through his book. It's excellent. An easy read, it presents Rhetoric and Argumentation for the general public. Despite, maybe because, of its "populist" approach, I will make it required reading next semester."--David Kaufmann, Ph.D., Dept. of English, Tulane University
“There is no argument: This is an amazing and useful book. Any author who can conjure wisdom from both Thomas Aquinas and Yogi Berra belongs on my shelf.”
— Roy Peter Clark, author of WRITING TOOLS: 50 ESSENTIAL STRATEGIES FOR EVERY WRITER
“Cross Cicero with David Letterman and you get Jay Heinrichs, whose new book is simultaneously an analysis of how to argue effectively and an hilarious commentary on the reasons why we have lost the art so completely.”
--Joseph Ellis, author of AMERICAN SPHINX and FOUNDING BROTHERS
“A lot of people think of rhetoric as a dirty word, but a long time ago--think ancient Greece--it was perhaps the noblest of arts. Jay Heinrichs' book is a timely, valuable and entertaining contribution to its much-needed rehabilitation.”
--Ben Yagoda, author of ABOUT TOWN: THE NEW YORKER AND THE WORLD IT MADE and THE SOUND ON THE PAGE: GREAT WRITERS TALK ABOUT STYLE AND VOICE IN WRITING
“Knowing how to use the proper words is an art; knowing how to intersperse them with savvy pauses is a mystery. Words are treacherous: they either explain or conceal. And silence is all the more dangerous: speak too much and you’ve become redundant; speak too little and you’re ignored. But speak in just the right way and then be quiet and you’ll be revered and esteemed. Jay Heinrichs' superb modern manual on rhetoric shows the extent to which we are what we say–and how. Ah, the mysteries of the tongue!”
--Ilan Stavans, author of DICTIONARY DAYS: A DEFINING PASSION
“Inspiring, original, and hysterically funny…rhetoric doesn’t get any better than this.”
--Gina Barreca, Editor, THE SIGNET BOOK OF AMERICAN HUMOR
“Reading THANK YOU FOR ARGUING is like having a lively talk with the author about the very backbone of real talk, the willingness of people to change each other’s–and their own–ideas through constructive argument. Writing with vividness and rigor, Jay Heinrichs maps this territory so you’ll always know where you are. You’ll scratch your head, grit your teeth, smack your forehead, and laugh out loud as he guides you through the landscape of differing with a difference.”
--Margaret Shepherd, THE ART OF CIVILIZED CONVERSATION: HOW TO EXPRESS YOURSELF WITH GRACE AND STYLE
"Smart, funny, hip and irreverent. These 'Heinrichs maneuvers' will help you prevail against any verbal opponent. A true cause for celebration!"
--Joel Saltzman, author of SHAKE THAT BRAIN!: HOW TO CREATE WINNING SOLUTIONS AND HAVE FUN WHILE YOU'RE AT IT
"Not only will I buy your book, I am recommending it to my students. I used several of the dailies from your website with my AP Language and composition class this fall. We especially enjoyed the Bushisms and Homerisms.
Keep up the good fight, and the pen IS mightier than the sword, and all that!"--Zilicia Howard, Teacher, David Prouty High School, Spencer, MA
Feedback from students at Tulane University....
I got a lot of rhetorical tools and knowledge out of this book, and it was very readable due to Heinrich’s creative voice. He really took the idea of speaking in the vernacular to the next level by incorporating the many pop-references and anecdotes. The book was pretty loaded with rhetorical devices and tools so it was a bit difficult to take it all in but I took notes on the highlights of each chapter and will keep them for future reference. I think this book should be a staple for your persuasive writing courses in the future.
Thank You For Arguing was my favorite text that was required in this class. The book’s humorous tone is a great way to better understand rhetoric, because it made it easier to relate to the material. The fact that Henrichs uses various examples to illustrate any given point was also an appealing part of the book. I also enjoyed, and still use, the section in the back of the book that defines and explains rhetorical devices and fallacies. Our conversation with Mr. Heinrics made me like the book even more. Clearly he is a smart guy doing what he loves to do, and that comes across in his book, but even more so when he talks about rhetoric.
Jay Heinrichs’ book is abounding with rhetorical devices. The contemporary techniques in Thank You For Arguing helped me learn the art of persuasion and even assisted me in wining anger-free argument in which I asserted self-control. Not only am I able to identify a chiasmus when I hear one, but I can recognize politicians’ subversive use of language. This book was a lot of fun to read, I especially like all of the pop-culture and historical references. As a history major I really enjoyed reading about Thomas Jefferson’s rhetorical commonplaces that facilitated the Declaration of Independence.
Each of the textbooks certainly had their strengths and weaknesses, I would say. As probably expected, my favorite text was Thank You For Arguing. This particular book was more of a ‘leisure read’ than an ‘I must read this for a course’ read. The author was quite witty and used various anecdotes to prove his rhetorical devices to be useful in everyday life. I enjoyed Heinrichs’ style of writing very much so, and it also helped me to remember various rhetorical tools and how to use them effectively....I found this book to be extremely relevant to our writing and discussion processes inside and outside of class.
Of all the texts, I enjoyed this one the most. I found Heinrich’s writing to be informative but interesting to read at the same time. I learned several rhetoric terms which I had not known before and his examples made it easier to understand. I also really enjoyed the phone interview with him and would suggest continuing to do so.
Thank You for Arguing was the perfect counterbalance to The Craft of Argument. It was a delight to read because of the incorporation of historical rhetoric and pop culture references. It was not only entertaining, however, it was also very useful.
I really liked Heinrich’s book the most, as it offered a sort of lighthearted way of looking at being argumentative, and also drew on popular culture to make his points which helps engage a college-age student more effectively.
I liked how he used multiple examples from his own life and frequently used the first person in his writing. It made him seem more relatable to the readers so that we would want to continue reading to hear what else he had to say. I think he did a great job of relating real life situations to the fundamental components of argumentation. I liked how he was still able to incorporate the concepts of persuasion and argumentation in a way that was entertaining and humorous to read. I think this definitely made the book more enjoyable to read and encouraged me to want to learn more about argumentation. Therefore, I believe that it should be continue to be included in the curriculum for this course in the future.
Now for the book I liked the most, Thank you for Arguing is a great read, you just have to be aware that to go along with all the funny jokes in the book, there is also some important information. It’s not really an encyclopedia for the writer, but it teaches you how to be aware of all the rhetoric around you and how to use it to your advantage to get some one to agree with you or to win an argument. It is definitely a good read because I almost wasn’t even aware that I was reading it. Which has to be a plus because I tend to daydream a lot when I read. This book is a real attention grabber.
I think the Heinrichs book was the most successful, and useful book that we utilized in the class.
I enjoyed this book very much. It is also handy when I see a rhetorical device and want to look it up. I like how we supplement the website with the book. I also really enjoyed our phone interview with Heinrichs. His book was my favorite and I also think it should be used in the future. I really enjoyed reading his personal experience and exerpts on what to use in the office, with co-workers, family, and friends. Also interesting is that he explains the history of rhetoric using examples from Cicero and the Roman Empire.
The emphasis that he places on tense is both fascinating and helpful; I plan on keeping the tense that I frame an argument within in mind as I have oral and verbal conversations for the rest of my life.
Last but not least, I really enjoyed Jay Heinrichs’ Thank You For Arguing. Much like The Craft of Argument, Thank You For Arguing succeeded as an articulate guide on the science behind argument. As opposed to being mostly a strict guide on how to write, in the sense that Craft is, Heinrichs was able to address the art of formulating the perfect argument and how to relate one’s message to their audience. The two passages titled ‘Get Them to Like You’ & ‘Show Leadership’ really helped me grasp the idea of leading my audience through my argument, as opposed to merely stating the facts.
I’ve recommended Thank You for Arguing to my parents and to classmates. Heinrichs does a great job of making rhetoric not only understandable to the average person, but also fun. I’ve noticed my own willingness to use what I’ve learned from the book. I’ve been more critical of people’s persuasive efforts, and I’ve also been more critical of television, especially commercials. Commercials are terrific at disguising their broad assumptions and unexplained "evidence" with fast-talk and sensationalism. I’m sure Heinrichs could give an entire lecture on the theories behind advertisement. I don’t like The Simpsons, but the presence of references to the show in the book makes me feel that Heinrichs cares about my demographic. It’s ethos for him and pathos for me. Also, for some reason I develop a strong connection with a book when the author talks about his life and uses anecdotes, as long as they aren’t excessive and narcissistic, of course. Heinrichs use of his own life to provide examples drew me in. The book is easy to read and flows well. There are no bad parts.
I think Thank You for Arguing is a really great book. First off, it was so much fun to read. I love how personal it is and reading all his anecdotes. I think it really is important that if you are going to teach a writing or language tool, like rhetoric, that you prove to your audience that it actually works and that it's something you really use in your life. Heinrich's does this so well and makes me want to become a better rhetoric user because he proved to me through his own writing that rhetoric can be very effective.
I was able to read Thank you for Arguing very easily, it kept my attention and I was far more willing to keep abreast of it in a manner like you requested,