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Straight and Crooked Thinking Paperback – 29 Apr 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (29 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444117181
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444117189
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'It is neither a dry nor weighty tome, but is jam-packed with raw rational sense. It will give you techniques for identifying fallacies and false arguments. It will help protect you from the devious subterfuges of politicians and preachers, journalists and jingoists. It is sweet manna from a rational heaven. Thouless describes 38 dishonest tricks that are commonly used in arguments (there may be more). ' (answersingenes.blogspot.com)

"Straight and Crooked Thinking remains one of the most succinct and practically-applicable books ever written. One blogger named it as his favorite book of all time, describing it as "a concise work of supreme genius." (http://neglectedbooks.com)

"...put it back on the mass market, where it belongs! (...) get it on every bookshelf on the planet." (http://answersingenes.blogspot.com/2007/11/straight-crooked-thinking.html)

Book Description

A new edition of a much loved guide to how to think and reason your way logically through difficult and challenging arguments

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 May 2002
Format: Paperback
I first read Straight and Crooked Thinking in 1971, when I was 16. (I found it in a public library) It had an enormous impact upon me. When listening to political debates, or reading newspapers I often had the feeling that speakers/writers were being dishonest and/or illogical. This book gave me the tools to understand why!
I did make myself rather unpopular with my contemporaries at the time by pointing out fallacies in their arguments, but that is another story.
I later found out that the book had had a similar impact upon my father when he read it in 1942. (It had been distributed free to troops to help the battle of ideas against Nazi propaganda.)
When I started teaching in 1979, I bought two copies, one to keep and one to lend to interested students. Alas, I lent and lost both of them.
I recently borrowed the most recent edition (edited by Christopher Thouless) from my university library and found it as relevant as ever.
This is a wonderful book. It is a powerful antidote to the modern culture of "spin"!...
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "martin47988" on 19 Aug 2005
Format: Hardcover
When I went to university in 1984, to study engineering, this book was a compulsory purchase. I bought it (£1.95), and it changed the way I thought. It's as simple as that, an incredible book - I still have my yellowed, dog-eared copy and I'd recommend it to anyone.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Colin Beckley on 13 Mar 2004
Format: Paperback
I first read this book some twenty years ago and happened to come across it again the other day. I started delving into it and soon found myself reading it from cover to cover once more. It must still be regarded as one of those classic works that has stood the test of time. Anyone interested in thinking independantly, or critically would do well to try this. Straight and Crooked thinking is an accessible read which borders upon Psychology,Philosophy and Logic as an excellent introduction to these disciplines.
Not only does the book expose logical fallacies that one encounters in argument or every day conversation, but also the author uses humourous examples to illusrtrate illogical standpoints.
One has to be carefull though, I found myself examining my own thoughts and prejudices!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steampunk TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 July 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Some of the info in this book is just plain common sense, but it's also full of stuff that will open your eyes to the way our politicians (and newspapers) daily try to mislead us, even when they're not telling us outright lies.

Many of the examples in the book are so spot-on that one almost wonders if it's required reading for prospective politicians and news-writers, to teach them the dirty tricks of their trade.

The book is easy and enjoyable to read, but the contents may change your life.

When I think of all the hours of my life that were wasted learning about Henry VIII, permafrost in Siberia, etc., etc., I really wonder... why didn't they teach us something USEFUL, like this stuff instead?

Definitely recommended to anyone who cares about language, logic, or being manipulated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JoMaynard VINE VOICE on 20 Sep 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A simple guide to how words can be twisted. It is an invaluable resource for teachers; English, PSHE, and History are some of the more obvious subject that could use this material.
For an individual it can help you understand how others try to manipulate you into agreeing with them. How words multiple shades of meaning can be used to mislead.
I knew quite a lot of this already, but it was very enlightening to have it shown so clearly how this's happening everyday. Do try the exercises, as they really help you to apply the knowledge to everyday life.
Buy this book and read it, then pass it on to your friends and relatives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Morris TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Jun 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Staight and Crooked thinking is a short book initially published in 1930 (then again in 1953) but despite its age, the concepts and examples all hold true today. Thouless sets up examples and then picks them apart, illustrating what literary technique the author of such a statement is utilising in an effort to mislead, persuade or sensationalise.

I will say, this isn't light-reading, I'm not an english-language student and had to reread several paragraphs to wrap my head around the concept being explained. A few of the examples need updating. Despite a number of outdated examples or grammatical constructions that we rarely use today unless it's in an ironic-archaic sense, this is still a great book that gives a refreshing perspective when reading the papers, as it allows you to see past the writers intent and gain a better look at the objective origin of the statement.

Still, if you are not a journalist, writer, language-student or grammar-fiend this could be considered pretty dry reading. A solid book that does what it claims.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lewcee42 on 6 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an old gem, updated by the grandson of the original writer (who printed the original before the second world war!), and a very good job he has done too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Peebles on 14 Dec 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lost my original copy - well - loaned out and never returned (that good).
Glad to get a replacement. Excellent reference book!
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