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Winning Arguments: From Aristotle to Obama - Everything You Need to Know About the Art of Persuasion [Paperback]

Jay Heinrichs
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Mar 2010

Everyone is always trying to persuade us of something: politicians, advertising, the media, and most definitely our families. With all the wisdom of the ages, from Aristotle and Stalin to Yoda and Monty Python, Winning Arguments will show you how to win more than your fair share of arguments, as well as:

> How to shine at work, avoid speeding tickets, and outwit argumentative partners

> Cicero's secrets to moving an audience and Honest Abe Lincoln's 'shameless trick'

> Tactics like Setting Your Goals, Making Them Listen and Gaining the High Ground

> The art of rhetoric, from eloquence and friendship to ready wit and irrefutable logic

Winning Arguments is brimming with endless examples of persuasion and plenty of techniques to help you get your way.

Frequently Bought Together

Winning Arguments: From Aristotle to Obama - Everything You Need to Know About the Art of Persuasion + You Talkin' To Me?: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama + The Lost Art Of The Great Speech: How To Write One - How To Deliver It
Price For All Three: 22.47

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (4 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141032588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141032580
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jay Heinrichs has written for dozens of publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Reader's Digest, and Country Living. He has won numerous journalism awards. Heinrichs has taught rhetorical journalism to college and university editors at Ivy League universities, has lectured widely on the subject, and has hosted a rhetoric symposium at Dartmouth College. His acclaimed blog is

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Winning arguments is an odd book, really. I read it expecting to be blown away due to some of the Amazon reviews, and also as I'd read Sam Leith's book "Are you talking to me", which is a very good primer in this forgotten art - and I thought it would be on the same lines.

Unfortunately it isn't. This book misses, and misses large. It may be because its a bit too American for my tastes, focusing as it does on the mannerisms, patterns of speech, and politics of contemporary America in its anecdotes. But Heinrichs also fills it full of Anecdotes about the banality of his family life, which were interesting in the beginning, but downright tedious by the end. In fact I ended up feeling that significant portions of the middle of the book were simply filler. For instance, Heinrichs repeatedly coins his own terms and applies them to tropes, idioms, and figures of speech. One of these is the "Eddie Haskell Ploy". Unlikely to stick, I think, and hardly informative on the subject of rhetoric.

This gets us into the meat of the issue - the book is supposed to be (and largely is) about Rhetoric. Rhetoric deals with the art of persuasion. Why then, has the book changed its name from "Thank you for arguing" to "Winning Arguments" since its first publication? Why does the author find it necessary to point out, repeatedly and repetitively, the ways he's supposedly persuading you throughout the book? Why is there so much annotation in the margins (I find this wildly distracting, interrupting the flow and aesthetic of any book - but hey, maybe that's just me) The final stick in the craw came for me in the last chapter, where Heinrichs uses his mastery of argument to discuss why a book club should be encouraged to read - you guessed it - his own book.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written book 14 Jun 2010
By M. Dunn
A very readable introduction to rhetorical techniques, with illustrations of their use by classical rhetoricians, politicians, popular fictional characters and in everyday life. For the size of the book it is both detailed and comprehensive, while at the same time being amusing and sufficiently well written to make good light reading. Thoroughly recommended.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing Book. 15 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book along with Neil Strauss's 'The Game" has changed my life more then ever. Before I hated confrontation, now I seek it out. It's is no surprise this book is such a hit as Jay Heinrichs actually quit his job to take up writing it full time. His insight into his family life helps us understand where he is coming from along with his use of rhetoric quotes from popular TV show such as 'The Simpsons'. He explains the means to coming up with great retorts and arguments in simple and easy to follow terms. He also makes a clear distinction of when a discussion stops and becomes a fight. It's Sad but it seems even wit can to some extent be taught. Great Book, Great Effort!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect balance .... 4 Dec 2012
By Bodo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Between theory and practice, classical and modern, personal and universal. This is a carefully constructed work which I found to be entertaining and useful. If you're interested in Rhetoric , this is one for you - if you're not, after reading it, you will be! Congratulations Mr Heinrichs.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and educational 29 Oct 2011
By Simon c
Format:Kindle Edition
Took a punt and really enjoyed it. The author gives lots of examples and has a silly sense of humour, rather like mine! Lots of technical terms (my favourite is enthymeme)and everyday names and uses.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read 28 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Simple style but contains a lot of definitions of rhetoric purposes. Interesting read and very worth getting. I like it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Boring Waffle 3 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My review says it all. Boring waffle describing nothing more than the use of common sense when attempting to persuade another party. Really not worth the money unless used as a sleeping aid (I read one page and i'm out like a light).
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