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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written book
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.
Published on 14 Jun. 2010 by M. Dunn

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice primer, historically speaking, but the book itself failed to persuade me!
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...
Published 21 months ago by W. Stokeley


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice primer, historically speaking, but the book itself failed to persuade me!, 28 Aug. 2013
By 
W. Stokeley "Heartbreak" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Winning Arguments: From Aristotle to Obama - Everything You Need to Know About the Art of Persuasion (Paperback)
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.

For me, that utterly fails to persuade.

That isn't to say there isn't some gold here. There is. I particularly enjoyed reading about the following, which I will be applying in the future:

Five cannons of oratory:

Invention
Arrangement
Introduction
Narration
Proof
Refutation
Conclusion
Style
Memory
Delivery

The Art Of Concession - Concession, then reframing the issue to suit your own
Make your way seem the most medium
The reluctant conclusion
The self sacrificial persuasion

Aristotle on virtue: A state of character, concerned with choice, lying in a mean.
Empathy tactics: Dubitatio, talking softly and rising to a crescendo etc.

Finally, using the future tense as a persuasive means towards a best decision [favouring you] . "who cares if I'm a thief and drug addict, the question is how we're better going to redistribute wealth in the years to come", etc....

I found all of the above very useful. This from someone who has had no conscious training in Rhetoric, yet just finds it very interesting. (Thanks for introducing me to it, Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance!)

So in conclusion, or peroration, as Cicero would have me say: Heinrichs has some useful points, but its style is poor (perhaps he has forgotten this cannon of oratory), and this serves to make the book very weak indeed. I'd much rather recommend Sam Leith's book, "Are you talking to me" which is far more interesting, less condescending. He also sounds very nice in recent pieces on the radio too. If you want to know more about rhetoric, start there. If you want to listen to some "rhetoric" (in the pejorative sense), start here. I know which I'd rather do.
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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 (Warwick, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Winning Arguments: From Aristotle to Obama - Everything You Need to Know About the Art of Persuasion (Paperback)
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 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Winning Arguments: From Aristotle to Obama - Everything You Need to Know About the Art of Persuasion (Paperback)
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
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This review is from: Winning Arguments: From Aristotle to Obama - Everything You Need to Know About the Art of Persuasion (Paperback)
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
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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2.0 out of 5 stars Boring Waffle, 3 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Winning Arguments: From Aristotle to Obama - Everything You Need to Know About the Art of Persuasion (Paperback)
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book, 14 Jan. 2013
By 
M. Wood - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Winning Arguments: From Aristotle to Obama - Everything You Need to Know About the Art of Persuasion (Paperback)
Absolutely packed with information, unlike some books that ramble on without saying anything or just repeating itself, this book is FULL of information. A fascinating read and allows you to see behind rhetoric and arguments you might hear anywhere, down the pub, on social media, newspaper articles or politicians on TV. A great read. Quite intense in fact!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quite technical but worth a try, 27 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Winning Arguments: From Aristotle to Obama - Everything You Need to Know About the Art of Persuasion (Paperback)
Enjoyable read - with good simple examples in the margin. Worth noting with a pencil though, can be read in conjunction with Sam Leiths book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, 28 Mar. 2014
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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, 15 Oct. 2013
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Long, drawn out, tedious. The author seems to have little to say but has managed to pad it out with waffle.
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