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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, deadly serious, brilliant
When I started reading this book about politicians and their abuse of language, I was so taken by its author's elegant style and mordant, black humour that I didn't notice what a serious piece of work it is. In fact, as becomes increasingly obvious, this book is informed by a huge amount of research and by something close to moral fury. Poole shows that we...
Published on 28 Feb 2006

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Biased, shaky in places, but still interesting
This is a book about the language of modern political propaganda. Contemporary political debate shrouds itself in utterly impenetrable language. Here we have an attempt to expose the inner workings of this rhetorical morass by unravelling a few specific cases of "verbal retouching".

Poole does hit the mark often enough: for instance, the scary legal...
Published on 20 Feb 2007 by ear9pg

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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An anti-American polemic, 11 Sep 2007
This review is from: Unspeak: Words Are Weapons (Paperback)
The book starts with some interesting analysis of the use of language and how words and phrases are distorted for political ends. An example is the use of climate change in place of global warming. The thesis is that politicians use the phrases that best suit their agendas. This is hardly new or surprising. The author the emabarks on a rather long attack on Bush, Rumsfeld and Blair and on what they have done and said in terms of the 'war on terror.' The book descends into a tirade of criticism of American policy. Some of this is justified - particularly the deceptions and evasions over torture. But it certainly is not balanced. I was bored and disappointed by the end.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angry words spoken and explained, 4 Dec 2007
Wyvernfriend (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Unspeak (Hardcover)
Mr Poole is an angry man, he has serious issues with a lot of the abuse of language that is being perpetuated by politicians at the moment. You can almost feel the anger oozing from the edges of this book (I'd recommend something light and fluffy to read after this!). He looks at the propaganda wars being waged at the moment and asks why we aren't asking more questions about it. And he's right. We should be asking more questions, demaning straight answers and not voting the idiots back in when those answers aren't forthcoming.

The problem is that people in general are just too lazy, once it doesn't affect them they don't bother to ask the questions, force the issue, demand the answers. That's part of Mr Poole's anger, his inability to change people in general.
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18 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Starts off well but dwindles into a usual left wing diatribe, 15 Feb 2006
This review is from: Unspeak (Hardcover)
I brought this book because "Unspeak" is killing us intellectually and politically. I thought as I started this is great the Authour has hit the nail right on the head, and he has, to a point.
Whats made me put the book down because quite frankly, I got bored witht the constant banging on about Bush, Oil Companies, Iraq, Global Warming, Intelligent design, etc etc from the standard left wing veiw point, I can go to any chat room and get this kind of thing, we all know Bush, and the Oil companies are nasty and greedy, thank you, We all know ID is bunk and Darwin was right. I want to know about Unpseak a bit more, with out ploughing through all this nonsense..
My Position is, Im not particularly a Bush fan, Im just not convinced by the vitrioloic Anti Bush, Anti Religon, Anti Oil company rhetoric. I dont doubt for a minute Bush, his subordinates, Oil compnaies, Intelligent design people, twist words around to manipulate, they are experts at Unspeak, but then So What? I would have thought, they are going to be arent they?
Many other people besides Bush et all, are very good at Unspeak. Unpseak is a universal thing and the left does Unspeak better than anybody, they probably invented it. The IRA, Enviromentalists, ANti Racist Groups, left wing pressure groups are masters at it, and it is their life blood, and I see as the main developers of this Unspeak culture, if there is such a thing as a right wing at all, it has taken up unspeak as a response to it coming from the left.
I just felt a bit conned reading a book that had less unspeak in it and the usual stock left wing rants, the Author should read the "Tipping Point" and take some lessons. when it comes to books like this The Americans do it best and dont get cuaght in their "pet " hang ups.
Stephen Poole states the Big Bang theory was first proposed by Georges Lamaitre. Not so the Big Bang was very graphically described in the first pages of Ovid's "metamorphosis" at around 55BC, See Penguin Classics.
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Unspeak: Words Are Weapons
Unspeak: Words Are Weapons by Steven Poole (Paperback - 1 Feb 2007)
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