What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion
Dale Carnegie, move over. Strunk & White, make room on the shelf. Thank You for Arguing combines the best of both persuasion and word play. It will help you get closer to your family, improve your writing, fend off a sneaky salesman, deliver a big speech or presentation, evaluate a potential partner, and become a wittier conversationalist.
Thank You for Arguing renders the principles of argument clearly and simply — and keeps us laughing all the way. It’s like a complete course on the art of persuasion, taught by the funniest, most knowledgeable professor you ever had.
Imagine if Eats Shoots & Leaves taught you how to win friends and influence people—while giving you insight into advertising, politics, and personal relationships. Thank You for Arguing shows you how to use words to get what you want. The book begins by showing how what we think of as arguing is actually fighting, and it makes a compelling argument for the sake of argument — persuasion that works to change someones mood, mind, or willingness to act.
You’ll find 136 “argument tools,” including:
- Rhetorical ju-jitsu
- Figures of speech that give you instant wit.
- “Liar detectors” that tell you when you’re being manipulated.
- Code language to make a group believe you’re one of their kind.
- The best tense (past, present or future) to use for different kinds of persuasion.
- 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, at the podium, or over a beer, Thank You for Arguing is for you. 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.
“Magazine executive Heinrichs is a clever, passionate and erudite advocate for rhetoric, the 3,000-year-old art of persuasion, and his user-friendly primer brims with anecdotes, historical and popular-culture references, sidebars, tips and definitions.” —Publishers Weekly
“Cross Cicero with David Letterman and you get Jay Heinrichs, whose new book is simultaneously an analysis of how to argue effectively and a hilarious commentary on the reasons why we have lost the art so completely.” — Joseph Ellis, author of American Sphinx and Founding Brothers; winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize
“A rhetorical cocktail party where the guest list includes Cicero, Britney Spears, St. Augustine, and Queen Victoria. From MTV to Aristotle, Heinrichs persuades us that the big battles and daily combats of work, love, and life can be won. If argument is the cradle of thought, THANK YOU FOR ARGUING can make us all better thinkers. So listen up!” — Sarah McGinty, author of Power Talk
“Inspiring, original and hysterically funny…rhetoric doesn’t get any better than this.” —Regina Barreca, editor of the Signet Book of American Humor
“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
“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
“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
“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, author of 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!