I bought this book at the Exclusive books sale, partly because it looked interesting and partly because it was really cheap. Now that I’ve read it, I would be happy to have paid full price for it. Some people have an amazing talent for writing, which makes anything they write engaging, Steven Poole is one of those people. In Unspeak, he shows how the words and phrases which people use contain implicit arguments. Some examples from the sleeve are: ‘Pro-life’ which insinuates that abortion is always wrong, ‘natural resources’ which suggests that the environment is there to be used up and ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ which implies that the invasion of Iraq had no other motive than the liberation of the Iraqi people.
The author shows how words and phrases are carefully selected to shut down arguments before they happen and make objections unspeakable. It’s an insiduous type of propaganda suited to the pseudo democratic environments in which we live. He shows how the media latches onto the words and phrases and unwittingly (or through sheer laziness) spreads the propaganda rather than being the unbiased and truthful news disseminators they should be.
With his interesting thoughts and forthright style of writing, Steven Poole makes each chapter into an exciting journey into the recesses of our thinking. A journey which reveals the thoughts and assumptions we make half subconciously while we absorb the propaganda sold to us as news.
An interesting and eye opening read which I recommend.
Buy Unspeak by Steven Poole at Kalahari.net