nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums All-New Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote Subscribe & Save Introducing Handmade New Kitchen Scale from AmazonBasics Amazon Gift Card Offer gdwf gdwf gdwf  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage  McCartney Fall Arrivals in Amazon Outdoor Clothing Kids Halloween Best Books of the Month Shop Costumes Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: $32.95

Save $11.00 (25%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Flip to back Flip to front
Audible Narration Playing... Paused   You are listening to a sample of the Audible narration for this Kindle book.
Learn more

Campaign Talk: Why Elections Are Good for Us Kindle Edition

2 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"

Length: 328 pages

New from Bob Woodward
Pre-order The Last of the President's Men, the latest work of nonfiction from best-selling author Bob Woodward. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Some observers today consider electoral politics a cesspool of money and negativity, but political scientist Hart maintains that there is "ample reason for reconsidering, perhaps even celebrating, political campaigns." This upbeat assessment is founded on a careful look at language. By breaking campaigns down into three "voices"--press, people and politicians--and analyzing each element through a specialized computer program, patterns in word choices are revealed that say a lot about what candidates offer and what people desire. Hart discovers, for example, that in the acceptance speeches delivered by Bob Dole and Bill Clinton at their respective party conventions, Dole referred to people only nine times and repeatedly used the language of the Washington insider, whereas Clinton referred to people 21 times and used the words neighborhoods, fellow, children, home and parents. The seeds of the Dole campaign's fate are apparent to Hart: why did he "stress soldier, violent, and forces during a placid time, or... man when his party faced a yawning gender gap?" Similar analyses of media reports and letters to the editor fill in data for what Hart considers the voices of the press and the people. Hart recognizes that the conversations represented by political campaigns are "often superficial and occasionally degrading," but he remains optimistic, insisting that campaigns produce engagement--at least sometimes--and that generally they have "served the nation well." Readers may not be ready to embrace electoral politics as a national treasure, but Hart's suggestion that at least something positive can be gleaned from the campaign trail is reassuring. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

For those cynical and pessimistic about American political campaigns, this book may be an appropriate antidote. Using DICTION, a sophisticated computer program on the language used in elections from 1948 to 1996, Hart (Univ. of Texas, Austin; How Television Charms the Modern Voter) argues that political campaigns actually work because they create a dialog among the candidates, the press, and the people. The process, however imperfect, invigorates the nation as much today as it did in the 19th century. As a result, contrary to popular assumptions of the pundits and the public, Hart does not find a need for dramatic change in political campaigns. The sophisticated research methodology does not detract from the readable text. Recommended for academic libraries.
-William D. Pederson, Louisiana State Univ., Shreveport
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Analisa L. Underdown on November 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Hart's book is an extraordinary read for anyone whose sick of hearing the same old things about presidential elections. Hart's book is essentially the findings of his research. Hart looks at all of the modern elections and finds amazing patterns in speech. Some candidates diction would surprise you. Also Hart finds amazing correlations between winners and losers. They really do speak different languages. Finally, Hart also examines the trends in "campaign talk". It's fascinating to see how campaigns have changed in such a short amount of time. If you love politics, you will love this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John M. Ford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
Hart's book was written almost ten years ago, so his analysis of 2000 presidential campaign language is less interesting, if not less valid. Three things make this book still worth reading. Hart discusses his key word-based software used to analyze political language, presents century-long trends in political speechmaking, and compares the differing "voices" of politicians, ordinary citizens and the media. His overall approach and many of his conclusions remain relevant.

Hart's DICTION program uses key words to score the tone, rather than the content, of text passages. Data from previous analysis of political speeches, advertisements, letters to the editor, and other text samples are used to calculate expected scores for these types of documents. This information can be used to determine how the speeches of a particular candidate differ from average. Hart's five primary scales are:

- Certainty - Language that indicates resoluteness, inflexibility and completeness
- Optimism - Highlighting positive attributes of people, concepts or events
- Activity - Indicating movement, change and implementation of ideas
- Realism - Describing tangible, immediate matters from everyday life
- Commonality - Indicating group values rather than individualism or idiosyncrasy

Each scale has its own structure and subscales, outlined in Appendix 1 of the book. Hart uses these scales to examine patterns of political language, showing for example that more "Optimistic" campaigns tend to be more successful. He also shows that speeches from the same candidates shift from "Optimistic" to "Realistic" language following successful election, regardless of party affiliation.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in