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Don't Buy It: The Trouble with Talking Nonsense about the Economy Hardcover – September 25, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (September 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610391772
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610391771
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #419,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Kirkus
“A persuasive case for retooling how activists think and talk about matters of the wallet.”

Daily Kos
"Shenker-Osorio, who's been fighting in the trenches of the word wars for years as a communications consultant to the ACLU, the MS. Foundation, America's Voice and dozens of other progressive groups, knows her stuff. Don't Buy It is a great handbook to start thinking about how to change the conversation, particularly on the economy."

Village Voice
“Anat Shenker-Osorio offers…one choice bit of invaluable advice: Stop talking about the economy like it's a tide that lifts, a body that ails, or an invisible hand that guides our collective fortune like whatever it is that moves the Ouija thing. It's the Lakoff and Johnson Metaphors We Live By argument—the one that goes that saying “time is money” conditions us to conceive of time as something that must be shrewdly spent or hoarded—smartly applied to the failure of progressive writers and policy-makers to make a broad, compelling case against Tea Party deficit hawks. Shenker-Osorio's prescription is to stop thinking of the economy as some organic and independent system that we can only affect by prescriptions—or bloodletting. Instead, she contends, we should consider it a construction that we can control, something concrete and knowable that works for us rather than vice versa”.

OpEd News
“Enormously Insightful”

About the Author

Anat Shenker-Osorio is a strategic communications consultant based in Oakland, CA. She crafts messaging for issues from immigration to contraception and completed research on how people make sense of and come to judgments about the economy. Anat has worked with the ACLU, Ms Foundation, America’s Voice, Ford Foundation and dozens of others, presenting findings to members of Congress, and as a keynote speaker at Netroots Nation. This is her first book.

Customer Reviews

Stop talking nonsense!
Henk-Jan van der Klis
This topic would be easy to turn into a dry academic conversation, but instead it as entertaining a read as a novel.
Maya D. Greenberg
This book explains how progressives can communicate more effectively about the economy.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Rose on November 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Do buy "Don't Buy It. This book is a handy guide to how to talk about kitchen table economic issues. It's important for Americans to understand and act on economic policies. If you care if your kids get school loans or if you care about if your grandmother gets Social Security: Read this book.
The author does a great job breaking down the important but wonky economic battles going on in Washington DC today. I recommend that you buy this book and give a copy to your friends, your teachers and your conservative cousin. This book would also be great for economics students.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shenker-Osorio breaks down the language used to describe the economy, explaining the impacts each metaphor, analogy and word choice has on how the American Public reacts.

She provides a how-to manual for honest discourse that clearly makes the case for progressive economic policy as the best path for America.

Every Democrat/Progressive (really every American) should read this book and be a part of the solution - if we all reject the corrupt language used to manipulate our behavior solely to benefit the 1% and instead push honest and clear messages, we will collectively make the economy stronger and drive the nation to better policies.

Highly recommended for anyone who engages in public speaking, particularly in a political context, even if they don't deal with economic policy. The lessons contained in this book will aide you in your efforts to effectively and honestly communicate and advocate about a wide variety of topics/issues.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ross on September 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a fascinating read that does not get bogged down in boring numbers or statistics. Let me be very clear: THIS IS NOT A BOOK ON POLICY. Instead of talking about how to fix the economy, this book focuses on how we talk about the economy and why the current conversation is getting us nowhere. It asserts that the rhetoric and metaphors we use to talk about the economy are of great import. Politicians, pundits, and academics on both the right and left have skipped over this crucial matter, opting instead to regurgitate facts and figures about GDP, unemployment rates, and the stock market. Shenker-Osorio eviscerates this paradigm, takes a giant and necessary step backwards, offering practical solutions for how to fundamentally re-frame the debate. Until we do that, the American public will always put the "health" of the economy before their own. This is a game changing book coming out at exactly the right time.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Maya D. Greenberg on September 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is such a great book! I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy. Anat Shenker-Osorio is a wonderfully gifted writer, and her style is funny and approachable. She provides meaningful insights into how the use of imprecise language and metaphors limits the effectiveness of messaging about complex political issues. This topic would be easy to turn into a dry academic conversation, but instead it as entertaining a read as a novel. I couldn't put it down. This book is a "must buy."
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nadia van Cloce on October 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I generally agree with all the 5-star raves of the other reviewers, but I would make one quibble -- the book seems very slow getting to the meat of the matter. It's as if she took a tremendous twenty-page article and puffed it into a 200-page book. If you share my impatience, try skipping to Four Economic Policies That Promote People and Planet (p. 170).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Henk-Jan van der Klis on September 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I often watch the news or read magazines and papers and ask myself: what's wrong with the metaphor? Exactly this is what Anat Schenker-Osorio unfolds in her first book. There's a lot of nonsense talking about the economy, as if it's an abstract object, in motion or not, as variable as the weather or worse: a deity that needs sacrifices to keep you happy. The author gives a lot attention to the American political divide, typical metaphors used by Democrats and Republicans to describe the economy. As political communications expert, this is the ideal playground for Anat Shenker-Osorio. It's all about language-and not just theirs, but ours.
in Don't Buy It the author describes the inequality in messages, cutting through conservative myth-making, messaging muddles, and destructive misinformation. To be more honest about the economy and its impact on your life, but even more the impact of your actions on the wellbeing of others literally needs another language. Stop talking nonsense!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BrainyGirl on August 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most Americans don't know a lot about economics. Fixing that is not the aim of this book. What it does aim to address is the way politicians and corporate media take advantage of that general ignorance to advance policy which benefits the very few at the expense of the majority of Americans. The author does a great job of deciphering the rhetoric that permeates our economic debate and gives activists and citizens effective tools to re-frame the case for economic equality and justice in terms that resonate with American voters.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Cahill on October 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In this book, the author tells the truth about the American economy. If we listen to her and follow her suggestions, our economy will thrive, and our people will be much better off. But most Republicans and many Democrats will not listen to her. So our economic recovery will be slow, and many of us will be poor.
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Don't Buy It: The Trouble with Talking Nonsense about the Economy
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