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Outright Barbarous: How the Violent Language of the Right Poisons American Democracy Paperback – May 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ig Publishing (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978843150
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978843151
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,988,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

An expert on political rhetoric, Jeffrey Feldman is author of Framing the Debate: Famous Presidential Speeches and How Progressives Can Use Them to Change the Conversation (and Win Elections, and the Editor-in-Chief of the influential blog Frameshop(www.frameshopisopen.com).

More About the Author

I was born and raised in the midwest, educated overseas and in Virginia, and now live in New York City.

I hold a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, teach college classes, and blog everyday.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By L. Feld on May 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading a review copy of "Outright Barbarous: How the Violent Language of the Right Poisons American Democracy." The author is Jeffrey Feldman, a teacher at NYU who is probably best known as the editor of Frameshop.

I've read Feldman for years on Daily Kos and elsewhere, and am always fascinated by the precise logic, crisp writing, and powerful "framing" that he brings to bear on just about any political subject.

Now, Feldman devotes a book to taking on leading "conservatives" like Ann Coulter, Dinesh D'Souza, James Dobson, Wayne LaPierre, Pat Buchanan, and Bill O'Reilly. Honestly, it's hard to know which of these characters is the worst, as Feldman lays out a strong case for why each is particularly heinous in their own unique and wondrous way.

Thus, LaPierre frames everything in terms of violence, the ever-present threat of violence, and the utter inability of law, government, or collective institutions of any kind to protect us from that (essentially inevitable) violence. Flowing from that bizarre worldview comes the only possible conclusion: you're on your own, they're coming to harm you, and you'd better be armed to the teeth when they do. As Feldman explains, "What LaPierre suggests is...a full-scale military escalation of civil society." Just as bad, LaPierre boils everything down to a false dichotomy -- a common strategy of right-wing political language - in which the only two choices are either "(A) we allow individuals the "right to carry" guns or (B) we allow criminals to make victims of more and more Americans." That's it, end of discussion. Which, come to think of it, is exactly what the Wayne LaPierres of the world wanted in the first place. How convenient.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By N. Gonzalez on August 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
It was hard to put down this book because it is written so well. The pages just flow. Feldman does an amazing job articulating what's going on with the far-right's assault on dialogue. It was about time someone provided such a clear framework for understanding what the right wing is doing through its extremist spokespeople. Even stories that you might already know about become interesting because of the fresh and clear perspective of Feldman's analysis. If you care about our democracy you HAVE to read this book!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Holden on December 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
Just because Barack Obama was elected President does not mean the pugnacious pundits will pass for the next few years; no, in their parlance they will "be reloading for the next phase of the war," and "firing" before the last words of the inaugural address have been spoken.

That's why concerned citizens should read Outrageous Barbarous by Jeffrey Feldman: to know the extent of the right wing's reckless hyperbole, to understand why using language that "takes no prisoners" bullies the rest of us from thoughtful dialogue on paramount problems, and gives us insight on how to counter those efforts without resorting to the same tactics, or abridging anyone's speech.

Feldman's book is an excellent and clear essay on violent rhetoric as carefully documented on seven or eight key issues - rhetoric so extravagant and voluminous that it sweeps against the public like recurring tsunamis, and, like them, washes away collected reasoning and dry wit.

There are several key thoughts like `community', `pragmatism' and `common good' that Feldman develops to great advantage, but none so clarifying and poignant to describe that which is lacking in the right wing barrage as the word, 'deliberative'.

Recapturing the process of putting one foot ahead of another is this wonderful concept of deliberating, and the author shares some of his reasoned ideas in returning us to a deliberative process. A must read for those still reeling from Rambo rhetoric and for those who want to take steps for a "kinder, gentler America."
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Format: Paperback
Originally posted on opednews.com:

[...]

We progressives have all sensed it, in various ways. Many on OpEdNews have complained about the excesses of Ann Coulter. I have written about Republican Rage. Now, Jeffrey Feldman, author of Framing the Debate: Famous Presidential Speeches and How Progressives Can Use Them to Change the Conversation (and Win Elections), and editor of the blog, Frameshop, uses his background in Cultural Anthropology to take on the violent rhetoric of the Right straight on. In Outright Barbarous: How the Violent Language of the Right Poisons American Democracy, Feldman takes us through the endless supply of violent metaphors offered up to us by the likes of Coulter, as well as Pat Buchanan, James Dobson, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre, Bill O'Reilly, Jon Gibson, and Dinesh D'Souza.
Along with the liberal use of terms like "war" and "murder," Feldman shows how Right-wing pundits use their violent terminology in the service of bizarre theories that turn history on its head. Thus, we "learn" that:

* Raising children with guns is the key to fighting school shootings;

* Mexicans crossing the border are motivated - not by economic necessity - but by revenge for the loss of Texas!
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