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Slinging Mud: Rude Nicknames, Scurrilous Slogans, and Insulting Slang from Two Centuries of American Politics Paperback – September 6, 2011


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Slinging Mud: Rude Nicknames, Scurrilous Slogans, and Insulting Slang from Two Centuries of American Politics + Let's Talk Turkey: The Stories Behind America's Favorite Expressions
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Trade; 1 Original edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399536914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399536915
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,229,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The book isn't just a compendium of vile barbs. . . . Ostler gives us the good lines but also puts them in historical context and digs out fascinating bits about their origins." - Steve Levingston, The Washington Post

"Another must-read political book." - Taegan Goddard's Political Wire

"An entertaining look at how American rhetoric and electioneering has shaped our perceptions of national politics." - Bradley Wright, Portland Book Review

About the Author

Rosemarie Ostler is the author of Let's Talk Turkey and Dewdroppers, Waldos, and Slackers. Ostler has also written articles for the Saturday Evening Post, Christian Science Monitor, Futurist, Whole Earth, Writer's Digest, Writer, Elks Magazine, Entrepreneur.com, and other media.

More About the Author

Rosemarie Ostler writes about language, especially American words and expressions and linguistic history. She loves delving into the rich record of American slang, as in her most recent book, Slinging Mud, which explores the colorful language of attack politics. Her current project, Founding Grammars, due out in 2015 from St. Martin's, tells the story of eighteenth-century grammar books--why they were best sellers in their day and how they still influence all our lives.

Rosemarie's articles cover a broad range of language-related topics, from the fate of endangered languages to plain English for business owners. Her byline has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Whole Earth, Christian Science Monitor, Entrepreneur.com, and Elks Magazine, among other places.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By James D. Rapp on January 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I suppose three stars, for an author who is also and academic, is the equivalent of a failing grade just as a "C" is in graduate school. I don't mean it to be that severe a rating. Ms. Ostler has written a book that will be informative and interesting to lay readers not deeply informed in U.S. History. But it left me wishing for much more than it delivered.

Ms. Ostler, by her own admission, gleaned most of the quotations from a handful of sources. She says, "Many newspaper quotations were located through the Oxford English Dictionary or the Newspaper Archive online. The dating of political words and expressions is based on information in the Oxford English Dictionary and the journal American Speech. Election statistics come from the New York Times Almanac for 2009." This thinness of sources reveals itself in a corresponding thinness in coverage of certain presidential eras.

I bought the book because I was interested in the rhetoric of political dialogue (I'm speaking with tongue partly in cheek) from Roosevelt forward. I felt there could have been much more done with the Truman, Kennedy, Nixon, Clinton, and even the Obama elections and presidencies. Although they do not cover exactly the same ground, I would recommend Gail Collins' Scorpion Tongues for a more in depth discussion.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have any appreciation of our political history, "Slinging Mud" is a MUST READ. Considering the hot air that spews every four years since the infancy of our political system, there must have been mountains of material, but Ostler picked the cherries of the art of political name calling and even gave distant historical reference current-day relevance. I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who asks, especially in the throws of an election year. Check it out!!
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Format: Paperback
SLINGING MUD by Rosemarie Ostler is a great read; at times humorous, always very informative. I especially enjoyed the memory jogs of the more recent campaigns. Ostler's writing is fresh and the book is well researched. This book is a welcome addition to my personal library.
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