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Spin This!: All the Ways We Don't Tell the Truth Hardcover – October 30, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atria (October 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743442679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743442671
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,528,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Press, a Crossfire cohost, provides an amusing look at "spin," the basic commodity of professions from politics to journalism to marketing. After offering a loose definition of spin that distinguishes it from outright lying, Press expounds on the infinite varieties. There is the happy-face spin, which makes bad news sound good; the Boy Scout spin, which is pious denial; the twilight-zone spin, which projects the exact opposite of the truth; and, of course, the time-honored statistics spin, which twists and often fabricates numbers. Press cites plenty of examples, including the it-depends-on-the-definition spin offered by President Clinton's evasive definition of sex when the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. Historical examples include the claim that the Civil War was fought to end slavery and talk of "collateral damage" during the Vietnam War to avoid talk of casualties. Press includes nominations to the spin hall of fame offered by well-known writers and political figures. All readers will enjoy this look at a widespread practice. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

James Carville from the left Press impresses. He takes the dizziness out of a spin. This book proves that you can't spin a spinner. -- Review

More About the Author

Bill Press began his career as a political insider and media commentator on KABC-TV and KCOP-TV, both in Los Angeles. Over the years, he has received numerous awards for his work, including four Emmys and a Golden Mike Award.

The former co-host of MSNBC's Buchanan and Press, CNN's Crossfire and The Spin Room, Press has built a national reputation on thought-provoking and humorous insights from the left side of the political aisle.

Press is the author of six books: Spin This! (Atria, 2002), Bush Must Go! (Dutton Books, 2004), How The Republicans Stole Christmas (Doubleday, 2005), Trainwreck (Wiley, 2008), Toxic Talk (Thomas Dunne Books, 2010), and his latest, The Obama Hate Machine (Thomas Dunne Books, 2012).

The host of radio's nationally syndicated Bill Press Show (Monday-Friday from 6-9am ET), Press attends the daily White House press briefing and writes a syndicated newspaper column, distributed weekly by Tribune Media Services.

Press resides in the nation's capital with his wife Carol.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lee Markowitz on March 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is not worth reading if you're looking for a sophisticated political discussion. Press applies this broad notion of "spin" to a wide range of topics, including advertising, dating, sex, as well as politics. Although his description of spin in nonpolitical contexts is interesting, it is not novel and I would have preferred it if he'd stuck to politics.
I'll give Press some credit for generally writing from a nonpartisan perspective. Although he's a liberal, Press describes the spin of both Republicans and Democrats. Often, however, the discussion is more humorous than intellectually stimulating...
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Joel L. Gandelman VINE VOICE on February 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK, so Bill Press lost his dayjob, as co-host of CNN's Crossfire (he is now a "contributor"). But not only will we likely still see him on the tube...but he has a great back-up day-job: as an author.
Spin This! has to be one of the funniest, yet most painstakingly researched, books I have ever read. From "spins" dating back to Bibical times, to politics, to show biz, to male-female relationships, SPIN THIS laughingly explores (and exposes) it ALL. Whether you're a Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative...or WHATEVER...you're going to find stuff that you'll LOVE in this book. Even if you don't know anything about politics it is not ALL about political spin.
And there's this bonus: Bill Press is actually a screamingly funny and highly talented writer. And that ain't spin.

If you think you're going to get a diatribe from him, think again. You really don't. And if you love Bill Press' views and expect him to let Democrats or liberals off the hook, think again, too. In reality, he sits back and explores SPECIFIC "spins" in all walks of life -- and comments on them with laugh-out-loud wisecracks.
Still not convinced that this one-of-a-kind book (it is funny but it also can serve as a GREAT reference book due to the truly solid research reflected on each page)can appeal to EVERYONE?
Then consider his Spin Hall of Fame where he lets famous commentators of all persuasions profile THEIR idea of the most outrageous spins. To name a few: Robert Novak (on Al Gore), Kate O'Beirne (Hillary Clinton), Cal Thomas (Satan), Al Franken (Karl Rove), and one of his CNN replacements, Paul Begala on GWB. Clearly his colleagues on the right and left had a lot of fun with this project, too. Painstakingly researched -- and painstakingly hilarious. Gift it to those who agree and disagree with you!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found the book fun to read and its breezy and short style made for a quick, but informative read as well. It's witty and a great book. Bill Press has a liberal slant, but as he points out, that view is becoming rarer. His views don't mean he's not going to point out liberal foibles either. All in all, an entertaining book on politics and life. You'll never watch a political show without wincing again!
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Konrad Kern VINE VOICE on January 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Bill Press's latest spin on spin will not only open your eyes but give you a good idea about the nature of politics, as well as other fields such as media, law, and advertising. Press calls it something between the truth and a lie. It all depends on when and how you use it. Press is slightly left of center but gives a fairly even handed jab to all sides. Giving Clinton his due as the master of spin, followed closely by Bush (in politics).
A quote from the book about what makes news;
"In his masterful biography of Hearst, David Nasaw explains the famous publisher's guiding principal: "News is not a phenomenon that exists in the real world, waiting to be discovered...An event becomes news only when journalists and the editors decide to record it. More often than not, what determines whether an occurrence is noteworthy or not is the ease with which it can be plotted and narrated so that readers will want to read about it." Thus spin feeds the beast of corporate-driven journalists."
I'll leave you with one example of spin from the book:
Spin: "I'm just an average American who found herself in a situation not of her own making."
--Linda Tripp
Translation: I'm going to get a book deal and I'll rat on my friend to do it.
Recommended
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I've been following Mr. Press work ever since he joined Crossfire and I think he's one of the most poised, erudite and objective journalists on the left (with the exception of Christopher Hitchens). Moreover he is extremely funny. So when I saw that he wrote a book about spin I immediatly ordered it. Spin isn't a big thing (yet) in Europe, at least not on the continent, and since I work in politics I hoped to pick up one or two usefull suggestions on the subject. Alas that was not the case. Although undoubtedly funny and occasionally insightful this book was written mostly to amuse (and it did). Only I expected something else.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Iris J. Summers on July 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A delicious romp through the world of spin!!!As Bill Press's self-appointed "#1 Fan", I awaited release of this book with great anticipation; and, characteristic of his television personna, the book is intelligent, enlightening, and entertaining throughout. His sense of humor enables him to write without offending, even as one recognizes one's self in certain of his examples of spin.I hastily read the book as soon as I received it and enjoyed every page; however, just as one gobbles down a favorite food of which one has long been deprived, without really adequately tasting it, a subsequent reading, savoring every delicious morsel, provides even greater delight.Press's ability to totally enjoy himself, while providing truths, gift-wrapped in his wonderful sense of humor, provides the reader a delicious romp through the world of spin.
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