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Tyranny Of Words Paperback – April 15, 1959


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (April 15, 1959)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156923947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156923941
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stuart Chase (1888-1985) Born in Somersworth, New Hampshire was an American economist and engineer trained at MIT. His writings covered topics as diverse as general semantics and physical economy. His hybrid background of engineering and economics places him in the same philosophical camp as R. Buckminster Fuller. It has been suggested that he was the originator of the expression a New Deal, which became identified with the economic programs of American president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He had a cover story in The New Republic entitled "A New Deal for America," during the week that FDR gave his 1932 acceptance speech promising a new deal, but whether FDR speechwriter Samuel Rosenman saw the magazine is not clear.

He was a member of the Technical Alliance, and involved with the Technocracy movement. In The Economy of Abundance Chase suggests that the facts behind the ideas of Technocracy Incorporated remain more important than whether Howard Scott was a degreed engineer or not.

His 1938 book The Tyranny of Words was an early (perhaps the earliest, predating Hayakawa) and influential popularization of Alfred Korzybski's general semantics which can still be read with profit.

Partial booklist

  • Your Money's Worth: A study in the waste of the consumer's dollar 1928
  • The Tragedy of Waste 1925
  • Men and Machines 1929
  • A New Deal 1932
  • A Generation of Industrial Peace;: Thirty years of labor relations at Standard Oil Company 1941
  • The Proper Study of Mankind Harper & Brothers 1948
  • Roads to Agreement: Successful methods in the science of human relations 1951
  • For This We Fought;: Guide lines to America's future as reported to the Twentieth Century Fund
  • Danger--Men Talking! a Background Book on Semantics and Communication
  • Rich Land, Poor Land
  • The Proper Study of Mankind Harper Colophon Books, 1956
  • American Credos 1962
  • Guides to Straight Thinking, With 13 Common Fallacies
  • The Economy of Abundance
  • Tyranny of Words

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful By John A. Goodson on July 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
The book is dated but fascinating. It introduces the notion that much of what we argue about is really not an argument about facts but one about definitions. It is fascinating also to note the players in the 1930s and to see what their predictions became. A wonderful introduction to semantics with the caution that if you let an enemy select the terms of the argument, he has already won it.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Zopa on June 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Language or Words (if you will) may be the most significant distinction that the human species has. It has provided man with a creative medium almost beyond compare and at the same time in our innocence we have allowed our selves to assign words an importance or value that has become destructive, misleading, perverted, etc. This book could get you on the road to recovery. Mr. Chase is not nearly as philosophical about these issues as I tend to be but it may be to his credit. I loved the book anyhow...give it a try it may change how you think and speak.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Robert B. Makinson on March 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
Still a useful book after all these years. It was first published in 1938. The author is strong on scientific method and objectivity. But on page 168 of the edition I have, he tells us that "Simile, metaphor and poetry are legitimate and useful methods of communication, provided speaker and hearer are conscious that they are being employed."
All kinds of things can be done with words and it is the author's wish that they be used for the good of the individual and the good of society. But people still continue to differ on the meaning of the word "good."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read this book in my early teens. Throughout my life I have seen exactly the problems addressed in the book. This is even more so now in the USA and elsewhere. Everyone is driven to extremes of polarities in every sphere of life. And, commentary is limited to 120 characters of shortened code words that signify nothing. This book presents an interesting point of view. A valuable guide to awakening the sheeple in all of us.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Trelligan on March 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
. This book largely follows Korzybsky's work on General Semantics, the science of determining what we really mean when we say something. Read Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics (International Non-Aristotelian Library) to find out what's going on.
. Or you could check out a good popularization, Drive Yourself Sane: Using the Uncommon Sense of General Semantics. Third Edition.
. Back in the 1940s, everybody was denying the very logic of this idea. In the late 1940s, it was obvious, and everybody claimed to have invented it themselves. In the 1960s and later, the basis of this field got watered down to 'just semantics' and got ignored.
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. This book documents a writer's search for meaning and how to clearly express it.
.
. While there are a few people still working in this field, most philosophers are off building ever more elaborate castles in the air - not even realizing that the basis of much of their work is due to Korzybsky.
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