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Aristotle and an Aardvark Go to Washington Hardcover – January 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
This book ("Aristotle and an Aardvark") attempts to do the same for "political doublespeak" Unfortunately, it falls flat and seems dated already, quite soon after its original publication. Even though this book shares the same basic format as the previous one, this one suffers from three fundamental flaws:
1. If you're a likely reader of this book, you will already likely have encountered the vast majority of examples of quotes in your regular internet browsing over the last few years. The specifics of Kant or Schopenhauer illuminated in the previous book required at least a philosophy major's background knowlege of philosophy. The "research" for the factual content of this book could more or less be summed up from skimming CNN and watching the Daily Show.
2. I'm left-of-lenin liberal, but reading a book teeming with wink-wink ad hominems about George W Bush and co seems dated and gratuitous. I was expecting something more timeless, along the lines of the Philosophy book. Instead, we get jocular Tom Delay bashing.
3. The "theoretical" content of this book (which, by the way, would probably be more accurately called "... through theory and jokes", though that sounds rather unsaleable) is weak. It's largely an abridged list of standard logical fallacies. Unlike Wittenstein, this tends to be something that the target audience already knows.Read more ›
Foremost, it must be said that repetition of the same jokes over and over again became quite tiring. There was also nothing really new and innovative about the humor; most of the jokes about politics and politicians have been told before. Contrast this with Plato and a Platypus, where the humor was fresh and the punch-lines worth repeating.
As some of the previous readers have mentioned, there was a clear bias towards the Left. While the Republicans have been in power for the first six years of this decade and thus can provide more comedic fodder, I was still expecting a bit fairer treatment by Cathcart and Klein. But then again, I should have expected as much when Markos Moulitsas, founder of DailyKos, praises the book on its back cover.
Even still, it is an interesting read and you will learn how to identify the double-speak and fallacious reasoning so often employed by politicians. My personal recommendation: check-out this book from your local library. You'll learn a few things, and still have the $12.89.
`It's a good speech - just a couple of points need obfuscation.'
The book (hardbound, as all good reference material should be) has six parts. Those parts are entitled:
Part I The Tricky Talk Strategy (Misleading with Doublespeak)
Part II The `So's Your Mother' Strategy (Misleading by Getting Personal)
Part III The Fancy Footwork Strategy (Misleading with Informal Fallacies)
Part IV The Star Trek Strategy (Misleading by Creating an Alternate Universe)
Part V Extra Credit (Misleading with Way Twisty Formal Fallacies)
Part VI The Debates (Misleading by Fabrication (Ours))
All of this is very important if you wish to understand what is fallacious and why. But if you are just in the mood for humour, and need to be comforted in these unsettling times consider: that failure may simply be a success that hasn't happened yet! This reminds me of another line (not in the book), which I will borrow from another famous philosopher (the late Jim Morrison) and quote accurately albeit out of context `No-one here gets out alive'. Is this a lie, or a larger truth?
Yes, it is true: `There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you' (Will Rogers)
Now I have a dilemma: where do I store this book? Under `H' for humour, or under `R' for reality? Alas, `F' for fallacy (examples) is already overflowing.
There are times when the humor is quite good and the jabs well placed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To be blunt, if the authors cannot find logical fallacies in arguments used to support their own political views, and cannot separate their own political views from the analysis of... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
While in concept thx book could serve a useful purpose, in actuality it is a not terribly subtle attempt by a certain political viewpoint to claim intellectual high ground. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Scoglio
In “Aristotle and an Aardvark go to Washington” the underlying battle seems to be over liberal/conservative and gay/straight issues. Read morePublished 17 months ago by dw
Slanted to tje left, but still enjoyable ...... with guys like Cheney and Rumsfeld, it hard not to use their material.Published on June 10, 2014 by Ross S. Uhlfelder
It's not quite Plato and a Platypus, but it's still fun. It is interesting to read examples from our recent past of our elected officials lying us into wars and find ways to laugh... Read morePublished on January 28, 2014 by John F. Neville
This book is good. There are a lot of funny jokes in here. Most of them won't help you to learn philosophy or political science or whatever but if you are a class clown or a... Read morePublished on July 14, 2013 by Gerard S. Murphy
Great Book! so hilarious and funny- you really are gonna learn a lot from politics and i never knew that you could lern throughout jokes .Published on May 3, 2013 by Samantha gonzalez
I bought this book looking forward to political satire (and we all know how much opportunity there is for that) but the authors' go off identifying negative statements of the... Read morePublished on January 21, 2013 by T R Crighton