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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 9 reviews
on August 8, 2012
I have read this book twice in the last month, once in an advanced copy sent to me by the publisher and again this week when my Amazon copy arrived. It is so much fun to read and so well researched that I couldn't put it down. As the author of a book that is also on "the A word," publishers send me books like this constantly -- on bullying, jerks, nasty talk, you name it. This is the best of all of them. I wrote a longer review on my blog Work Matters, here an excerpt (note there is a bit of censoring as Amazon doesn't allow the full A-word in reviews.. as many people who have tried to submit reviews for my book have found):

'I admired how deftly he treated "The Politics of Incivility" in the chapter on "The A**holism of Public Life." Nunberg makes a compelling argument that critics on the right and the left both use the tactic of claiming that an opponent is rude, nasty, or indecent -- that they are acting like a**holes and ought to apologize immediately. Nunberg documents "the surge of patently phony indignation for all sides," be it calling out people for "conservative incivility" or "liberal hate." He captures much of this weird and destructive game with the little joke "Mind your manners, a**hole."'

In the name of full-disclosure, I am moderating a talk at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club by Nunberg next week. But I don't know the guy, I have never met him and I only know him from him from his radio comments. My excitement for Ascent of the A-Word was generated because, after reading so much junk of this topic, I was so impressed with this book. It is so fun, so well-written, and so important because Nunberg gets at many of the root causes of what is wrong with our society and organizations.

Robert Sutton

A note to Amazon readers: If you write a review of this book, don't spell-out the A-word or they not only won't post your review, they won't let you submit a censored one!
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on September 8, 2012
The reviewer at the Daily Beast said The Ascent of the A-Word was a theory of everything, and it's not that far off. I wouldn't have thought there could be that much to say about the A-Word, but it takes Nunberg from country music to the history of feminism to 1970's self-discovery movements to the nastiness of modern political commentary. It's a great read, a serious book but full of entertaining asides, some of which had me laughing out loud, such as "When you hear somebody proudly declaring himself an a____, the odds are he's not an a____, he's just a dick."

(I was just about to post another version of this review that had the a-word written out when I noticed the warning in the review above. Evidently Amazon will let the word appear in titles and editorial reviews but not customer reviews.)
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on February 24, 2013
Geoff Nunberg continues to be as informative, helpful, entertaining as he was 40 years ago at Columbia. Not to be missed on public radio segments, and this book did not disappoint.
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on December 6, 2013
Somewhat tedious and long winded, as befits a linguist discussing the A word. However, the author does have some contributions to make.
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