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An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments Hardcover – September 23, 2014
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“Wonderfully digestible . . . I can’t think of a better way to be taught or reintroduced to these fundamental notions of logical discourse. A delightful little book.”
—Aaron Koblin, creative director, Google’s Data Arts team
“I love this illustrated book of bad arguments. A flawless compendium of flaws.”
—Alice Roberts, PhD, anatomist, writer, and presenter of The Incredible Human Journey
“A whimsical, straightforward primer . . . a guide to how to strengthen—and how not to weaken—your arguments.”
—Shelf Awareness, starred review
“A very good book every scientist should have. Every scholar, really.”
—Hope Jahren, author of Lab Girl
“This little book takes a potentially ponderous subject (logical fallacies) and makes it wonderfully entertaining.”
“Bad arguments, great illustrations . . . gorgeous.”
—Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.net
“[A] handsome newcomer’s guide to the world of logic . . . Almossawi and his McSweeney’s-ready artist Giraldo accessibly tackle such classic subjects as circular reasoning, false dilemma, straw man, appeal to ignorance, and genetic fallacy . . . an attractive, substantive read.”
—John Wenzel, Denver Post blog
“Seriously, An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments should be on every school curriculum. Twitter will be a more civil place.”
—Kevin Tang, BuzzFeed.com
“A great primer for anyone looking to understand logical fallacies . . . Pass it along to the arguers—good and bad—in your life.”
—Lauren Davis, io9.com
“Now more than ever, you need this illustrated guide to bad arguments, faulty logic, and silly rhetoric.”
—Dan Solomon, Fast Company magazine online
“Share [this book] with your friends. Encourage your family members to flip through it. Casually leave copies in public places.”
—Jenny Bristol, GeekDad.com
“[A] wonderful primer on the logical fallacies that have been screwing up our thinking . . . since shortly after the invention of dirt.”
—Ron Kretsch, DangerousMinds.net
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Top Customer Reviews
The cartoons, although very well drawn, aren't very good at illustrating the logical fallacy they're meant to represent. Many of them feel like they were doodled randomly and it was up to the author to find a way to make them fit with the page's material.
I feel like this book is a missed opportunity. With cutesy animal illustrations, simplified vocabulary, and more relevant examples, this could've been a great gift to give to a kid.
I saw the book first at one of the author's sites and decided to buy it.
When I saw that it was nearly $8.00, I had second thoughts, but bought it anyhow.
What this did show me was how Amazon rips people off when it comes to the pricing of their books, especially their Kindle books.
From the author's site.
Hardcover version retail price. $16.99
Printing, binding, freight and all of the things you'd expect for a publisher to pay for a hardcover book - $6.50
Distribution - Storage, freight in (wait, I thought the publisher was paying freight), Then you get - Amazon commission, subscription fee (whatever that is), referral fee (another what is that), and closing fee (whatever that is) - $6.00.
Author - $3.00
Profit - Doesn't say if that's his profit, or Amazon's profit, but let's assume that's his. $1.49.
So the author is getting $4.49 and Amazon is getting $3.51 on an $8.00 book.
There's NO printing costs since it's not printed. $6.50
There's NO storage, shipping, labeling, etc. So what's the $6.00 for?
Obviously, this must be because the book is defective. There are no other explanations.
Therefore, we can conclude that the author intends to ruin children's minds, setting us down a slippery slope towards a world of mindless zombies.
In any case, my dad - a tenured professor of Something Unrelated at Prestigious University - says that we can safely ignore this book, as Ali Almossawi is clearly a silly man.
The not so good parts: Some of the explanations are on target, and some of them seem muddy. It sounds more like water cooler blurbs at times. Initially this had been recommended as a good book to help teach informal logic to children. I had truly hoped it would do that, but the wording is way above the head of a child, and too often the illustrations leave too much to the imagination. My teens have enjoyed it, coupled with requirements from college professors, but my younger ones benefit far more from the textbook, Art of Argument. Sometimes the tone feels arrogant. I wish I could do 1/2 stars here, as it is ok for some things but I do not like it for others.