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Whose Freedom?: The Battle over America's Most Important Idea Paperback – May 15, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“One of the most influential political thinkers of the progressive movement.” ―Howard Dean
“In the battle of ideas, George Lakoff is one of the progressive movement's Five-Star Generals. Here he shows what we must do to take back precious ground lost to the Right--the concept of 'freedom,' on which America's very foundation is built. Read this and arm yourself.” ―Robert B. Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor
“[Lakoff] makes a very persuasive argument that Democrats have allowed Republicans to hijack words such as 'freedom' and 'liberty' in fundamental ways that have undercut Democrats' credibility.” ―Chicago Tribune
Top Customer Reviews
Lakoff is now pulling the cognitive curtain back on the nation's most important idea: the idea of freedom. "Whose Freedom" describes in clear detail how the nation's radical conservatives are redefining political freedom as something much smaller and meaner than the freedom embodied in our American tradition. To many of us, it seems paradoxical that greatly increased domestic surveillance by the government, loss of voting rights, and government intrusion into private life are seen by the radical right as paving stones to freedom.
How can this be? Lakoff tells us how. And he tells us how to redeploy a language of freedom that is open and dynamic, that speaks of opportunity to achieve, of freedom from want, and of freedom from fear.
The progressive concept of freedom is creative and forward looking. The form of the U.S. Constitution describes freedom even better than that great document's words. The Constituion is written so that it's real meaning must be continually discovered. It is written so that our commitment to justice will evolve.
We don't obey the Constitution. We live through it. When it was written, its authors did not know how we would be living more than 200 years later. They hoped we would live freely. This book will help us rededicate ourselves to that cause.
Another strong insight, which also runs through many of Lakoff's other books, is that progressives have failed miserably in framing their interests as well as the Far Right has, and are forced to play catch-up with disingenuous neocon doublespeak like "tax relief" or "family values." Even "liberty," "democracy," and "patriotism" have been hijacked, with progressives falling flat in attempts to discuss obvious facts, when what they really need to do is frame concepts that will work with an electorate possessing a fleeting attention span. But while this book offers some stunning high-level wisdom for the freethinking American, in a quite strange way it's also built upon a pretty simplistic view of real world ideologies.Read more ›
Lakoff's book is like "Men are From Mars". Period. He actually does a pretty good job of explaining why/how conservatives and liberals/progressives think differently. As a conservative, I had a number of "Aha!" moments reading it. I much better understand why my lib/prog friends and relations think the way they do (not saying I agree with them, but at least I understand better where they are coming from).
On the other hand, Lakoff should have found a conservative neuro-linguist to co-author with him, because he badly misrepresents conservative ideas on a regular basis in this book. He almost falls all they way to setting up a "straw man" to knock down. Any liberal trying to better understand where conservatives are coming from, will be wasting their time with this book--you'll just be the choir he's preaching to.
So, interestingly, here is a conservative, recommending that only conservatives will get something out of this progressive polemic.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Understanding the importance and power of framing language is brought to the fore in this book by George Lakoff. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Edward J. Barton
You cannot fault Geroge Lakoff's logic or delivery in this book. I found it eye-opening, heartening, and clarifying. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Andrea L. Robinson
This is a book about language. Specifically, it is a book about the language of Freedom. It is also a book about competition and moral obligation. Read morePublished on March 31, 2014 by SeekingWisdom
the book was an eye opener and made me do some critical thinking about the world we live in and how things got the way they arePublished on February 14, 2014 by GLORIA
Quite frankly, this book feels an act of opportunism, designed to play out the enthusiasm for Lakoff's (brilliant) Moral Politics. Read morePublished on February 8, 2014 by P. Troutman
well, the book is okay, but the shipment is too much slow!!! i wait about a week, and i was wait for it for my class, so i have to borrow other's book to finish my assignment..Published on September 14, 2013 by graxezi
This is the third of Professor Lakoff's works that I have read and it is perhaps the most mature and the most original - pulling more from his discipline as a respected (eminent)... Read morePublished on June 10, 2013 by ARWoollock