What We Are Reading: Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter

Updated 06 September 2018
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What We Are Reading: Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter

  • Using multiple examples from Trump’s campaign, Adams outlines the methods and tools he sees as typical traits of master persuaders
  • Adams offers readers insights into how Trump persuaded the US public, kept the spotlight on himself, and maintained the topic of conversation of his choosing

Scott Adams uses his artistic touch and sense of humor to give readers an enjoyable, thought-provoking guide to the art of persuasion in his 2017 nonfiction book “Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter.”

In 2016, he predicted that Donald Trump would win the US presidency when few others considered him a serious contender. What had Adams seen that many experts missed?

Using multiple examples from Trump’s campaign, Adams outlines the methods and tools he sees as typical traits of master persuaders. 

For instance, he discusses why it is highly effective to create a visual image for one’s target audience, such as the “big, beautiful wall” that Trump consistently referred to. 

It captured voters’ attention with a simple solution to the complex problem of illegal immigration and border control.

Adams offers readers insights into how Trump persuaded the US public, kept the spotlight on himself, and maintained the topic of conversation of his choosing. 

Using these tactical skills and more, he was able to essentially talk his way into the White House.


What We Are Reading Today: Scurvy: The Disease of Discovery by Jonathan Lamb

Updated 18 November 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Scurvy: The Disease of Discovery by Jonathan Lamb

  • Lamb traces the cultural impact of scurvy during the 18th-century age of geographical and scientific discovery

Scurvy, a disease often associated with long stretches of maritime travel, generated sensations exceeding the standard of what was normal. Eyes dazzled, skin was morbidly sensitive, emotions veered between disgust and delight. In this book, Jonathan Lamb presents an intellectual history of scurvy unlike any other, probing the speechless encounter with powerful sensations to tell the story of the disease that its victims couldn’t because they found their illness too terrible and, in some cases, too exciting.

Drawing on historical accounts from scientists and voyagers as well as major literary works, Lamb traces the cultural impact of scurvy during the 18th-century age of geographical and scientific discovery. He explains the medical knowledge surrounding scurvy and the debates about its cause, prevention, and attempted cures. He vividly describes the phenomenon and experience of “scorbutic nostalgia,” in which victims imagined mirages of food, water, or home, and then wept when such pleasures proved impossible to consume or reach. 

Lamb argues that a culture of scurvy arose in the colony of Australia, which was prey to the disease in its early years, and identifies a literature of scurvy in the works of such figures as Herman Melville, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Francis Bacon, and Jonathan Swift.

Masterful and illuminating, Scurvy shows how the journeys of discovery in the eighteenth century not only ventured outward to the ends of the earth, but were also an inward voyage into the realms of sensation and passion.