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: Plato’s Fable 

Updated 18 September 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Plato’s Fable 

  • Plato’s Fable is not simply a work of textual exegesis. It is an attempt to move debates within political theory beyond their current location

AUTHOR:  Joshua Mitchell

This book is an exploration of Plato’s Republic that bypasses arcane scholarly debates. Plato’s Fable provides refreshing insight into what, in Plato’s view, is the central problem of life: The mortal propensity to adopt defective ways of answering the question of how to live well.

How, in light of these tendencies, can humankind be saved? Joshua Mitchell discusses the question in unprecedented depth by examining one of the great books of Western civilization.

He draws us beyond the ancients/moderns debate, and beyond the notion that Plato’s Republic is best understood as shedding light on the promise of discursive democracy. Instead, Mitchell argues, the question that ought to preoccupy us today is neither “reason” nor “discourse,” but rather “imitation.” To what extent is man first and foremost an “imitative” being? This, Mitchell asserts, is the subtext of the great political and foreign policy debates of our times.

Plato’s Fable is not simply a work of textual exegesis. It is an attempt to move debates within political theory beyond their current location. Mitchell recovers insights about the depth of the problem of mortal imitation from Plato’s magnificent work, and seeks to explicate the meaning of Plato’s central claim — that “only philosophy can save us.”

Joshua Mitchell is professor of Government at Georgetown University, where he teaches the history of political thought.