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Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say Paperback – Jan 11 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade (Jan. 11 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157322829X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573228299
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 12.8 x 20.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #371,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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"When you're wearing a thousand-dollar suit," Mort Spivas tells me as he lights a Havana cigar, you project a different aura. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M Quigg on May 12 2004
Format: Paperback
I was wondering why I bought this tape. Well, it was because Walgreen's had a bunch of bargain tapes prominently featured in their store, and the music playing had a subliminal message that said buy me. Seriously, Rushkoff does a good job of detailing how people are influenced to buy a product, subscribe to a belief, or follow a messianic leader.
I think Rushkoff is suspious of all people or companies trying to sell a product. However, in most cases, he details how Western style societies have been influenced by consumerism, and how companies have refined their selling habits to sell their services and products. Rushkoff does not just stop at the selling of products. He talks about why people join and stay in cults, why people follow political leaders, the effects of the worldwide web and internet on people, and pyramid schemes. In modern marketing, as well as these, people are coerced in subscribing to alien beliefs or products. This is why people need to understand these principles in order to avoid the damage of coercion on their person.
The book is relatively interesting. A good book for those interested in the decision making process of the Western consumer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Beauchamp on Sept. 23 2011
Format: Paperback
Even those of us who believe ourselves to be savvy consumers, and strive to be rational beings, are prey to subtle forms of manipulation that affect not only what we buy, but how we vote, what we do, and even what we think! Rushkoff's analysis of atmospherics, spectacles, public relations, advertising, pyramids (or Ponzi schemes) and virtual marketing is enlightening -- although I do think the parallel he draws between Apple and a cult is far-fetched (but then, so would say a true cult convert!) The hand-to-hand chapter on sales techniques is fascinating. I am still trying to figure out how ever I'll manage to resist some of the clever approaches used to create goodwill, instill confusion and elicit compliance. The state of suspended animation achieved by good salesmen is also used by CIA interrogators and based on dissociation, when one's current situation is reframed in fantasy (e.g. during a demo drive, when the customer is asked whether that's the type of vehicle he would like to own, it is the same as if while reading a book, you were asked if this is the kind of book you can imagine yourself reading). I was surprised at the author's respect (and resulting wariness) for neuro-linguistic programming (he claims NLP trechniques are used for mass manipulation while they should be restricted to therapists); my understanding is that NLP is a monumental hoax. Mr. Rushkoff may not be as immune to cultish fads as he believes himself to be, but then he is still young, if no longer the 26-year-old who was, for a while, seduced enough by a New Age cult to pay for two or three 200$ "color cleansings".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By algo41 on Nov. 13 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a very mediocre book, and somewhat annoying to read. It is annoying because Rushkoff attempts to coerce the reader into accepting his subjective views with a breathless, repetitive use of the same adjectives and opinions throughout. It is mediocre because it is short on substantive research - either psychological or market research; possibly, a lot of the good market research is proprietary. Its strong points are Rushkoff's anecdotes, and some good summaries of what is going on in marketing, including advertising, sales environment, and salesmanship. Incidentally, I am fairly liberal, so it is not my ideology speaking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8 2001
Format: Paperback
Let's put it this way, if you have any interest at all in understanding how you are constantly being manipulated and controlled by the media and countless other forms of predatory vermin, you MUST read this book. Actually, even if you don't care, you MUST read this book anyway.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Putnam on March 16 2004
Format: Paperback
i first read this book last year and it blew my mind. since then i have read alot of political authors including but not limited to noam chomsky, morris berman, howard zinn, al frankin, micheal moore etc. and i recently reread this book. i was rather dissapointed the second time.
coercion is a rather elementary look at manipulation compared to other cultural and media analysts but it cant be denied that rushkoff presents the basic facts that millions still dont even recognize or even seem to care about their manipulation. His basic argument "why we listen to what they say" is a beuatiful yet huanting line which is relevant in our everday lives, and yet the majority of us dont even question it. it is imperative that we understand all different forms of maniplulation and or take action to subverse the medias teaching.
i reccomend, if you would like to get more in depth, read any of the authors listed above.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a little long which, for me, translates to it having missed the mark. Although I've a long standing belief that people are coerced into acting, buying and believing a variety of things as a result of the manipulation of truths and half truths and had hoped to find evidence for support, I'm sorry to say I did not. The opening chapter's examples amounted to childish story telling and it wasn't until much later in the book that Mr. Rushkoff opened the door, ever so slightly and much too late, to reveal a place where untold millions are spent to fool and deceive. Too little too late, for me.
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