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Straight & Crooked Thinking Paperback – Sep 1 2011

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Product Description


'It is neither a dry nor weighty tome, but is jam-packed with raw rational sense. It will give you techniques for identifying fallacies and false arguments. It will help protect you from the devious subterfuges of politicians and preachers, journalists and jingoists. It is sweet manna from a rational heaven. Thouless describes 38 dishonest tricks that are commonly used in arguments (there may be more). ' "Straight and Crooked Thinking remains one of the most succinct and practically-applicable books ever written. One blogger named it as his favorite book of all time, describing it as "a concise work of supreme genius." "...put it back on the mass market, where it belongs! (...) get it on every bookshelf on the planet."

About the Author

Born in 1894, Robert Thouless was a psychologist. He was Head of the Department of Psychology in Glasgow until 1938, after which he became Reader and Reader Emeritus at Cambridge. He specialised in logic, rationality and the study of responses to the paranormal and wrote several titles in addition to this one. He died in 1984.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Review of Straight and Crooked Thinking May 30 2000
By Gary Henriksen - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book should be required reading for anyone that takes public policy issues seriously. It explains the various techniques and ploys by which emotionally loaded words and various debating tricks can transform an intellectually honest debate into a propaganda campaign, and gives techniques to counter these ploys. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
An excellent book, amazingly pertinent today Oct. 27 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Although written at the end of the 1930's, the book is amazingly relevant today and one of the most clearly presented and well thought-out books of its kind that I've ever read. It is well worth your time.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Helps one to keep focussed on the main issues in a debate. Oct. 22 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most useful books that I have ever read. The author points out how debates are often lead away from the main issues by using arguments that appeal to emotion rather than to facts.He clearly describes how it is done and how to avoid being lead away from the issues by such devices. Important reading for anyone who has been in a debate and wonders why the opponent didn't sound convincing and yet you were unable to answer him/her!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Invaluable July 8 2006
By JLMK - Published on
Format: Paperback
In my biased opinion, this ranks as one of the finest books on the subject of critical thinking. Unfortunately, it is highly priced on, but one can find cheaper alternatives on the internet. Thouless focuses a lot on how social proof, and other biases do impede one's ability to think rationally, especially when facts are not conclusive, or when there are more than two plausible arguments in a given scenario. Good for policy makers, students, regular folks, and people who routinely make decisions under uncertainty.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Still very relevant today since it was first published Sept. 24 2005
By Leong Siong Hee - Published on
Format: Paperback
I last read this book about 15 years ago as a student and the lessons of the 38 dishonest tricks used in arguments detailed in the book have left a life-lasting impression on me. It is an invaluable book which is still relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1930. Could the copyright owner(s) please reissue this book or better yet, contribute to the public domain?