There are a few reviewers who say that this book is a waste of time because of the author's political views, and emphatically say people should buy some other book. This is an asinine statement. This book is intelligently written, with ample real-world examples from the fields of business, politics, and personal life, and touch upon the current American mind-set and culture. The author's political view should in no way make this book "unreadable." Those who say such things have either not read the book or have absolutely no ability to gain understanding and wisdom from the other perspectives.
Nevertheless, Mr. Luntz has done a considerably good job in articulating words and phrases that influence the American people. Moreover, WHY these words and phrases are influential is also discussed, although at times in-depth analysis is lacking.
Influencing people or making coherent, likable arguments is an incredibly complex task. It's not merely about stage presence. It's not just about the tone and tenor of voice. It's not only about the type of suit the speaker wears. It's not just about the persona. It's all of these elements, and more. Good politicians are separated from GREAT politicians by how they manipulate and transform not only themselves but also their audiences.
Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Colin Powell, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan...all of these individuals have some sort of compelling attribute about them that has drawn Americans to vote them into office or bestow upon them hero-status. Mr. Luntz talks about how these people (and others) were able to gain public employment, and become important leaders in the most powerful nation on earth. Certainly is this interesting reading by itself.
But those who wish to understand the nature of persuasion and argument should read this book as a guide. Under no circumstances will this book, by itself, provide all the information necessary to become a good orator or politician. However, it is certainly a good piece of work that highlights some of the best techniques used by successful leaders, and some of the worst as well.
Read this book with an open mind. Do not be dissuaded by Mr. Luntz's political stance, which is irrelevant to the actual content.
More in-depth analysis of why people vote or act in certain ways would have been nice. The print is also smaller than in most books. The writing is sometimes contrived and some sections seem endless. But, overall, it's a worth-while read that deserves 4-stars.