Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cracking the Code


Cracking the Code: How to Win Hearts, Change Minds, and Restore America's Original Vision (Hardcover)
By Thom Hartmann

We've been trying to find what sums up coming to know Thom Hartmann.

And we've decided that it is that his interest, curiosity and passion are contagious, particularly when it comes to ideas and politics.

Among the progressive talk show hosts, he's become acknowledged as "the professor" of the airwaves, but one that is eminently engaging and accessible. Listening to his boundless interest in his guests and callers, and his vast knowledge about obscure issues isn't intimidating; it's downright invigorating.

How Thom finds the time to write books too -- and he's written a lot of them too, all solid -- is beyond us. And he even pens monthly reviews for BuzzFlash! He just e-mailed us that his upcoming one will be on "A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign " by Edward J. Larson

Okay, that's enough praise.

His latest book is about what has come to be called "messaging," as in how does the right wing do it so well and the progressives do it so poorly. Although, we are getting better at it, except for the dolts on Capitol Hill who still are intimidated by White House talking points, damn the reality.

We've interviewed Thom on more than one occasion, and he's a master at understanding how political communication works.

That's what his new book is about, and it offers strategies for progressives to start going on the offensive in the messaging wars.

This is a practical guide, clearly written and of particular value to all those people who write BuzzFlash and ask: "How do I respond to my right wing friend when he/she says...?" You can fill in the blank.

Get a copy of "Cracking the Code: How to Win Hearts, Change Minds, and Restore America's Original Vision," and start mastering the art of political persuasion.

Here is the table of contents for "Cracking the Code":

Introduction: Talking the Talk

Part I: Telling Your Story
Chapter 1 Cracking the Worldview Code
Chapter 2 Cracking the Story Code

Part II: Feeling Comes First
Chapter 3 Cracking the Sensory Code
Chapter 4 The Body�s Secret Language
Chapter 5 How Feelings Are Anchored
Chapter 6 The �Negative� Code

Part III: The Meaning of a Communication Is the Response You Get
Chapter 7 The Code of the Core Story
Chapter 8 Mastering the Learning Trance
Chapter 9 Future Pacing
Chapter 10 Framing

Part IV: The Map Is Not the Territory
Chapter 11 Learning the Legend
Chapter 12 The Motivation Code
Chapter 13 Chunking the Code
Chapter 14 The Identity Code

Conclusion: Reclaiming the Liberal Story

From the publisher, Berrett-Koehler:

"Millions of working Americans talk, act, and vote as if their economic interests match those of the megawealthy, the multinational corporations, and the politicians who do their bidding. How did this happen? According to Air America radio host Thom Hartmann, the apologists of the Right have become masters of the subtle and largely subconscious aspects of political communication. It's not an escalation in Iraq, it's a surge; it's not the inheritance tax, it's the death tax; it's not drilling for oil, it's exploring for energy.

Conservatives didn't intuit the path to persuasive messaging -- they learned these techniques. There is no reason why progressives can't learn them too. In Cracking the Code, Hartmann shows you how. Drawing on his background as a psychotherapist and advertising executive as well as a national radio host, he breaks down the science and technology of effective communication so you can apply it to your own efforts to counter right-wing disinformation. It's both an art and a science -- as Hartmann explains, political persuasion is as much about biology as ideology, about knowing how the brain processes information and how that influences the way people perceive messages, make decisions, and form a worldview.

Throughout the book, Hartmann shows you precisely how to master this technology, providing examples dating back to the time of the Founding Fathers. As you read deeply in this book, you'll see things you hadn't realized were there -- in everything from advertising to political rants -- and discover abilities you didn't know you had. Whether you;re a politician, an activist, a volunteer, or a concerned citizen, you'll develop a strong sense for how to reach into that part of the collective human psyche where we truly do have the power to create a new world."

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