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In our post-truth world, tapping into people's emotions has proved far more effective than rational argument - and, as Philip Seargeant argues in this illuminating and entertaining book, the most powerful tool for manipulating emotions is a gripping narrative.
From Trump's America to Brexit Britain, weaving a good story, featuring fearless protagonists, challenging quests against seemingly insurmountable odds, and soundbite after soundbite of memorable dialogue has been at the heart of political success. So does an understanding of the art of storytelling help explain today's successful political movements? Can it translate into a blueprint for victory at the ballot box?
The Art of Political Storytelling looks at how stories are created, shared and contested, illuminating the pivotal role that persuasive storytelling plays in shaping our understanding of the political world we live in. By mastering the tools and tricks of narrative, and evaluating the language and rhetorical strategies used to craft and enact them, Seargeant explains how and why today's combination of new media, populism and partisanship makes storytelling an ever more important part of the persuasive and political process. In doing so, the book offers an original and compelling way of understanding the chaotic world of today's politics.
“Philip Seargeant's utterly original and fascinating book provides a unique perspective on our current "post-truth" predicament... Read it and lament, read it and understand, or read it to learn how to win an election!” – Lee McIntyre, Author of 'Post-Truth' (MIT 2018) and Research Fellow, Center for Philosophy and History of Science, Boston University, USA
“Enlightening and entertaining, this book reveals how we have become actors in politicians' stories and how we can take back control of our own destinies.” – Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow, Institute of Global Affairs, London School of Economics, UK and Research Fellow, Johns Hopkins University, USA
“In the current interregnum, this is an important and timely book significantly contributing to our understanding of how storytelling that has long been mastered by political leaders has led to the social orders we experience, embrace, and reject.” – Christian W. Chun, Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA
“As conspiracy theories thrive and the very meaning of the word truth is called into question, this is an important book for our times.” – Steve Buckledee, Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics, University of Cagliari, Italy
“Rich with examples, it gives us tools for understanding how stories are crafted, and how they shape our world. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to understand the current political environment.” – Piia Varis, Associate Professor, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
“In some ways, this is a frightening book, but it is one that should be read by anyone interested in how political communication is crafted today.” – David Block, ICREA Professor in Sociolinguistics, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain