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Part thesis, part history, and part political commentary, this is obviously going to appeal to some people more than others but Michael Knowles does a good job of presenting his ideas in a straightforward, non-emotional manner. In Speechless Knowles makes the argument that people, largely left-leaning in politics, are adjusting how language is used in order to drive forward radical ideas that would otherwise lose out on sheer logic.
The strongest element of the book are the examples of times language has been manipulated or changed for the purpose of pushing a larger political agenda. I think where the weakness lies is the loose connecting of some of those examples to some of the ideas presented. Rather than it reading as a true thesis statement, presented with facts and figures, and argued throughout to the inevitable conclusion, this feels very much like commentary. While Knowles is incredible good with words, and has a way of speaking that is very measured and almost calming, I wished for a little more history to tie up some of the themes. I think a lot of his argument relies on being carried through by the eccentricity of the opposing side’s tactics.
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