Who doesn’t love to argue? Or, at the very least, who likes to admit when they’re wrong? Even if your answer isn’t yes to the first question, I’d hazard to guess not many people like to admit when they’re wrong…which is often the root of many arguments.
In his book, Thank You for Arguing, Jay Heinrichs crafts the perfect book to give any lawyer to be, sassy pants, or other lover of words in your life. Personally, I fall into all three categories (not tooting my own horn, but I’m in law school, have been told I’m sassy as hell, and I majored in English in college). SO, coming from someone who loves to argue both professionally and for fun, I really enjoyed this book.
The opening page describes this book quite well- “what Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson can teach us about the art of persuasion.” Arguing is an art, whether you’d like to admit so or not. The book itself is set up kind of like a playbook. I’m not really a sports fanatic, but I do know coaches are on the sidelines because they’re the ones that suggest and implement the “offensive” and “defensive” moves. Well, arguments are no different.
Chapter one is all about the invisible argument and how people are always trying to persuade others whether they recognize it or not. Whether you’re trying to figure out who used up all the toothpaste in the bathroom or are low-key trying to get your parents to give you extra allowance, there are always implied assertions.
Growing up, I always used to make notes in the margins as a way of being an active reader. Well, this book does that for you. Throughout the book Heinrichs outlines important points, alternative defensive/offensive conversation techniques, and a flurry of other helpful commentaries in little boxes along the margins of the text. This is one of the first books I’ve seen this done in (outside of a school book with glossaries). If you appreciate little details like this, it’s one of many peppered throughout the book.
Another point that really kept my interest while reading this book were the pop culture references used as examples of argument/persuasion styles. I’d say this book is part text book (how to argue), part conversation, and maybe even a little social experiment about how people communicate with one another.
I’d give more examples about why I love the book, but then that’d spoil all the fun! All I’ll say is it’s 400+ pages of real-life arguments and how you can work around almost any situation.
I received the third edition, which is updated from earlier editions to include more social commentaries, among other revisions. If you enjoy a good quibble, whether it be something serious like politics, or more light-hearted like lifestyle preferences, this book will prepare you for even the toughest arguments (that goes for negotiations, mediations, and good ‘ol conversations).
Have I convinced you yet to get a copy? Maybe I need to brush up on my skills…
I received this book complimentary on behalf of the publisher, but all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.
Score Card: Cover Art 4/5 | Content 5/5 | Ease of Read 5/5