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Publisher's Summary

Freedom is one of the most contested words in our deeply polarized nation. This eye-opening work reveals how this has happened and how it will continue on all fronts, economic, education, healthcare, religion, science, civil justice, and security, unless we reframe the debate with traditional progressive ideas of empathy, integrity, and responsibility.

Engaged citizens can regain their power. Our government can function honestly. In this critical time for our country, Lakoff argues that it is possible for progressives to reclaim freedom and communicate effectively about its real meaning.

©2006 George Lakoff; (P)2006 Audio Partners Publishing Corp.

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  • Overall
  • Aaron
  • Johnstown, PA, USA
  • 09-20-06

Fantastic

This book is an important read for anyone with progressive passions or ideals. You don’t have to be a left-winger to take away its valuable lessons on the American traditions of Freedom. However, those on the far-Christian-right and those fundamentalists of the Invisible Hand will no doubt be discouraged by its tone.

The author creates a fantastic, systematic analysis of conservative vs. progressive thought and maps it into cognitive science. The ideas in this book have rejuvenated my passion toward freedom and given me a solid basis for discussion of progressivism with others. For years, I’ve secretly challenged the contradictions and paradoxes of the populist Right, as I could never correctly deconstruct it. Now I understand – Freedom is more than markets; it requires rights, free-movement, and unobstructed access for all.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Compelling and enlightening

Wow! I find this a potent and helpful view into the explanation for the different ways of reasoning of today's dominant conservative rhetoric versus classic liberal thought. All this time, I couldn't understand how my Republican associates "didn't get it" and refused to believe some very compelling fact about the ruling party's behavior and justifications. It all makes sense now.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Important ideas to grapple with

No one will accuse George Lakoff of being a gifted writer, or narrator for that matter. Both his writing and his reading are just OK: workmanlike, successful, but not delightful.

However, as the subtitle suggests, the "idea of freedom" he is analyzing is important and I found the analysis compelling. Agree or disagree with Lakoff's conclusions, if you find the ideal of "freedom" or "liberty" important, you need to work your way through Lakoff's basic insights. At worst you will understand your own thinking better; at best you will have a genuinely useful new understanding.

  • Overall

Another gift from Linguistics at UC Berkeley

Lakoff is not as anti-american as Noam Chomski but certainly has more in common with Marx than mainstream America. While accusing the radical right of spin, tired socialist philosophy is framed as (self flattering) "progressive". Lakoff over simplifies left-right ideology into nurchuring progressives v.s. "strict father" radical rightists. According to him, all you have to do is reframe freedom in terms like "freedom from want" and people won't mind being forced by law to donate to socialist programs (presumably not a threat taxpayer's freedom). No new ideas here - just a long winded liberal rant sprinkled with a little brain biology pseudo-science. A real "progressive" would have ideas to move freedom forward rather than backward.

4 of 54 people found this review helpful