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am 4. Juli 1999
I am a debate coach from Colorado. When I first started reading the book, my first impression was that her arguments were poorly supported. She seemed to use more senarios than actual facts. As I began to move on though, she started backing up what she was saying with more constructive arguements. I thought that her views where a bit misguided, as it gave the impression that debate is our problem. Debate is a very useful tool, and when it is used well, it can, and many times is, the best form of communication. It weeds out the the bad arguements and statements so only the the truth is left standing. She made debate sound too much like a negative thing. She did have some good points though, and it was a very interesting book.
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am 5. Juli 1998
I really enjoyed listening to Ms. Tannen read her latest book on tape. While her view of history is cursory on the audio version, her main points are really important. Academe, politics and journalism are ill-served by simple, two-sided arguements. Having a political system that forces us to either "the left" or "the right" seems remarkably rediculous when one considers the real complexities that face us in the 21st century. In academe, the standards of debating two opposing view may have some value (such as excitement, and the focusing power of such an assignment), but traditional debate formats, as Ms. Tannen points out, are inconsistent with an authentic search for truth. Finally, she explores some of the assumptions that give us TV shows such as Crossfire and Both Sides. Essentially, these show provide entertainment, but, due to their competetive formats, nothing is ever resolved and viewers are left only confirmed in their previous points of view. Is seems as if, according to the Tannen view, Crossfire is rather like a verbal equivalent of WWF wrestling. Tannen's invocation of Peter Elbow's alternative, a "Culture of Belief," seems like a great antidote. The Arguement Culture is a very useful and inspiring resource. I recommend it.
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am 25. September 1999
Mrs. Tannen's "The Argument Culture, Moving From Debate To Dialogue" is an exceptional work.
The book examines social interractions that elicit societal discoarse and offers alternatives that can be used toward having a more healthful commune.
I have continuously observed that the solving of social issues is crippled by a polarity complex that pits individuals or groups of people (and alternate agendas) against each other.
My belief is that our struggles in personal, professional and cultural invironments are multidemensional and much more complex than we frequently assume or are coaxed to believe. There is a certain meanness that is sweeping across the nation and the world as a whole.
This book assists us in understanding how our daily interractions as well as observations and participation either contribute to a more peaceful union or promote segrigation, hatred and widespread dissention.
Good public policy involves courteousness. Thorough examination and openness helps us to advance real, lasting resolutions.
The Argument Culture will prove to be useful in building consensus and building better relationships amongst one another--which is untimately necessary (and now often times absent)for our cultural welfare.
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am 25. Juli 1999
Dr. Tannen's publisher proves one of her theses within the book by retitling it in the transition from hardcover to paperback.
The change in title which in the hardcover was "The Argument Culture : Moving from Debate to Dialogue" to the paperback "The Argument Culture : Stopping America's War of Words" illustrates her claim that the media have taken a position that only battle and war are interesting and will inject the language of contention wherever possible whether or not it is true or relevant.
One reason that she may be light on suggesting solutions is that she does not have one. She is investigating an idea with its examples and relevance. With no need to battle for dominance or start a crusade, she does not need to wrap everything up in 30 second sound bites, even if the publisher thinks she should or readers demand short snappy answers.
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am 14. Dezember 1998
The Argument Culture, by Deborah Tannen, is a great exploration into why we argue and how we see argument as an unavoidable aspect in our world. Tannen cites several examples of how argument is used as a weapon rather than a method of exploration into subject matter. The profuse numbers of examples cited builds a strong case for her point of view. Although I enjoyed reading her book, I found her examples a bit repetitive and unnecessary. Finishing the book, I did not feel a true sense of completion and speculate others had the same feeling. Over all I would recommend reading The Argument Culture. However,I warn potential readers that this book could have been sent to the presses about 150 pages lighter and still convey the same message.
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am 10. Juli 1998
Tannen has some interesting points but they don't carry a whole book. I think anyone interested in how to fight fair and how to use anger as a tool rather than a weapon should certainly read an excellent book on this subject, THE ANGRY MARRIAGE BY DR. BONNIE MASLIN. Though this book is about couples it can offer a lot of insight into how to break the dead lock of angry patterns of behavior. After reading this book I thought of sending it to some poloticians and diplomats who could use help with destructive anger.
I can also reccommend another good book Getting to Yes, on the idea of negotiating differences.
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am 30. Mai 1998
although i haven't read the whole book yet, i believe the problem of discourse is one americans need to resolve if we are to survive as a nation. as a scientist, it appears to me that math is one of the few convincing arguments accepted in the public arena. we desperately need a cultural method for accurately evaluating and judging non-mathematical ideas.
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am 16. August 1999
The author has focused in on all the poison that seems to be rife in our conversations today - from radio talk shows to Jerry Springer to organizational discourse. Reading this book, taking it to heart and following its suggestions would eliminate almost all organizational conflict and go along way toward restoring civilized behavior.
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am 22. Juli 1998
Tannen's thesis is interesting, but the whole book is just a collection of examples to back it up. She doesn't offer any ideas or opinions on how to solve the problem. She could save everyone a lot of time by whittling down the length to about twenty pages; one to lay down her point and 19 (instead of 300) to list examples.
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am 28. Dezember 1998
Good book and many great ideas that made me think, but it was hard to take her seriously at some points because her political beliefs (and support for them) proved her own points!
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