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    The Political Brain: How We Make Up Our Minds without Using Our Heads (Paperback) By (author) Drew Westen

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    DescriptionThe Political Brain is a groundbreaking investigation into the role of emotion in determining the political life of the nation. For two decades Drew Westen, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Emory University, has explored a theory of the mind that differs substantially from the more "dispassionate" notions held by most cognitive psychologists, political scientists, and economists--and Democratic campaign strategists. The idea of the mind as a cool calculator that makes decisions by weighing the evidence bears no relation to how the brain actually works. When political candidates assume voters dispassionately make decisions based on "the issues," they lose. That's why only one Democrat has been re-elected to the presidency since Franklin Roosevelt--and only one Republican has failed in that quest. In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins. Elections are decided in the marketplace of emotions, a marketplace filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory, in which logic plays only a supporting role. Westen shows, through a whistle-stop journey through the evolution of the passionate brain and a bravura tour through fifty years of American presidential and national elections, why campaigns succeed and fail. The evidence is overwhelming that three things determine how people vote, in this order: their feelings toward the parties and their principles, their feelings toward the candidates, and, if they haven't decided by then, their feelings toward the candidates' policy positions. Westen turns conventional political analyses on their head, suggesting that the question for Democratic politics isn't so much about moving to the right or the left but about moving the electorate. He shows how it can be done through examples of what candidates have said--or could have said--in debates, speeches, and ads. Westen's discoveries could utterly transform electoral arithmetic, showing how a different view of the mind and brain leads to a different way of talking with voters about issues that have tied the tongues of Democrats for much of forty years--such as abortion, guns, taxes, and race. You can't change the structure of the brain. But you can change the way you appeal to it. And here's how...


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Political Brain

    Title
    The Political Brain
    Subtitle
    How We Make Up Our Minds without Using Our Heads
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Drew Westen
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 496
    Width: 140 mm
    Height: 210 mm
    Thickness: 32 mm
    Weight: 485 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9781586485733
    ISBN 10: 1586485733
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: POL
    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T7.5
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: JP
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 01
    Libri: I-PL
    Ingram Subject Code: PL
    B&T General Subject: 650
    BISAC V2.8: PSY031000
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 25340
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 26
    DC22: 320
    LC subject heading: ,
    BISAC V2.8: PSY013000
    B&T Approval Code: A11330000
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: POL003000
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: POL008000
    B&T Approval Code: A40080000
    BISAC V2.8: PSY008000
    B&T Approval Code: A42604500
    DC22: 324.9730019
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 324.973001/9
    LC classification: JK528 .W47 2008
    LC subject heading: , , , ,
    Edition statement
    New ed.
    Publisher
    The Perseus Books Group
    Imprint name
    PublicAffairs,U.S.
    Publication date
    06 May 2008
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Drew Westen received his B.A. at Harvard, an M.A. in Social and Political Thought at the University of Sussex (England), and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan, where he subsequently taught for six years. For several years he was Chief Psychologist at Cambridge Hospital and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. He is a commentator on NPR's "All Things Considered" and lives in Atlanta.
    Review quote
    "The most interesting, informative book on politics I've read in many years" Bill Clinton "May prove to be one of the most important studies of political campaigning of recent times." Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian"