HOW TO WIN ARGUMENTS by William A. Rusher


Email this review


Not so much how to win arguments as (if one may demur) how to debate--with lots of anecdotes and a few savvy tips from, pertinently, the publisher of The National Review. Since rhetoric is making a comeback, there may be people interested in learning how to appeal to emotion, anger, or humor; not to mention how to pose the ever-popular rhetorical question. But there's also much to-do here about positioning: whether to speak first or last, how to make sure that the question for debate is so-formulated that you can win the argument or at least have it end in a draw. Some of the more important techniques are also covered--including the place of principle and facts in swaying an audience (when a principle is involved, your choice is to prove the principle wrong or to prove it inappliable to the situation under discussion). Rusher's examples are drawn from the likes of Nixon-Buckley debates, SALT II negotiations, and pre-WW II isolationist vs. interventionist disputes--pretty rarefied stuff for the lay reader. The presentation, however, is interesting and instructive without being dense or smug. As an introduction to the finer points of debate, the book acquits itself well.

Pub Date: July 24th, 1981
ISBN: 0819147710
Publisher: Doubleday