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Words on Fire

The Power of Incendiary Language and How to Confront It

Words on Fire

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Words on Fire

Words on Fire

The Power of Incendiary Language and How to Confront It

Audio Library Digital

06/30/2020

536 minutes

9781662015519

Audio Retail Digital

06/30/2020

536 minutes

9781662015526

Audio CD

06/30/2020

7 Audio CD

536 minutes

9781662015496

Audio MP3 CD

06/30/2020

2 Audio MP3 CD

536 minutes

9781662015533

Playaway

06/30/2020

536 minutes

9781662015540

Description:

This book is about the power of communication to do great harm and how civic leaders and engaged citizens can hold other leaders accountable to prevent it. Author Helio Fred Garcia focuses on the language President Trump uses that conditions an audience to accept, condone, and commit violence against a targeted group, rival, or critic.Including a history of such rhetoric, this book identifies a playbook consisting of twelve forms of communication that typically precede genocides and other acts of mass violence. The Rwandan Hutu used ten, the Nazis used all twelve, and Trump uses all twelve too. Such language triggers lone wolves to commit violence. Since 9/11, the use of rhetoric that provokes violence has been known as “stochastic terrorism,” a phrase that can be confusing and make discussion difficult. Garcia suggests a more accessible name: lone-wolf whistle violence, on the model of “dog whistle” politics. He draws on the most recent scholarship on lone wolves, their mindset, and what it takes to activate them to commit violence, demonstrating how Trump’s increasingly dangerous rhetoric throughout his campaign and first term has motivated such individuals. He also describes the changes in the nation’s political culture and media that led to Trump’s nomination and presidency but also profiles leaders who dialed back their rhetoric when it was shown to put people’s lives in danger. Words on Fire closes with a call to action: we all—civic leaders, engaged citizens, journalists, and public officials—must recognize this phenomenon so that we can take steps to hold our leaders accountable in the future.

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