Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Book for Democrats to Read: Drew Westen's "The Political Brain"


After having read several positive reviews and hearing about it either on NPR or a similar news program, Melanie and I picked up a copy of Drew Westen's "The Political Brain." The subtitle is "The Role of Emotions in Deciding The Fate of the Nation." It was recently published by Public Affairs Books.

Though I am only about 75 pages into it, I already recommend it highly to all Democrats ... most particularly to our candidates and their campaign teams who handle media/message/platform development. What is most educational so far in this book is the message that Democrats often lose elections because we focus on dry facts/details/reason to the detriment of how voters are driven by emotions and passions. Mr. Westen shows how we - using hypothetical examples from real races for President - can be "passionate" and emotive in our appeals to voters while still remaining committed to the facts and what is right, proper, moral and honorable.

Once both Melanie and I have finished the book and compared notes then I'll update this post.

Meanwhile, check it out at your library, pick one up at your bookstore, or go online and order it. You won't regret it.

3 comments:

Arthur McLean said...

Hey Wayne!
Good to hear from you after this time. Looks like things are going well for you. We'll have to get back in touch.

Wayne Goodwin said...

The waning days of the 2007 legislative session have kept me from finishing the Westen book yet, but I am now about 1/2-way to the end. Though it becomes technical in certain sections, the examples, experiments and polling provided in this book remain a good compass for Democrats who need to find their inner emotions for advancing their message and who need to rely less on detail-oriented, reason-based message delivery. More feedback will appear in a future entry.

Wayne Goodwin said...

Arthur, it's great to hear from you. Let me know the best email address to use for future communications. I hope life in the Deep South - Alabama, right? - is treating you well.