Thank You for Arguing Book Summary - Thank You for Arguing Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Thank You for Arguing summary

Jay Heinrichs

What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion

4.2 (166 ratings)
15 mins

What is Thank You for Arguing about?

Thank You for Arguing (2013) is a guide to the art of rhetoric. These blinks explain what rhetoric really is, how persuasion works and how to win a debate by drawing on in-depth research, anecdotes and theories from the great orators of history.

Table of Contents

    Thank You for Arguing
    summarized in 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    Arguments are essential to human life, influencing our attitudes and driving our decisions.

    For many, the word “argument” conjures images of two people engaged in an angry screaming match. But rhetoric – the art of argumentation – is much more than that. In essence, it’s a nexus of skills and techniques that help the arguer persuade others, and its origins can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece.

    But what bearing does it have on contemporary society?

    Well, even today, rhetoric shapes the way we think, without our even noticing it. The ancient Greeks held the discipline of rhetoric in such high esteem that it was the foundation of all education. They practiced this skill by making arguments. And arguments continue to play a key role in all human dealings: they’re made in advertisements and political speeches, in books and blogs, in the kitchen and the courtroom.

    A common misconception is that arguments ought to lead to an agreement. What they truly aim to achieve, however, is a consensus – that is, complete shared faith in the outcome. So the goal of an argument is not to win, but to win over your audience.

    The psychology professor John Gottman led a study that made this idea clear. In observing couples in therapy, he found that the pairs who stayed married had just as many disputes as those who broke up. But there was a crucial difference: partners in long-lasting marriages took the opportunity to solve their issues and reach a shared outcome. In other words, they argued; the couples that broke up simply fought.

    In other words, fighting, or being aggressive for the sake of winning an argument, isn’t a good way to argue. It won’t help you reach a consensus. So what’s a better way?

    The Greek philosopher Aristotle might have suggested seduction, which he considered the strongest kind of argumentation. Seducing your audience, persuading them to want what you want, is the easiest way to reach a consensus.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Thank You for Arguing?

    Key ideas in Thank You for Arguing

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    About the Author

    Jay Heinrich is a former editor and publishing executive who dropped his first career in order to make rhetoric his full-time job. He blogs about rhetorical techniques and holds workshops aimed at popularizing argumentation.

    Who should read Thank You for Arguing?

    • Anyone interested in making good arguments
    • Politicians or anyone who debates politics
    • Parents looking for techniques with which to persuade their children

    Categories with Thank You for Arguing

    Books like Thank You for Arguing

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    26 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 5,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial