One of the subtlest reasons Republicans may have been able to achieve such huge power is by controlling one of the least known - yet important - branches of American politics: language.
Geoffrey Nunberg, in his most recent book Talking Right, performs an intellectually rigorous analysis of how the Republicans have done a far better job than the Democrats of mastering the use of buzz phrases to mislead and distract.
In doing so, his book has garnered praise even from such right-wing wordsmiths as William Safire. Less than two weeks after the Presidential election, join us for a discussion of how language influenced the choice of our next President- Grace Cathedral
Rev. Alan Jones
Alan Jones, Ph.D., has been dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco since 1985.
Jones was formerly the director of the Center for Christian Spirituality and Stephen F. Bayne Professor of Ascetical Theology at General Theological Seminary in New York City. Born and educated in England, Jones was also on the staff of Trinity Institute of Wall Street's Trinity Church. He became a citizen of the United States in 1975.
Jones is the author of several books, most notably, Soul Making, The Desert Way of Spirituality, Passion for Pilgrimage and most recently, The Soul's Journey: Exploring the Three Passages of the Spiritual Life with Dante as a Guide. He is widely known as a gifted preacher and travels throughout the world preaching, lecturing, and leading retreats.
Geoffrey Nunberg is an adjunct full professor at U.C. Berkeley's School of Information. He is also a researcher at the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University, and a consulting professor in the Stanford Department of Linguistics. His linguistics research includes work in semantics and pragmatics, text classification, and written-language structure, and he also works and writes on the social and cultural implications of digital technologies.
Mr. Nunberg does a feature on language on the NPR show "Fresh Air" and has written numerous commentaries on language for the Sunday New York Times Week in Review, as well as for other periodicals. He’s also contributed occasional "letters from America" to the BBC4 series "State of the Union" and was the former chair of the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary.
The full title of his most recent book is Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show.