In our post-truth world, tapping into people's emotions has proved far more effective than rational argument - and, as Philip Seargeant argues in this illuminating and entertaining book, the most powerful tool for manipulating emotions is a gripping narrative.
From Trump's America to Brexit Britain, weaving a good story, featuring fearless protagonists, challenging quests against seemingly insurmountable odds, and soundbite after soundbite of memorable dialogue has been at the heart of political success. So does an understanding of the art of storytelling help explain today's successful political movements? Can it translate into a blueprint for victory at the ballot box?
The Art of Political Storytelling looks at how stories are created, shared and contested, illuminating the pivotal role that persuasive storytelling plays in shaping our understanding of the political world we live in. By mastering the tools and tricks of narrative, and evaluating the language and rhetorical strategies used to craft and enact them, Seargeant explains how and why today's combination of new media, populism and partisanship makes storytelling an ever more important part of the persuasive and political process. In doing so, the book offers an original and compelling way of understanding the chaotic world of today's politics.
Country of Publication:
11 June 2020
Acknowledgements Part I: Apocalyptic Politics 1. Setting the Scene 2. Let's Begin with the Facts 3. Popular Fiction Part II: Shaping the Story 4. Explanatory Stories 5. What Makes a Good Story? 6. Dramatic Structure Part III: Language and Rhetoric 7. Spectacle and Emotion 8. A Post-Truth Lexicon 9. Digital Disinformation Part IV: Fiction and Reality 10. The Fabric of Reality 11. Conspiracy Politics 12. The Lie that Tells the Truth Index
Philip Seargeant is an author and academic specialising in the study of language and communication. He teaches at the Open University, UK, where his research focuses on the relationships between language, politics and social media. He is the author of several award-winning educational films, and frequently works as a consultant for the BBC and other media outlets. His writing has appeared in publications such as The New European, Prospect, The Huffington Post and Wired.
Reviews for The Art of Political Storytelling: Why Stories Win Votes in Post-truth Politics
Philip Sergeant's utterly original and fascinating book provides a unique perspective on our current post-truth predicament. What to do when you realize that some (or even most) people are persuaded not by arguments but by stories? And what if some of those stories aren't true? The importance of narrative in political discourse is brilliantly illuminated. Read it and lament, read it and understand, or read it to learn how to win an election! * Lee McIntyre, Research Fellow, Center for Philosophy and History of Science, Boston University, USA *