Speechless by Michael Knowles

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Synopsis

“Political correctness” has taken politeness and turned it into a weapon of censorship and intimidation. In the workplace, on social media, and even at the dinner table, Americans are confronted daily with a laundry list of words they’re “not allowed” to say—and that list is updated constantly and without warning.

How did so absurd a concept become so dangerous—and come to dominate our public discourse over the last quarter-century?

In Speechless, #1 nationally bestselling author and political commentator Michael Knowles masterfully traces the history and effects of political correctness from the early twentieth century to the present, revealing its insidious roots, exposing the power-hungry language architects behind its ever-growing control, and examining what this concerted manipulation of speech means for the future of American culture, politics, and minds.

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Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Speechless: Controlling Words, Controlling Minds by Michael J. Knowles

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was super interesting. I listened via audiobook, narrated by the author himself, Michael Knowles which I’d highly recommend. Attempts at impressions were entertaining. I’d recommend it to anyone. Wherever you would see yourself on the political spectrum and what you feel you know about the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, I think everyone will get a lot out of it.

It’s a great book for for those who may find today’s political climate and personal belief system confusing, interesting, or peculiar. Also for people like me who have a hard time explaining specific concepts or events and people in enough detail, especially when traveling abroad and everything feels like it is fair game for skepticism after a while.

The Story
Tells all about the origin, context, and application of the 1st Amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

With specific examples and explanation of principles, it takes a deep dive into several themes which I found incredibly interesting. It was a good review of history, satisfying to my many wonderings of “What really happened” and “I sort of know, but can’t accurately say from memory” and “I wish I could commit justices by name to memory” type questions and abilities to understand better.

I liked that it was conversational and not just an academic piece, made for some personality and it was refreshing to just hear someone’s thoughts and opinions and references to support them. Made for an interesting discussion about politics.

The book presented a pretty fair, balanced, and keen observation about the past, successes, failures, and the future of many concepts, people, and events that I felt less versed on.

Concepts
-Social construct
-Bad speech and censorship
-Speech code
-Redefinition of terms, how that has changed over time when it comes to data collection and reporting
-Art, politics, and cultural influences
-Moral and philosophical framework
-Differences in language translations
-Moral agency
-Terminology of the male and female sex
-Finding political meaning in everything
-Critical studies
-The academic debate, academic standards, emotion over reason, and lack of academic rigor
-Hoaxes
-Defining standards of justice
-Etymology even the word taboo
-Civil liberality as it relates to race

Specific Key People and Events
-Frankfurt School
-Clarence Thomas
-The Proud Boys
-The 1619 project, from origin to subsequent revisions
-Jussie Smollet case
-George Washington’s Rules of Civility
-The Stonewall Riots
-Pride parades
-War on Christmas
-John Money’s studies regarding sex and gender identity between twins
-Drag Queen Story Hour
-How is transgenderism and homosexuality opposing or reaffirming sex?
-Conservative and liberal protests
-The sequela of The Population Bomb, sterilization procedures
-Crusades against human life

Questions Proposed
-Has there ever been a total socialistic state?
-What is the difference between censorship and free speech?
-How does it differ from other nations?
-What exactly is political correctness?
-What is Cultural Marxism?
-What was Mao offering?
-What is safe, what is sacred?
-Has the believe that all women movement given way that women cannot lie and that men should not defend themselves?
-Do all laws invoke a moral order?
-In what ways the World Health Organization redefined and further redefined herd immunity?
-Does moral order rely upon religious tenets?

The Writing
I liked his puns.

It was well-paced and well-organized, moving from logical concept to contextual and social meaning, etymology, followed by application and an example, sometimes a few examples which was nice.

I like to be informed about a range of topics from multiple viewpoints and I quite enjoyed listening to tactics, debate, the approach, and context delivery as it relates to key conversation pieces in order to have a more clear, concise understanding and discussion of today’s politics.

View all my reviews

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