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About The Book

The indispensable handbook for Democrats

Voters cast their ballots for what they believe is right, for the things that make moral sense. Yet Democrats have too often failed to use language linking their moral values with their policies. The Little Blue Book demonstrates how to make that connection clearly and forcefully, with hands-on advice for discussing the most pressing issues of our time: the economy, health care, women’s issues, energy and environmental policy, education, food policy, and more. Dissecting the ways that extreme conservative positions have permeated political discourse, Lakoff and Wehling show how to fight back on moral grounds and in concrete terms. Revelatory, passionate, and deeply practical, The Little Blue Book will forever alter the way Democrats and progressives think and talk about politics.

About The Authors

Bart Nagel ©2008

George Lakoff is Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Don't Think of an Elephant!, among other works, and is America’s leading expert on the framing of political ideas. 

Photograph by Eleonora Palmieri

Elisabeth Wehling is a political strategist and author working in the U.S. and Europe. She is doing research in Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, on how politics is understood both in America and Europe.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Free Press (June 19, 2012)
  • Length: 112 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781476700038

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Raves and Reviews

"This book is a game-changer, one that will enable Democrats to regain their language and to stop mimicking Republican ideas and rhetoric." —Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System

“Republicans offer values. Democrats offer policies. Guess what? Values often win, even when the policies are more popular. It’s about time Democrats learned how talk (and think) in terms of the underlying values that make them Democrats -- values that are more widely shared by Americans than the values Republicans espouse. Here’s the essential handbook for thinking and talking Democratic – must reading not only for every Democrat but for every responsible citizen.” —Robert B. Reich, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Beyond Outrage

“George Lakoff is the progressive movement's Jedi master of language. The Little Blue Book tells us how to say what we need to say to bring about the policy changes Americans need.” —Van Jones, author of Rebuild the Dream

“I’ve always learned a lot from Lakoff and you will too.” —George Soros

“If you only preach to the choir, you’ve no need for The Little Blue Book. But if you want to reach people you don’t agree with, read this book!” —Joan Blades, founder of

“George Lakoff’s willingness to share his unmatched understanding of the way language impacts politics is a precious gift to his fellow progressives. In this election year, The Little Blue Book is a must-read.” —Bob Edgar, President of Common Cause

"Blending insight and rigor, Lakoff and Wehling have produced a Rosetta Stone that translates progressive ideas into fundamental human values that will resonate with Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs." —Michael Brune, executive director, Sierra Club

“With their "Little Blue Book", Lakoff and Wehling are giving Democrats and Progressives a gift -- the tools to inspire Americans by using the moral language of our democratic values of caring for each other and building and protecting our community. Our leaders , Obama included, must stop falling in to right wing traps and repeating their language and frames. Our vision is far better than the right wing. Use this book, and earn from Lakoff and Wehling how we can best communicate for a future we all deserve and need.” —Don Hazen, Executive Editor,

The Little Blue Book gives progressives not just invaluable tools but, more importantly, an infusion of the hope desperately needed to fix our broken politics. By mapping the political brain, Lakoff and Wehling have shown Democrats the surest way to find their spines.” —Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group

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