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LINGUIST List 24.529

Wed Jan 30 2013

Books: Political Languages in the Age of Extremes: Steinmetz (Ed)

Editor for this issue: Rebekah McClure <rebekahlinguistlist.org>

Date: 23-Jan-2013
From: Zach Borenstein <zach.borensteinoup.com>
Subject: Political Languages in the Age of Extremes: Steinmetz (Ed)
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Title: Political Languages in the Age of Extremes
Published: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
                http://www.oup.com/us

Book URL: http://www.us.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/HistoryWorld/European/?view=usa&ci=9780199663330

Editor: Willebald Steinmetz
Paperback: ISBN: 9780199663330 Pages: 416 Price: U.S. $ 35.00
Abstract:

The short twentieth century was an age of total wars and aggressive ideological struggles. It was also an age of growing linguistic awareness in the political sphere. Communist, fascist, and Liberal regimes fought each other with violence as well as words, and verbal warfare became increasingly sophisticated. The regimes were supported by propaganda experts and took advantage of new mass media which facilitated the interplay of words, images, and sounds. Leaders and their propagandists used language to persuade followers, terrorize opponents, and annihilate enemies. Knowing how to adapt one's own use of language to changing political situations was of vital importance for everyone. In the Age of Extremes words could wield political power, but at another moment even a whisper could endanger one's life.

This volume explores the ways in which language served to create, uphold, subvert, or deflect political power in the Age of Extremes. The book is unusual in encouraging its readers to compare totalitarian and democratic regimes under this aspect. Moving beyond propaganda studies the book opens up a variety of perspectives. While some authors take a look from above and show how those in power succeeded, or failed, in policing the boundaries of what could be said, others investigate the strategies of those who attacked the rules of the powerful by promoting alternative concepts and counter-discourses. Finally, there are also essays on the experiences of those who simply tried to stay alive by presenting themselves in a flexible manner or preserving their own private languages in diaries, poems, or secret conversations.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
                            Sociolinguistics

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/pubs/books/get-book.cfm?BookID=64007


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