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Language in the Trump Era
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Book description

Early in his campaign, Donald Trump boasted that 'I know words. I have the best words', yet despite these assurances his speech style has sown conflict even as it has powered his meteoric rise. If the Trump era feels like a political crisis to many, it is also a linguistic one. Trump has repeatedly alarmed people around the world, while exciting his fan-base with his unprecedented rhetorical style, shock-tweeting, and weaponized words. Using many detailed examples, this fascinating and highly topical book reveals how Trump's rallying cries, boasts, accusations, and mockery enlist many of his supporters into his alternate reality. From Trump's relationship to the truth, to his use of gesture, to the anti-immigrant tenor of his language, it illuminates the less obvious mechanisms by which language in the Trump era has widened divisions along lines of class, gender, race, international relations, and even the sense of truth itself.


'An indispensable resource for anyone troubled by the polarizing and demagogic political discourse of the Trump era, this book illuminates many features of Trumpian rhetoric and shows how its flagrant misrepresentations, fractured syntax, torrential flow, racist metaphors, and misogyny appeal to some people, co-opt others, and prove resistant to critique. If you hope to counter these forms of current political rhetoric, start by understanding how they work - and start here.'

Judith T. Irvine - Edward Sapir Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Linguistic Anthropology, University of Michigan

'Donald Trump's version of making a speech is not only a source of surprise and disgust, but also, for many, confusion. Why does he talk this way? Is it on purpose? And is it contagious? Language in the Trump Era answers all of those questions and more about America's magnificently, manipulatively inarticulate Commander-in-Chief.'

John McWhorter - Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University

'This excellent volume is a 'must-read‘ for scholars and students alike. The first comprehensive, very well researched and well-argued book which allows insight in to the 'Trump-phenomenon'; a phenomenon which dominates politics, media and everyday lives in the US and beyond.'

Ruth Wodak - Distinguished Professor and Chair in Discourse Studies, Lancaster University/University Vienna

‘Language in the Trump Era is a very topical and most welcome publication on the (negative) effects of the Trump presidency on language use and understanding. The book can be seen as an important contribution to the emerging research on Trump’s language that came into being since he ran for the US presidency. It provides an accurate and detailed description of the linguistic transformations brought about by the Trump era while also, importantly, accounting for the range of complex and interlaced motivations for the attested changes in language and indicating possible repercussions of the newly installed linguistic habits on society at large, including the potential legitimization of certain, social behaviors.’

Marta Degani Source: Discourse & Society

‘Overall, the book provides fascinating insight into the language of Trump and would be of interest to postgraduate students, scholars/researchers in linguistics, as well as the broader social sciences and/or those who are interested in understanding the discursive features of one of the world’s most controversial presidents.’

Neda Salashour Source: Language in Society

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