The Political Brain

  • by Drew Westen
  • Narrated by Anthony Heald
  • 16 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Political Brain is a groundbreaking scientific investigation into how the mind and brain really work and how it affects the way candidates win and lose elections. In politics, when reason and emotions collide, emotion invariably wins. In this landmark book, scientist and psychologist Drew Westen shows how electorates vote not with their heads but with their hearts, and how the marketplace that matters most is the marketplace of emotion - filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory.
The first serious investigation into how emotions affect voter behavior, The Political Brain reveals how the political landscape would change if candidates began with a 21st-century understanding of how the mind and brain really work.

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What the Critics Say

"Drew Westen is a must read....we will win the Presidency if our candidate reads and acts on this book." (Howard Dean)
"This is the most interesting, informative book on politics I've read in many years...whether you're an interested voter or a candidate for public office, you have to read this book." (Bill Clinton)
"In the last several months, [Westen] has gone from a politically inclined nobody to a hot ticket." (Los Angeles Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good information, if a little too much of it

The author is an experienced political writer and advisor; progressive in his politics who is on the faculty at Emory University. An expert in psychology Westen states that contrary to what many supposed campaign experts believe; political decisions are based not on intellect, but on emotion. As a progressive he points out examples that back up this hypotheses.
Specifically he uses the Bush II campaigns against Gore and Kerry. The debate in which Bush challenged Gore's integrity and Gore failed to respond is the example he used and posited a response that Gore could and should have made. Specifically that a man who'd spent three decades in the liqueur cabinet and had to be investigated by his own father's administration in a fraud case.
In Kerry's case it was not surprisingly about the swiftboating of the democratic candidate by Karl Rove and the Bush campaign. The gist of the return attack being that draft dodging frat boys like Bush, Cheney and Rove shouldn't try that tactic with someone who actually fought for their country; unlike them.
There are separate chapters about gay rights, abortion, the separation of church and state, and right wing political beliefs being referred to as religion. He upbraids his progressive brethren about turning over to religion to the Republican party and ceding faith to the right.
The book is too long and much of the first 3 or 4 chapters is theoretical and reads more like a textbook. Still it's good information, particularly if you share his politics. The response's of the democratic candidates as done by Westen made me wish he had been the campaign manager for either of the democratic candidates. A good 4 star listen.
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- Me & My Girls

It is a very good insight to how politicians think

I recommend it even to the person who is intending to market their product or services to the public.
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- David S.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-11-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.