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I was thinking of creating a list of books that every debater should read. I want to incorporate the list into my class requirements. I was wondering what books you guys think should make such a list.

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that is a very abstract concept. when i debated, i read what i had to to make sense of the argument i wanted to run. you may want to ask the team wht they want to run, and create a list from there. but a general list in my mind is not all that feasible

 

Marc

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About a year ago, I wrote the following post in response to a similar request:

 

A few years ago on the cx-l I began a thread asking for recommendations of such books. My recommendations then were NOT textbooks at all, but books which could be helpful to debaters in learning how to build/analyze arguments. A couple of those recommendations:

  • Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame? by Bill James. Although this is a book about baseball's Hall of Fame, it is chock full of valuable insights about how to make/defend arguments, use/refute evidence, etc. Of particular interest are the chapters "Arguments" and "Don Drysdale." The former dissects eight common fallacies and the latter basically offers an actual debate on the merits of Drysdale as an HOF candidate, complete with an analysis of the case put forth by each side. Highly recommended...
  • A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper by John Allen Poulos. This book is a tour de force analyzing the way numbers are used (and misused) in discussions of public policy. Given the dominant role of evidence in modern debate, knowing how to REALLY evaluate claims based on statistics and other quantitative measures is essential. A fabulous read...

 

I think that debaters can learn more just from these two books than from any debate-specific textbook I have ever read...

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Exactly, I don't really want recommendations for a textbook. I just want a good list of books the kids will enjoy reading, and the books will help them with debate as well. These two sound very interesting. Thanks.

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About a year ago, I wrote the following post in response to a similar request:

 

A few years ago on the cx-l I began a thread asking for recommendations of such books. My recommendations then were NOT textbooks at all, but books which could be helpful to debaters in learning how to build/analyze arguments. A couple of those recommendations:

  • Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame? by Bill James. Although this is a book about baseball's Hall of Fame, it is chock full of valuable insights about how to make/defend arguments, use/refute evidence, etc. Of particular interest are the chapters "Arguments" and "Don Drysdale." The former dissects eight common fallacies and the latter basically offers an actual debate on the merits of Drysdale as an HOF candidate, complete with an analysis of the case put forth by each side. Highly recommended...
  • A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper by John Allen Poulos. This book is a tour de force analyzing the way numbers are used (and misused) in discussions of public policy. Given the dominant role of evidence in modern debate, knowing how to REALLY evaluate claims based on statistics and other quantitative measures is essential. A fabulous read...

 

I think that debaters can learn more just from these two books than from any debate-specific textbook I have ever read...

 

 

I just ordered them both through Amazon......thanks!

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Maybe it's just because I'm from Wyoming, but I love for my debaters to read Gerry Spence's book "How to Argue & Win Every Time," published in 1995. Great legal stories, and terrific focus on persuasion and strategy in presenting and defending arguments.

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Maybe it's just because I'm from Wyoming, but I love for my debaters to read Gerry Spence's book "How to Argue & Win Every Time," published in 1995. Great legal stories, and terrific focus on persuasion and strategy in presenting and defending arguments.

 

Release your inner frog!!! One of my debaters was given this book as a good luck present for State. I would warn your kids, though, they have to plow through some fairly hokey stuff -- but then there are some really good tips and advice there about argumentation, preparation, and believing one can and should win.

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Maybe it's just because I'm from Wyoming, but I love for my debaters to read Gerry Spence's book "How to Argue & Win Every Time," published in 1995. Great legal stories, and terrific focus on persuasion and strategy in presenting and defending arguments.

 

 

We tried his stuff once, but we couldn't find fringed buckskin jackets in all of our sizes...

 

;)

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Logic and Mr. Limbaugh: A Dittohead's Guide to Fallacious Reasoning by Ray, Jr. Perkins. I'm not sure if the other books named do this job, but I think it's a fun and very effective and very easy to understand book to teach logic from. And I tend to think a bit of actual logic (as in formal, but not symbolic, logic) is good for debaters.

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Maybe it's just because I'm from Wyoming, but I love for my debaters to read Gerry Spence's book "How to Argue & Win Every Time," published in 1995. Great legal stories, and terrific focus on persuasion and strategy in presenting and defending arguments.
Another excellent choice (and one that was on the longer list I posted years ago). Believe it or not, there's some good stuff in there for responding to a lot of the critical positions that are fashionable these days...

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