Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Straight and Crooked Thinking

This is the one book whose content I will take to my grave.  When the time comes, to whom it may concern, please make sure it’s burnt and scattered with me.  But first, make sure you scan every page and shove them, word by word, down the virtual throat and up the virtual arse of every politician, profiteer and prince on the planet.

Here’s the table of contents.  Read it carefully.


I suggest that, when considering any statement you come across by anybody who is promoting a cause, be they a politician, profiteer, prince or just ordinary person, you turn each of those chapter headings into a question, usually in the form of ‘is this person using this crooked trick?’  This book taught me those basics when I was fourteen, and my best life choices have, I think, come from there.  Except the ones that came from somewhere completely different, of course.

Oh, and how many of those tricks do you think I’ve used in the course of this post?  (Clue: I don’t know either.)

The book was first published in 1930 and reissued in a revised edition by Pan Books in in 1953.  If I have infringed any copyrights, I hope I don’t need to apologise, but gladly do so nevertheless.


  1. Much though I'd love to read it, I can't do any of those page turning things that you can do on Amazon. Have you scanned it in properly? Otherwise, have you put it in a safe place whereby we can find it once you've gone and scan it then?

    And 38 dishonest tricks seems a bit on the low side these days.

  2. It sounds fascinating. My choice of a book that everyone should read would be I'm OK You're OK. Thev world would be a much more civilised place.

  3. Is it all right if they shove one page per arse and throat rather than the whole bookful? It could take some time.

  4. Hey, I haven't scanned the whole book - thought I'd made it clear that's a job for my executors (as is the shoving).
    I might post a few of the 38 later on, during the dull bits of the para opening. Hmm.

    I'll look into I'm OK You're OK, Frances.

  5. Amazingly, I see that the book is available on Amazon. There are also some (rather inadequate) references on Wikipedia. Google the author if you're interested.

  6. I also looked it up on Amazon and further down the page, there's a book called "Comforts of unreason: The study of motives behind irrational thought" which sounds like a neat connection.
    (I read 'I'm OK You're OK' a long time ago together with 'What do you say after you say hello' and 'Games people play'. They were all very interesting in some parts)