• Speechless

  • Controlling Words, Controlling Minds
  • By: Michael Knowles
  • Narrated by: Michael Knowles
  • Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (3,455 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“Political correctness” has taken politeness and turned it into a weapon of censorship and intimidation. In the workplace, on social media, and even at the dinner table, Americans are confronted daily with a laundry list of words they’re “not allowed” to say - and that list is updated constantly and without warning.

How did so absurd a concept become so dangerous - and come to dominate our public discourse over the last quarter-century?

In Speechless, number one nationally best-selling author and political commentator Michael Knowles masterfully traces the history and effects of political correctness from the early 20th century to the present, revealing its insidious roots, exposing the power-hungry language architects behind its ever-growing control, and examining what this concerted manipulation of speech means for the future of American culture, politics, and minds.

©2021 by Michael Knowles (P)2021 by Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Speechless

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Speechless- Not

Mr. Knowles definitely had a lot to say. Speechless gives a lot of material to consider in what is being done to change the United States. There are people using techniques akin to bullying to silence all opposition. Mr. Knowles highlights in depth some of these techniques that pertain to the written and spoken language. Very entertaining but also very real. Definitely worth a second read or listen as there is a lot for us to be aware about this time of history. Change is coming and not necessarily for the good of future generations.

29 people found this helpful

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well worth the read, listen!

loved it! speech the invisible hand that s trying to control, I especially enjoyed all the references, of past and present. Great read.😁👍

28 people found this helpful

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Very informative and not at all dry…

The only thing dry about Michael Knowles’ book is his sense of humor. His painstaking historical research that backs his arguments make this read beyond compelling.

22 people found this helpful

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Speechless

Speechless gives a insightful perspective of political correctness. It dives into the history of PC and gives a precise thread from that history to the PC that pervades our culture currently. Speechless provides readers who do not listen to Michael Knowles’ podcast a clear debrief of his political framework; it also gives avid listeners of his show a deeper understanding of the snippets and one-liners that are a staple to the podcast. Speechless is a well-written and well-researched book that is sure to leave audiences of all political persuasions……

18 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

opinion book full of claims without evidence

This is an opinion book with very biased and non-evidenced based claims that are presented a the result of serious research. The author should disclose political views from the start rather than selling his opinion as fact based evidence since the evidence goes lacking quiet fast.
The books has a strong start and makes interesting point with claims supported by at least some evidence. but the more the author develops his theory the more he slips into an anti-liberal trade. I continued listening to give him the benefit of the doubt that he wrote a documented essay and not merely an opinion piece with flawed logic and no evidence to support claims. However, the author quickly changes from an essay to baseless political insults and logical shortcuts to being down those he opposing his views. At stop listen in chapter 3, at which point all serious supporting evidence is gone and only the insults are left.

13 people found this helpful

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Sweet relaxing, monotone voice….and I’m asleep.

Dude….I love knowles and listen to his podcast daily but this book is rough. It’s sooo much history and packed with details it gets boring really quick. Sorry man, I love you but I couldn’t make it through the book without finding myself thinking about other things (grocery list, I need gas for my truck, I need to mow the lawn, I wonder if the sprinkler is still on?) while your voice droned on in the background without me even realizing it. I gave you 3 and 4 stars because you rock but damn bro….it hurt.

13 people found this helpful

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eye opening

This book may be one of the most eloquently written books I've listened to in a long time. I would strongly recommend this book to others.

12 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

Really exposes the left and their tactics. Very good for understanding their ways to silence opposition

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

extreame right-wing culture war drivel

yikes! I knew this book would be wading into the culture war, but this is poorly argued and poorly reasoned. He starts out with a rejection of principles like free speech in favor of pure conservative power politics. When he gets to waxing nostalgic for the good old days when homosexuality was outlawed, I had to turn it off altogether. I would ask for a refund if I hadn't gotten it for free.

anyone interested in this topic, I recommend Helen Pluckrose' Cynical Theories instead.

8 people found this helpful

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Misleading

I was interested in listening to this book as I love the English language and how quickly it can change and control the narrative in the media and in communities. Unfortunately the bias with which this is written makes it weak. I should have expected this from this particular author, however, as someone who disagrees with most PC language I was hoping for a more balanced argument. Instead I was disappointed with the authors ability to even acknowledge any counterpoints to his arguments, making them weak in my opinion. The lense in which he sees language is very narrowly focused and entirely meant to appeal to hard right conservatives.

8 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 09-22-21

In the culture war language is the greatest weapon

No matter on which side of the aisle you find yourself politically, it's undeniable how powerful the manipulation and reappropriation of language is in purveying a particular narrative or idea in the ongoing culture/identity wars. Knowles explores the origins of polictal correctness and 'woke' ideology as well as imploring people to recognise and stand up against the insidious subversion of our language and culture. A must read for anyone looking to understand the social/political struggle we find ourselves in.

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  • Bluefork
  • 07-28-21

This book left me "Speechless"

A compellingly look into cultural change over the years, it's well written but scary. 1984 here in reality you may not know but you are living it right now, what with carefully manipulation of the truth and lies by mainstream media and bad actors to what feels like burning down the very fabric of society. This book is what feels like a last chance wake up call.
I highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-28-21

a great and nowadays a must-read book

Thank you for your well-written book. Plenty of relevant quotations and points well made. Thanks.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Emily
  • 09-11-22

Interesting insights but extraordinary claims

There is some fascinating discussion on free speech and cancel culture, and Knowles draws on a number of literary sources such as George Orwell to argue that we shouldn't just accept the PC way with no consideration.

However the author has some extraordinary views which I couldn't agree with. Among these he denies climate change and considers that there's a significant number of women on college campuses falsely claiming they have been raped.

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  • Mrs D
  • 09-07-22

Not what I expected

Much as I agree with the central premise regarding the control of speech and language in manipulation for political gain; all this book really does is use this fact to platform its own views, from what appears to a hardline, judgemental, right wing, anti-abortion, allegedly ‘Christian’ viewpoint.
It denies global warming and argues against science as the holders of ‘fact’, so basically uses the same political methods employed by the extreme left to make its own argument.
All I despairingly took from this is that facts have no value, we’re sheep to our individual indoctrination and we’re all as bad as each other.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-20-22

Terrible. Zero research, only divisive angry opinions

This book is absolutely terrible - have only got in a few chapters in before having to put it down. I was looking forward to hearing a conservative take on ‘framing’ and how language is used to divide. But this book has absolutely no research or evidence to back its absurd claims and sounds more like a Fox opinion piece with someone uniquely unqualified to speak on a topic. He calls Hilary Clinton a ‘radical’ (and indeed all democrats), says there is no denying abortion can be anything BUT killing babies no matter how early (without even entertaining any other perspectives) and refers only to the ‘Chinese’ corona virus (even though that’s never been how viruses are named - we don’t call the 2009 swine flu pandemic the American swine flu even though that’s where it originated?!)

If you are interested in actual research based, but also entertaining and well written books on the topic, by experts in the field listen to these instead;

Don't Think of An Elephant - George Lakoff
The Righteous Mind - Jonathan Haidt

So so disappointed. Wasted opportunity to speak to liberals instead of just firing up conservative anger more.

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  • Jason Hill
  • 06-01-22

Comprehensive and well researched.

Comprehensive, well researched and coherent. Knowles is authentic and straightforward about where he stands, but is a calm commentator. He is also well informed and straightforward about what his political and cultural opponents have been doing and are doing.

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  • Steven L
  • 04-18-22

An eye-opening takedown of PC

I enjoyed this. I found it fascinating, tracing the modern progressive movements back to Marxist teaching, and the damage it is causing. I found the author insightful and he researched his subject well, however I found the book running out of steam towards the end; the points about Covid restrictions felt tenuous.

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  • N. Stafford
  • 07-29-21

Biased but educational

Right leaning,l in a Ben-Shapiro-quasi-religious kind of way, yet at the same time thought provoking. I few this book would have been amazing if it had dealt with both extremes of the political spectrum equality. Too much cherry picking of examples where I’d immediately thing of a counter example which would prove the opposite. In my opinion the problem is people are mostly listening to the extremes of both parties rather than the moderate middle.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-18-21

waste of time and money.

this writer just lacks any compassion or understanding for his fellow human beings
I really tried to get through this book but couldn't get past 2 hours of his far right political rants
don't waste your time and money

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ken
  • 09-27-21

Done much better elsewhere.

Reads very much like a person lamenting the loss of influence of his own treasured absurdities. There are much better books on the idiocy or critical theory, and the collapse of Left wing legitimacy.

1 person found this helpful

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  • mina
  • 09-08-21

Challenging but powerful!

I have got to say that as a conservative, i disagreed with the premise of that book, that absolute free speech can’t exist, but as I kept listening, by the end of the book i have changed my mind, don’t read this if you are not open minded!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-05-21

A great read!

After the riveting success of his first book, Michael Knowles returns to educate the reader, on how the radical left has slowly been positioning its tentacles, over the years, to hijack language, and as a result thought.

An excellent book to educate yourself further on the temperature of the current socio-political climate

1 person found this helpful

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  • Boyd
  • 08-08-22

Michael Knowles defining the war of words.

A fan of Michael Knowles, this book was a brilliant think piece. Must Read. I can't encourage people more to listen to this book and attempt to practice greater consideration in the language they use and why. Asking who shapes our vocabulary and for what purpose follows Alice down the rabbit hole to see how far it really goes.

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  • Luke
  • 07-10-22

best book on speech

Michael Knowles book speechless is a MUST READ for all who believe in true freedom of speech. truly eye opening

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-27-22

Fabulous, Factual......Frightening

fabulous book. Scary consequences if this Intolerance from the 'progressives ' continues. well written and read.

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  • John Ryan
  • 02-16-22

Good book. Well worth reading.

This book is not the usual "preaching to the converted" we tend to get from conservative authors, but contains important criticisms of conservatives and "the right" in general. It questions the premise of modern political debate, particularly the failure of conservatives to stand for something of substance, as opposed to vague concepts.
Michael Knowles helps to explain that the problem is not the enforcement of standards per se, but that the standards being enforced are often bad, contradictory or non-existent.
The book is easy to read, and the audiobook (read by the author) is easy to listen to.

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  • Terrence O'Brien
  • 01-13-22

Balanced.

Great criticism of woke.
But don't think as a conservative you'll come out of it unscathed. But, you'll be glad you got rattled.

.