In the book There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Strip
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In the book There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and dead Armadillos, Jim Hightower is a man with a mission. That mission is to educate the general population of the United States. Hightower realizes that many Americans do not understand the reality of politics and business. Hightower effectively communicates his idea to the common man using several techniques. The first is the use of language that just about everyone can understand. He also uses humor to keep the reader interested and help clarify ideas that may seem lofty otherwise. Facts are the ultimate tool that Hightower employs. Everything that is stated is supported by facts and figures which give the reader confidence in the ideas presented.
To accomplish his goal of informing the general public about the harsh realities of politics, Hightower realizes that he must keep his language simple and familiar. His choice of vocabulary never includes any large or rare words without explanation. This helps the reader to remain focused on the message of the text, not trying to fumble through a dictionary. His language also includes slang and foul words which help illustrate opinions on certain topics. For example, "Liberal Media, my ass" clearly shows his disbelief of the idea that the media is liberal (125-130). Not only is this helpful to an uneducated reader by using common slang language, but the use of a foul word help to explain the severity of the issue. A reader that is not accustomed to this type of language takes note of what is being said. Other crafty language techniques include quotations of scripture and the naming of individual sections with football teams. Overall, the language used by Hightower is not the typical scholarly prose found in most political texts, but the language is very well chosen and adds a conversational feeling to keep the reader interested.
Humor is another weapon Hihgtower uses to help mobilize the troops against the corporate politics of America. On just about about every page of the book, he is cracking a joke. At first one may think this is overkill, but Hightower seems to do quite well with the strategy. His humorous stories of Martha leaving home (156), Richard Lederer's students (11), or Nintendo's CEO (87) help the reader once again to stay interested. This is very important for Hightower's mission. The reader must read the whole book and remember what they read. The humor mixed helps the reader to remember certain facts and ideas.
The facts are the driving force of Hightower's message. He gives numbers, names, stories, and examples for every idea in the book. We know after reading this how much CEO's make, how many media persons are told not to report the news, the percentages of every poll ever taken and then some. For most books it would be ridiculous to add this much factual support. It would become boring. But, Hightower realizes that the general public may not know the ideas he presents, and they will seem outrageous and unbeleiveable. He cannot afford to risk the mission, so he undeniable support to every claim. A person could pick up this book having little or no concept of corporate America's role in politics and leave a Washington insider.
There is no doubt that Hightower completes his mission. His unusual, but fun style keeps the book in the reader's hand and their mind on the ideas. If this book were in every hand, the country would be a different place.
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Jim Hightower, Writing style
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