Enough Said tells the story of how we got from the language of FDR and Churchill to that of Donald Trump. It examines the public language we’ve been left with: compressed, immediate, sometimes brilliantly impactful, but robbed of most of its explanatory power.
..this insightful book is focused less on Trump himself than on the conditions that sustain him — and on what, if anything, can be done to reverse them ... Enough Said displays many of the qualities that it identifies as lacking in our civic discourse. It is thoughtful, nuanced and wise; it considers opposing views; it takes ample note of history and is unafraid of complexity. To read this book is to feel there is cause, however tenuous, for hope.
Thompson usually advances his case in cool, nuanced and forensic prose, but he is a blistering flame-thrower about the consequences of the digital revolution ... He also gives a kicking to newspapers and conventional broadcasters who, scared of looking backward and hungry for free content, give further amplification to the howlround ... Then he rescues himself from despair by reminding himself that public language has come back to life before, even as the last rites were being read over it. There’s hope for reasoned persuasion yet.
I don’t think this book will change the continuing debates about 'bias' and 'objectivity,' the separation of the public into distinct fact universes, the disappearing boundary between entertainment and civic life, the imperiled concept of 'truth' or the other important topics it addresses. But it offers many instructive allusions, useful judgments and important refinements on these themes — and provides reassurance by its mere existence that someone in the author’s position is grappling so earnestly with such questions.