Photo de l'auteur

Amanda Montell

Auteur de Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism

3 oeuvres 1,476 utilisateurs 45 critiques

A propos de l'auteur

Amanda Montell is a writer and reporter from Baltimore whose writing has been featured in Marie Claire, Nylon, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, The Rumpus,, and Who What Wear. Amanda graduated from NYU with a degree in linguistics and lives in Los Angeles. Her favorite English word is nook and her afficher plus favorite foreign word is tartle, the Scottish term for when you hesitate while introducing someone because you've forgotten their name. afficher moins

Œuvres de Amanda Montell

Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism (2021) 1,007 exemplaires
Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language (2019) — Auteur; Narrateur, quelques éditions391 exemplaires
The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality (2024) — Auteur; Narrateur, quelques éditions78 exemplaires


Partage des connaissances



Engaging and often funny, but left me with more to overthink than anything else. The chapter on children with cancer who vlogged their experience on YouTube was both difficult to get through and one of my favorites.
KallieGrace | 1 autre critique | May 8, 2024 |
Dnf at 37%.

This is mopey memoir masquerading as social science. I was a huge fan of Cultish and was excited to get to this book, but it is an exemplar of the very thing she is attacking. She rails against people who see something online and accept it as gospel but her level of rigor is barely better. While actually reading a study (as I assume she did) is better than circulating clickbait, it is only a skoosh better. She repeatedly cherry-picks research, generally relying upon a single study to support grand pronouncements about group dynamics in areas where a good amount of sound contradictory research and scholarship exists, and is never referred to. She also relies on a boatload of assumptions about human behavior she sets forth as universal, or at least typical, but which are not. As social science this is unforgivable.

If I read this as memoir or cultural criticism (which I see is what it is being advertised as, I had not read the blurb before starting this) the book is forgivable but lazy and out of touch. I am not one to rail against privilege displayed in a memoir. Privileged is not a corollary to happy, and being privileged does not mean that you are not interesting and/or do not have keen insights. And some might consider me privileged so I feel uncomfortable conceding that privilege makes a person's experiences and observations less than worthwhile. But even I was uncomfortable with references to her burning need to sojourn to Italy to find ballast. In the end, as memoir I found this boring and tone deaf and as cultural criticism it was a rehash of many things I have read before -- there is nothing fresh and little that is persuasive. This book is to cultural anthropology what GOOP is to epidemiology. A spectacular disappointment.
… (plus d'informations)
Narshkite | 1 autre critique | May 1, 2024 |
I was fascinated by the author's analysis of the ways that language can be used to form a sense of community and exclusivity. The cults and "cultish" organizations she examines range from Jonestown and Heabe 's Gate to less innocuous examples such as SoulCycle and CrossFit.
How do these fit together in one book? They use language to lure and maintain a feeling of belonging...being part of something special with jargon that outsiders don't truly "get".
In the end, she writes, "it's important to maintain a vigilant twinkle in your eye.." an awareness that "there's some degree of metaphor and make - believe here....As long as you hang on to that, it's possible to engage with some cultish groups ".
Writing this book helped her develop compassion for those who have become enmeshed with a true cult.
Reading it has made me more aware of cultish language...from insider jargon, to code names, acronyms,mantras, and thought terminating cliches, it's all around us.
… (plus d'informations)
Chrissylou62 | 27 autres critiques | Apr 11, 2024 |
Had it not been pointed out at the beginning and a few other times along the way, I would never have guessed this book was written by a linguist. There are hints that she was familiar with the topic or at least did some research—but it disappointingly is not the thrust of this book. For a linguist she does a remarkably poor job of defining her terms. Like a game of paddle ball where linguistics is the paddle and the narrative the ball, we always spring back to linguistics but never for long. Mostly the diversions are entertaining. Who doesn’t like hearing about the raucous misadventures of cults or the inside stories surrounding multi-level marketing or taking a moment to bash Trump for his manipulative mis-use of language, but none of that was what I was hoping for. I’ve disliked Trump for over 40 years, that being said, it was probably okay to bring him up once and drop it—he is certainly not the first or only politician/game show host to employ such tactics. Bringing Trump back multiple times highlights the personal and playful nature of the book that makes for leisurely reading but not an informative one. At least, not informative in the way I wanted. The author maintains a contemplative distance for most of the book which dramatically falls apart during the last portion dealing with exercise and healing. A long segment comes across as an informercial for SOULCYCLE. It may just be that the writing got lazy, failing to add qualifiers like “trying to give the appearance of” or “wanting it’s followers to believe” instead making it sound like they were doing God’s work. In fact, I was floored when she extrapolated from one source that the decline in followers of organized religion was due to the rise in cult like commercial work out programs. I do have to thank her for inspiring me to use the word “preposterous” which I don’t think I ever have—but that claim is preposterous. In this segment the string on her paddleball breaks as she rarely talks about the use of language in any meaningful way. If you love language like I do, look somewhere else. If you want to drift pleasantly through the topic, then you have found a place to hang out. If you are already feeling like you’ve had enough before the final section—maybe go for a walk instead.… (plus d'informations)
KurtWombat | 27 autres critiques | Feb 7, 2024 |


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