Every Catholic at some point needs to defend his or her beliefs and explain why they are legitimate. This book is a good place to start preparing.
I found this to be a particularly nice read because it teaches you less how to persuade others than how to connect with them–indeed, how to become friends with them. It’s a good approach because that’s life: We should focus not on winning the argument, but on learning more about our opponents and about ourselves; it’s much better to make a friend of one who disagrees with you than to make an embittered opponent. Besides, as this book emphasizes, you tend to persuade people more easily if they consider you a friend, anyway.
There’s also some interesting tidbits of trivia on the Catholic Church here. Apparently the practice of having a “Devil’s Advocate” (or a diabolus advocatus, as it was called then) originated in the Church: Whenever a candidate was up for sainthood, it was the role of the devil’s advocate to gather the strongest possible argument against the canonization of the candidate. Of course, one can say the devil’s advocate actually strengthened the case for canonization because his arguments seemed so artificial and strained. Yet it’s nevertheless interesting to note how practically all major decisions nowadays are not made without first consulting a devil’s advocate–a practice that began (at least officially) with the Church. As always, no big deal. Just another instance of why being Catholic matters.
Content: Varying tips on how to persuade other people, using the two-pronged method of scientific research and personal anecdote.
Style: Direct and Colloquial. Extremely brief chapters (4 pg average) make for easy reading.
Catholic?: Not necessarily, but the tips here are nice for any Catholic to know. Also some nice tidbits of trivia on the Catholic Church.
Overall: 4 /5