Press

Select media appearances and press coverage:

LIVE TV & RADIO 

Pix11 NewsOrigins of Sexist Language

KATU AM Northwest"Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism"

BBC Radio 4 "Word of Mouth"Cultish Language

KERA "Think" How Language Keeps Cults Together

WGN News Chicago Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism

NPR: Wisconsin Public Radio Linguist Explores How Cults Gain Followers

WNYC "All Of It" The Language of Fanaticism

RadioWest Amanda Montell On "The Language of Fanaticism"

KUOWHow to Rethink Gendered Insults 

KPCC AirTalk —  ‘Ok Boomer:’ Intergenerational Shots Fired by Gen Z 

Sex With Emily on SiriusXM Amanda Montell Is a Wordslut  

Cheddar TV New Book "Cultish" Dives Into the Social Science Behind Cult Influence  

 

CULTISH REVIEWS

The Washington Post — 6/12/21 

"Engaging and fun to read, 'Cultish' offers plenty of jaw-dropping details about life inside cults. But the book isn’t all voyeuristic pleasure. As Montell teases out the universality of cultish influence, she upholds the humanity of the people who do get swayed."

Booklist — 5/15/21 *starred review

"Montell’s masterful translation of our need to belong will mesmerize."

Kirkus Reviews — 4/18/21

"Engaging... provocative... A fascinating, enthusiastic narrative on the loaded language of cults."

The Atlantic — 6/10/21

"Savvy, enlightening... Montell... is a breezy writer and an empathetic guide to the various corners of American subcultures."

BookPage — 6/8/21 *starred review

"Cultish demonstrates that we are all more susceptible to joining the in-group than we may realize."

Buzzfeed Books — 6/15/21

"Phenomenal... Montell balances thorough anthropological analysis with personal anecdotes and interviews to create an illuminating read that will leave you wiser."

The Globe and Mail — 8/31/21

"Wildly compelling... absolutely fascinating."

The New Republic — 6/28/21

“I think most people who read Cultish will feel convinced they have, at some point in their lives, been in a cult.”

The Economist — 8/5/21 

"Being aware of how language is used to reroute or shut down thought within organisations is a powerful tool."

Refinery29 — 6/1/21

"At times chilling, often funny, and always perceptive and cogent, Cultish is a bracing reminder that the scariest thing about cults is that you don't realize you're in one til it's too late."

KatieCouric.com — 8/21/21 

"Every page features a fun, fascinating factoid that will change the way you shop, support, and share."

Shelf Awareness 

"With wit and wisdom, Cultish is catnip for word-lovers, and anyone who has caught themselves going down cultish rabbit holes."

Harper's Bazaar — 1/7/21

"In this juicy read, Montell breaks down linguistic and verbal techniques used by the cultish communities that influence our behaviors every day."

Bitch Media — 6/1/21

"Language scholar Amanda Montell has a treat for readers, myself included, who are obsessed with learning as much as possible about cults."

The Believer — 6/15/21

"I credit Cultish with ... connecting my cult membership with my love of language. Words traumatized me, but now they can heal me, too."

Popsugar — 6/2/21

"Through careful research and compelling writing, Montell breaks down how the right words can draw people into cults, as well as how none of us are as immune to cult-like thinking as we'd like to believe."

PureWow — 5/25/21

"Why do we fall down rabbit holes researching suburban moms gone QAnon? Montell maintains that it’s not only because we're looking for a satisfying explanation for what causes people to join—and stay in—extreme groups, but because we secretly want to know if it could happen to us..."

Publisher's Weekly — 4/12/21

"Montell is an engaging and well-informed tour guide through the world of 'cultish scenarios.'"

 

WORDSLUT REVIEWS  

Kirkus Reviews — 6/4/19

“Just the kind of sharp, relevant scholarship needed to continue to inspire the next generation of feminist thought.” 

Publisher’s Weekly — 5/22/19 

“Montell projects an infectious glee about linguistics and feminism, foregrounding both their fun and their cultural relevance. Readers seeking a fresh, intellectually stimulating take on feminism will enjoy this one.” 

Library Journal— 4/1/2019

"At its heart, this work reflects a tenet of sociolinguistic study: language is not divorced from culture; it both reflects and creates beliefs about identity and power." 

The New York Times — July 30, 2019

“Her delivery is light and humorous … but the lesson is serious and cannot be overstated: In countless ways, gender affects how we talk and how others hear us.”

New York Journal of Books 

Montell is entertaining, passionate, and widely read.” 

Manhattan Book Review — 10/2019

Wordslut is smart, evocative, and intelligently written, not to mention scathingly funny.” 

Time Magazine (print) — 6/3/2019

"In sharp and energetic prose, Montell makes readable deep dives into vocabulary."

Bust — July/August 2019 

“With humor and passion for the subject, and supplemented by fascinating asides, Montell illuminates the significance of dozens of words and linguistic habits.” 

Cosmopolitan — 5/2/19

“After you devour it in one sitting, you can whip out facts from its fascinating pages to shut down mansplainers at parties.” 

Marie Claire — 7/5/19

“Funny yet informative, Amanda Montell's debut will teach you how to deal with catcallers, the history of curses and every gender biased insult in between.“ 

Harper’s Bazaar — 4/18/20

“Amanda Montell’s uproarious, whip-smart guide to destigmatizing gendered language ... [is] achingly relevant.” 

Popsugar — 5/20/19

Wordslut is a nonfiction entry that is equal parts brash and highly entertaining, taking a deep look at how gendered language shapes who we are."

CNN— 7/26/19 

“You may find yourself rethinking your word choices once you wrap up this nonfiction superstar.” 

HypeBae — 5/6/19

"Do yourself a favor and pick through chapters such as 'Women Didn’t Ruin the English Language—They, Like, Invented It' or 'How To Confuse a Catcaller (And Other Ways To Verbally Smash the Patriarchy)' before heading into a meeting, a weird conversation, school, or, you know, general life."

 

INTERVIEWS & PROFILES

Interview Magazine — Amanda Montell is One of Those (Occasionally High) Coffee Shop Writers

Salon — From Workplaces to Politics to Instagram Influencers, "Cultish" Language is Everywhere

BookPage Amanda Montell — Putting the 'cult' in culture

Literary Hub How—and Why—Americans Become Susceptible to the Toxic Allure of Cults

Parade Why Do People Join Cults? Linguist and Cultish Author Amanda Montell on the 'Invisible Power of Language'

Apartment Therapy — Author Amanda Montell’s LA Rental House Is a Little California Cottage-Core, a Bit ’70s Cult-y

New York Post Book Describes How Trendy Fitness Studios Use Cult-like Tactics to Attract Followers

Rewired.org — We’re All a Little ‘Cultish': How Cults Use Language to Influence People

The Mary SueCultish Author Amanda Montell Reveals Cult-Like Phenomena in Our Everyday Lives

Hello GigglesUptalk, vocal fry, and using the word "like" are signs you're linguistically savvy—this book proves why

HerCampusHow to Work at a Magazine All Day & Write a Book by Night, According to Amanda Montell

Women's Media CenterThis Author Explored the Concept of "Cultish"

 

PODCAST APPEARANCES

Conspirituality Podcast Learning Cultish with Amanda Montell

Just Between Us Linguist Amanda Montell, Keeping the Spark Alive, and Abortion

Stuff Mom Never Told You Feminism and The English Language with Wordslut

Betches Not Another True Crime Podcast — Wait… Am I In A Cult? Ft. Amanda Montell

Decoding the Gurus Interview With Amanda Montell on Cultish Linguistics

Gloss Angeles Is the Beauty Industry A Cult? Linguistically, Maybe

ScamWOW Cult Linguistics w/ Amanda Montell

IndoctriNationToo Cultish for Comfort w/ Amanda Montell

Feminist Book Club: The Podcast Amanda Montell, author of Wordslut

Vocal Fries Word Slut

Bad With Money Being Sold a Better You During COVID-19 with Amanda Montell

Fully Booked Amanda Montell

Permission to Speak How to Check Your Bias: Women’s Voices with Amanda Montell

Bossed Up Why The Term “Girl Boss” Isn’t As Empowering as You Think

 

BOOK EXCERPTS 

The Daily Beast (Cultish) Why Do We Believe In Cults? Hint: It's Not Brainwashing

Time Magazine (Wordslut) — Why Saying ‘Like’ a Lot Is Like, Actually a Good Thing 

Medium (Wordslut) A Cultural History of Feminine Nouns Turned Into Insults 

LitHub (Wordslut)On the Great Old White Guy Vocal Fry Panic of 2013

Amanda Montell
Photo: Katie Neuhof