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--This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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How to Speak How to Listen + How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (A Touchstone book)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Touchstone Ed edition (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684846470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684846477
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 3.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''[Adler] offers us both a fascinating theoretical analysis of oral communication and practical tips derived from his long years of experience. This book will be appreciated by anyone who ever has to get up before an audience and speak.'' --Chicago Tribune --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

About the Author

Mortimer J. Adler was Chairman of the Board of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Director of the Institute for Philosophical Research, and Honorary Trustee of the Aspen Institute. He authored more than fifty books.

More About the Author

Mortimer Jerome Adler (December 28, 1902 - June 28, 2001) was an American philosopher, educator, and popular author. As a philosopher he worked within the Aristotelian and Thomistic traditions. He lived for the longest stretches in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and San Mateo. He worked for Columbia University, the University of Chicago, Encyclopædia Britannica, and Adler's own Institute for Philosophical Research. Adler was married twice and had four children.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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He writes so clearly and you understand the subject perfectly.
Patricia debernardi
Adler's book on speaking and listening will prepare you to have a proper conversation with others.
Stan Faryna
"Truly great books ... are the few books that are over everybody's head all of the time."
Philip Vassallo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

128 of 132 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 1996
Format: Paperback
This is the best book, bar none, that I have ever seen on this subject. Adler takes some of the classical Greek writers ideas about persuasive speaking and "updates" them, makes them more understandable, and provides concrete illustrations of how it is done. He helps you to better grasp the process of outlining, and provides an example of a speech he had given that employs the "methodology" of the text. Very readable, very insightful
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170 of 181 people found the following review helpful By Edward Jenkins on June 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was hoping that this would be the only book I would need as a guide to developing my knowledge and skill as a public speaker. Rather, the book is about the oral communication process in all contexts. Thus delivering prepared speeches, in particular the lecture, was just one element of it. There is considerable emphasis on the listening component--rightfully so, given that Adler argues that listening well is the component of verbal communication that is the most difficult to learn and teach, and hence the most lacking. The book is a companion to Adler's "How to Read a Book", and in fact there are numerous references to it. Although the book turned out to be something different than I had hoped, I nevertheless found it beneficial. It is packed with helpful ideas and guidelines on speaking and listening in various contexts. I also enjoyed reading the book because it helped me to improve my vocabulary, which is one of the side benefits of reading any book by Adler. He is truly a fine teacher.
A few of the key points include: Silent listening vs. active listening, Guidelines for note-taking, Several do's and don'ts of effective conversation, and Instructive speech vs. persuasive speech
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Philip Vassallo on December 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mortimer J. Adler's "How to Speak How to Listen" makes several instructive points for the practical person seeking a theoretical framework as well as the novice professional speaker and meeting participant. These suggestions also connect well to writing at work.

Adler suggests an order for introducing into a presentation Aristotle's time-tested tripartite of persuasion as follows: ethos (credibility), pathos (emotion), and logos (logic). In addition, he examines two indispensable considerations of speech preparation, once again borrowing from Greek: taxis (the structure) and lexis (the language).

Some of his observations are memorable:

"Always risk talking over (your audience's) heads."

"Truly great books ... are the few books that are over everybody's head all of the time."

In speeches, "On the one hand, the language employed and the sentences constructed should be clear without being plain. On the other hand, they should have a certain elevation above the ordinary without being obscure."

"The most prevalent mistake that people make about both listening and reading is to regard them as passively receiving rather than actively participating."

"To disagree before you understand is impertinent. To agree is inane."
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67 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Gaw on July 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
Adler is obviously a very learned man and a very successful teacher. I found his argument that listening and speaking were critical skills left ignored by most educational institutions to be very well structured, and, as confirmed by my own experiences, very accurate.
That said, I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book and found it a long treatise on oral communications in society rather than a practical book on self-improvement.
I did find parts of it valuable, but the aggregate of these parts were only a fraction of the 7+ running hours. I probably would have been more pleased with the paper book version that I could skim, pick and choose.
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By Lois Belle on April 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very helpful for class. Listening is an art. I would recommend this book to everyone . Fast food drive through window associates need to read this book. I would recommend this book to everyone that has to associate with people in all areas of life.
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By Reader in NC on March 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
I must have missed something - I have always heard of what a great thinker Mortimer Adler was and wanted to read his books. I got part of the way into this one and was very perplexed - it seemed to be just truisms that anyone would know. It was clearly written but so simple it almost seemed condescending. I'm sure all the other positive reviews must have found something I missed.
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By Joan A Cable on March 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an good addition to How to Read a Book. There are many good ideas for helping students learn to speak and listen.
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By Timothy Ede-Abel on December 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent piece he wrote here. Speaking for me has become a lot easier and faster. I no longer fidget while preparing to speak. And I don't stumble in my course of speeches anymore.
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