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The Definitive Book of Body Language Hardcover – July 25, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"When Allan and Barbara Pease write, I read. And underline. And learn. And laugh. And steal. The Definitive Book of Body Language is a marvel of a book!"—Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence and Re-Imagine!

About the Author

Allan Pease has written eleven other bestselling books on the subject of human communication and body language, including, with Barbara Pease, Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps and Why Men Don’t Have a Clue and Women Always Need New Shoes.

Barbara Pease is CEO of Pease Training International and the author of the international bestseller Memory Language. She divides her time between England and Australia, trying to find her way home from the airport.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (July 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553804723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553804720
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (461 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

382 of 422 people found the following review helpful By T. Hooper on January 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book introduces body language from the point of view of business executives. The authors specialize in the use of body language for business and politics. I found the illustrations and photos that accompany the text to be very funny and appropriate. This is not a very scholarly book, so if you're looking for a very serious and academic book about the study of body language, then this isn't the volume you're looking for, but if you'd just like an introduction to body language from a practical point of view, then this is a perfect book to read. In addition, it is very easy and entertaining to read, so I can recommend this to anyone.
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272 of 306 people found the following review helpful By Dirk J. Willard on September 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating book! What I liked most were the many illustrations demonstrating the authors' points throughout the book. Read the text though--there is so much more to this book. The author's sense of humor, though a little dry, added entertainment to an already enlightening read. I especially liked the courtship section. It is amazing that women send signals an average of 5 times before the men they are interested in respond. It just shows you how dense we men are. I found it unsettling that if you are interested in another woman at a party, the woman you are with will pick up your signal is a New York minute. And, if another woman starts flirting with you from across a room, the woman you are with will send recognizable body language to the other female: "hands off, he's mine--you're looking at trouble."

After reading this book, I guess I will never go into another meeting without subconsciously, or consciously, trying to recall the lessons in this book. I hope someone in the Harvard business school considers teaching this text in a course.

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160 of 184 people found the following review helpful By G. Chang on May 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I became interested in a body language book after hearing about it from my prof in grad school. The title of this book made me think that it was a "definitive" or "complete" book, but it was not.

What's good about this book is that it is written from the perspective of experienced salesmen. That is very good in itself (you're paying to learn from their expertise). They cover common body language signs and explain what they usually mean. They also give practical advise on learning/reading body language for many different kinds of settings (business, dating, etc). In other words, this book is very practical and easy to read. I did learn new things about body language by reading this book. However, it did not cover some things that are important from a more purely psychological or medical point of view (such as psychomotor agitation, etc).

What I hated about this book:
1) It is loaded with questionable scientific information. The experiments were not really experiments, and the authors use scientific names and information like pharm reps would. I noticed use of weasel words and lots of sketchy information to "sell" their ideas. That is what made me lower my rating the most. It cheapened the feel of the book and made the reading less enjoyable. (-2 stars)

2) It contains extraneous information, such as sections on why laughing is good for your health. I also got annoyed at how much of the beginning of the book was dedicated to scientific information when none of them are clearly qualified or well-informed on the subject.

3) It is ultimately NOT a book that's purely on body language. Read it and you'll see why. They should add a subtitle or change the title. (-1 star)
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Wilmington on March 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have read and enjoyed Allan and Barbara Pease's other bestsellers Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps and Why Men Lie and Women Cry: How to Get What You Want Out of Life by Asking and therefore was really looking forward to reading this book. It was quite a disappointment. Half of the body language described seems perfectly obvious to me. Some of the explanations were useful, but others were dubious or downright mistaken.

It didn't start well when on page 7 the caption under Schwarzenegger showing the thumb up explained that it meant five in Japan, which is utterly false. I can forgive one mistake, but not dozens, and the book is filled with them. Here are other examples.

On p. 18-19, the authors say that shaking the head from side to side to indicate 'no' is universal. Are they forgetting that in India it means 'yes' ? Over one billion people is not a minor exception.

On p. 20, under the title Universal Gestures, the first example is the shoulder shrug to show that a person doesn't know or doesn't understand. In France it means that the person doesn't care or that it can't be helped. Perhaps their meaning of universal is not the one universally understood by English speakers ?

On p. 109-110, they say that figures E and F are insults in Japan, and figure L means 5 in Japan and 1 in (continental) Europe. None of that is true.

On the next page, under 'Why We are All Becoming American', they say that the middle finger raised is originally an American insult that became adopted in other countries because of American TV and movies.
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