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How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday Paperback – April 15, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“How to Argue and Win Every Time is more than just a book about argument; it's the outline on how to live.” ―Larry king
“Gerry Spence is one of America's last true originals--a man who thinks as brilliantly as he lives, who writes as compellingly as he talks, and who practices law as faithfully as most people practice religion.” ―Dan Rather
- Publisher : St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (April 15, 1996)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0312144776
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312144777
- Item Weight : 12.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 0.84 x 9.28 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #54,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
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Very briefly; you have to prepare, you have to listen to the other, you have to understand the other, find common ground, and you have to be credible. Therefore you should not avoid emotions and your argument should be personal, and you must always be truthful. Our argument cannot be perceived as a threat or we will never be heard, and assault is not argument. He discusses how to deal with prejudice and hostility and tells us that sometimes losing is winning and sometimes an argument shouldn’t be made at all. He also mentions that telling personal stories is a good way of getting people to see things your way. In addition to advice and guidelines there’s also quite a bit of wisdom and personal opinions, some of which I agree with and some of which I don’t agree with.
One thing I object to is that he sometimes overextends his perspective. For example, there are arguments, or communications, which should avoid emotions and for which the people involved and even their perceived credibility should not matter. I am talking about peer review in natural science and mathematical discourse, which I see as the best path towards “truth”. In that case only the evidence matter and the data and mathematical derivations speak for itself. However, that is outside of his expertise, like so much else that is outside of his expertise. That’s why I titled my review “A Lawyer’s Perspective”.
That does not mean it is not a good book. The book is filled with useful insights and I learned a lot from the book. One of the things I learned from this book is that if I know a lot about a subject and I am arguing with someone who’s very misinformed but stubborn I must resist the temptation to be patronizing, or to crush them. My goal should be to inform them, not to make them hate me. That was just one of many examples of what I’ve learned reading this book. I highly recommend this book.
The author is an amazing writer, I found some great short stories, parables, allegory and metaphors but the content in regards with the theme of the book is not worth reading.
I like his Occam Razor approach however he could have shared at least some practical methods to improve how to argue.
For instance, you can argue a topic just based on knowing basic biases, no mention of that in this book.
The advice about kids is another thing I wouldn’t take from the author.
Your kids can have many friends but only one parent and that means you have to set certain rules in how things will work in your presence.
The author gives a broad suggestion based on his anecdotal experience.
Reading the book I get a sense that the author gives no weight to randomness and role it plays in ones life.
Save your time and read some of Cicero if you want to get good as orator or someone that can argue.
This book teaches nothing about how to win an argument, the only take way for me was that he made a good point that you have to practice a lot in order to get good, something everyone knows.
Full of insights for life, written in a clear, concise and yet aesthetic style. Certainly one of the best books I have ever read, and I do read a lot.
If you want to learn, think and feel deeply about new ideas, this book is for you.
Once we understand how to handle our weaknesses and use the power of higher moral ground, truth and integrity we become invincible.
Btw, if you simply want to learn about logical fallacies - get a school book. Simply knowing the logical fallacies didn't help him much in the court cases he tried. He is just cynical enough to convey the reality of life but is not fixated on it while providing all the tools to prepare you for the B.S. that gets thrown at you every day.
There's another book I know of that uses eastern philosophy and some martial arts techniques in dealing with problems - "Aikido in Everyday Life: Giving in to Get Your Way" by Terry Dobson and Victor Miller. In some ways the books are identical.
Top reviews from other countries
Mr. Spence has explained how our mind has been 'prejudiced' by the world and how those very prejudices work against us. He further goes on to explain the reasons of discord between the couples, parents-children and amongst other human relationships. He has given certain rules which alleviates our status, first in our own eyes; before the world acknowledges it. Personally, I was happy to know that in a world of deceit and deception, someone values honesty and integrity and even advocates for these values.
Personally, the last portion of the book was 'Enchanting'. Mr. Spence explains why world world functions in such an insensitive and lifeless manner, i.e. without any regard to human emotions and other values. Mr. Spence answers many of these questions. Something which has eluded me for several years.
I've read this book thrice (since buying it). Mr. Spence you have won a 'life-time admirer'.