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Conversation: How Talk Can Change Our Lives Hardcover – 1 Jan 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 103 pages
  • Publisher: HiddenSpring; 1 edition (1 Jan 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587680009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587680007
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 13.6 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 405,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
"It's good to talk," says British Telecom's advertisement. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Judy Barber on 2 Sep 2007
Format: Hardcover
A deceptively simple little book that is a reminder that conversation is an ART. We can develop this art and it is essential that we do. This book is empowering and inspiring.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Villachilla on 20 Jan 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you're not very good at conversation (like myself) buy this book. I've found a great way to start a conversation is to talk to people about conversation. It's not a how to book but a great piece of thinking simply written.
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By nosheen brohi on 20 Jan 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a really interesting book. It brings one's awareness to the content of conversation. It was also poetically written. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Little real content other than saying conversation is good , slightly repetitive and no insight into how to improve one's conversations
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyed the book and the NPR radio show as well 15 Nov 2000
By Mesmer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Zeldin explains his intentions of writing this book to stimulate conversion. It certainly has done this in my life. I have discussed this book with people who have not read it. Passionate conversation has resulted.
I have learned quite a bit about myself from this book. For example, I learned I am an elocutionist. Zeldin points out in a historic account that elocutionists focus more on the form (proper grammar/style) rather than depth in conversation. I may now overcome some prejudices I have when people fall out of form.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating ideas he presents is that conversation with like minded people can become boring. Upon learning this I went straight to someone with conflicting views and had an argument with them. The emotions that came from that conversation were overwhelming and appreciated by both of us. I have the book to thank for this.
36 prints of artwork that are similar to what you see on the cover are contained within the pages. I also have enjoyed discussing this art with people.
The book fulfills its promise to stimulate conversation. I highly recommend this quick read to anyone interested in the dynamics of conversation, even if you are shy or quiet.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
disappointing lack of practical suggestions 22 May 2001
By Ellen Etc. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully produced small hardcover on glossy paper to include the author's provocative marbleized drawings. The author was described by the Independent on Sunday (London) as "one of the forty world figures whose iseas are likely to have a lasting relevance to the new millennium," and is a member of the BBC Brains Trust, the British Academy, and the European Academy. So what's the problem? Maybe I'm just not smart enough to get it, but this book seemed insubstantial to me. "We need a new conversation," Zeldin repeats, new ways of talking with each other within and about work, love, technology, family, but the proposals and examples never come. He's studied conversation, and had innumerable conversations with people all over the world, but how would one characterize these as "new" or "old"? Unfortunately, the book does not live up to the promise of its subtitle.
The final chapter, "How Conversation Encourages the Meeting of Minds," on providing hospitality to strangers to enrich the family dialogue, and the 36 conversational topics at the end, were the most practical of the book. But a book I had looked forward to giving as a gift fell short of my hopes for stimulating thought and community through conversation.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
better than I expected 25 Nov 2002
By Yvonne Caruthers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I heard about this book on an old radio interview with the author, Mr. Zeldin. I was impressed enough to buy the book. I think the ideas in the book are way ahead of our times, which is why I'd like to recommend it to everyone. It's a fast read, you can get through it in an afternoon easily. But the ideas are as profound as those in A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I'm sure I'll read this book over and over at odd times.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Our Potentiality! 31 Mar 2001
By Diane Patterson Massad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
With this book, Theodore Zeldin reminds us that the thoughts we translate from electrical charges spurting about our craniums into lines of airborne vibrations named WORDS are so powerful. Each composition of sentence can serve as a tool to 'change the world'. This potentiality gives 'gift' to our listener as it gives 'gift' to us. Such potentiality allow transcending the moment of NOW into the sphere of CHANGE. Zeldin's brief historical study of conversation reminds us of the opportunity to affect another person: at mind/soul level. Our thoughts truly are 'tools' to teach others. The randomness of prattle is urged to be replaced by the potent and influential weight of words that may register on the inner recording devices of another human. In that considered act (forming sentences of worth) one learns/relearns the value of Jesus implied when he said "whenever two or more of you are gathered together, there I am with you also." Do slip this book into your hands and those of your language intimates! It will yield the deepened relationships for which we ALL yearn (marriages included).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful sensory combinations 14 Dec 2006
By Dr. Ronald Fountain - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
First, I love Zeldin's manner of thinking. His intellect connects amazingly well with reality! What a joy and an exception. This book is suprisingly powerful in its combination of insight and simplicity. You will find yourself saying over and over, "I knew that!" but in a way that indicates you didn't know it in the way Zeldin just said it. A MAJOR added benefit of this work is the collection of color plates, paintings by Zeldin that he uses so well to illustrate his verbal points of connection. The colors are amazing and the connections are right on. Superb!
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