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What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People Paperback – 7 Apr 2008


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What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People + Emotions Revealed: Understanding Faces and Feelings + The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to Read Others' Attitudes by Their Gestures
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1st Edition edition (7 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061438294
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061438295
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Whenever I'm teaching people about "body language," this question is invariably asked. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

408 of 429 people found the following review helpful By S. Warman on 18 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many things about this book irritated me.

For a start the first couple of chapters are mainly just trying to sell you the authors other services (conferences or whatever). Almost stopped reading at this point.

The next few chapters seem to be almost entirely about what you're going to learn from the book. I hate it when books do this because I've already bought it - you don't have to try and sell it to me. It's the same sort of thing as how in American TV shows they show you what's about to happen every 5 minutes. Just get on with it.

Secondly the way it's written is very ponderous and it tries hard to sound science-y in areas that are totally irrelevant.

Here is an extract to illustrate my point:

//"For millions of years, the feet and legs have been the primary means of locomotion for the human species. They are the principal means by which we have manoeuvred, escaped and survived. Since the time out ancestors began to walk upright across the grasslands of Africa, the human foot has carried us, quite literally, around the world... ...And while not as efficient at certain tasks as our hands (we lack an opposable big toe)..."//

It goes on like this for some time. This is great for those that have yet to realise what the lumps of meat on the ends of their legs are for but for the rest of us it's just pointless waffle that adds nothing to the book. It reads a lot like padding and without it I think this book would probably be about 100 pages long.

On the subject of trying to sound science-y the book has many references to other literature. Funnily some of them are references to other books by the author and books about the author which leads me to believe they're probably there more for show than anything else.
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188 of 203 people found the following review helpful By Martin Turner HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 July 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first body-language book I've read that actually made sense to me, and which I feel I can trust. Rather than being written by TV personalities, with frequent appeals to speculative science, this one is written by someone who used body language for his day job in life and death situations over an entire career. He introduces a bit of (well-established) science, lots of empirically gathered experimental results, in case you're interested, but, mainly, he's talking about stuff he has observed over years and years, and personally put to the test.

Not surprisingly, this book makes far fewer claims for body language than some of the others I looked at. Navarro is categorical that body language alone cannot tell you a person is lying, although he does give some clear advice on what to look for. Rather, he focuses on barriers, pacifiers and emphasis which, when combined with the right questions, can lead you to seeing what areas a person is uncomfortable about. He quickly dismisses some of the grand urban myths of body language, for example that a person who touches their nose is lying, and makes some very good points from his criminal justice background about the dangers of believing such notions.

I learned a huge amount from this book, and it altered my thinking about what body language is and does. I learned even more about what it isn't and doesn't.

Chuck the other books away -- this is the one to buy.
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177 of 195 people found the following review helpful By Be on 14 Jun 2008
Format: Paperback
I recently bought this book hoping to learn how to read and better understand the behavior of the business people and situations I come across daily in my work in finance. My hopes for this knowledge were SURPASSED as the guidance Mr. Navarro provides in this book is so practical and constructive you can start applying it immediately. I like his style of writing too - easy to follow, engaging with many real examples. I also found the pictures used throughout the book are very helpful in making a behavior memorable so I can look out for it as I go about my day, in and outside of work. I can see how this information could be applied to so many different jobs and situations, not just business and finance, and as such recommend it to anyone looking for more understanding about the behaviors of the people around them.

I'd give it more than 5 stars if I could, because it's already helping me as I apply what I've learnt.
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60 of 67 people found the following review helpful By D&D TOP 50 REVIEWER on 12 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Over the last decade I've read the books by Allan/Barbara Pease ("The Definitive Book Of Body Language" is the best of theirs); David Lieberman (in the end, I did not get a lot from his books which were not only disorganised but too much of his information could easily lead to getting false positives); and Paul Ekman (an academic who specialises in facial language - his video on reading facial microexpressions is very useful, as is "Lie to Me", the fascinating TV series based on his work).

There's benefit from reading most of the books on nonverbal language but this one is probably the most extensively field-tested and is also a good starter book, with lots of demonstration photos. The author began his sharp understanding of nonverbal language in the schoolroom when, as a young immigrant with little English, he identified what others felt about him from tiny changes around their eyes as he entered the room (slight eyebrow raise = friendly vs slight squint = unfriendly). He continually honed this natural gift over his decades in the FBI including many years of lecturing both FBI and police about body language.

The book has a whole-body approach that not only explains the what, why and how but also gives real-life examples; it is clearly organised from the most honest parts of the body to the least honest (essentially from the feet upwards), which provides a good flow. It repeatedly emphasises the importance of context and the need to compare any changes with the baseline or normal behaviour of the individual; the author confesses to still making mistakes and cautions against over-reliance on "tells".

The author provides background psychology behind many of our subconscious actions yet the book is easy to read and understand.
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