REVIEW: How to Argue and Win Every Time ~ Gerry Spence ~ St. Martin Press ~ Persuasion/Psychology

Title: How to Argue and Win Every Time
Author: Gerry Spence
Website of Author:
Website of Publisher:
Genre: Persuasion/Psychology
Publication date: April 15, 1996
ISBN-10: 0312144776 ; also, ISBN-13: 978-0312144777
Length: 307 pages
Format: Hardcover
Reviewer: Lucille P Robinson

This is more of a testimonial than a review. I feel deeply about the attitudes portrayed between the covers of this book. I bought the book ages ago and I'm now 63 years old. I've had the book all these years and not looked inside. The first time I tried reading it, it sounded like it would be one of those hard to read/hard to understand law books or college thesis type of stuff, so I laid it aside. But I love books so much that when I get one I'm determined to keep it until I read it. This was the case with How to Argue and Win Every Time.

I can only say that I regret so much not having read the book when I first bought it. The insights could have helped me with all my relationships down through the years. Here are some of the things I regret not learning way back there:

1) I learned I wasn't always losing an argument when I backed off. All my life I've loved peace and quiet and never relished the idea of confrontations. Hated to face off and preferred to just walk away. I could have walked away with more dignity had I read this book way back yonder.

2) I found out how to keep my kids from hating me and get more understanding from them. My kids grew up okay, but they could have been reared with a better handle on coping with adulthood and business than what they turned out being.

3) I learned my marriage didn't have to hit the rocks. Nope, I didn't get a divorce because I've always believed 'until death do us part' and believe that when a person makes a vow, that vow must be kept. The Bible says,
"It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not pay."
You'll always be held accountable for it. Yet, had I learned some of these attitudes back then, my marriage would have been better.

4) There are many other truths—I believe they are truths—in this book that will help parents understand their children and lighten up. I think the problem driving parents harder than anything else is the fear of failure as parents and that this failure will surely show up in their children as poor behavior, bad habits, and crime.

5) Yes, I've tried his methods outlined in this book and they work with my children and husband. From here on out, I'm determined to keep in mind these things Mr. Spence has tried to tell the world and make some changes in my own attitudes because of his writings. I've always prided myself in being able to look at another's problems and the way they've worked through them, and learn lessons that way rather than the hard way. Although I will admit I haven't always been successful.

This book contains a Contents page and an Index for ease in use. There is no need to read from page 1 to page 307, but if you don't you're missing a lot. My recommendations concerning who should read this book are: those in government in Washington, D.C., governors and mayors of every state and city, esp. school board organizations world-wide, every parent and would-be parent, and every child old enough to read.

Author Bio:

I could list all kinds of great things about Gerry Spence here, but you can go to his website to read all of that. I find Mr. Gerry Spence one of the best psychologists I've heard speak in a long time. I find him contrary to the most popular view of lawyers around my home town. I find him knowledgeable in those things that concern me: family, friends, co-workers, and others—even my neighbors. Read his bio on his website and you'll find that he has enough credits on his name to cover all of these boasts I've made.

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