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Publisher's Summary

A special edition of The Gift of Fear, with a new foreword by the author.

A stranger in a deserted parking lot offers to help carry a woman's groceries. Is he a good Samaritan, or is he after something else? A fired employee says "You'll be sorry". Will he return with a gun? After their first date, a man tells a woman it is their "destiny" to be married. What will he do when she won't see him again? A mother has an uneasy feeling about the nice babysitter she's just hired. Should she not go to work today?

These days, no one in America feels immune to violence. But now, in this extraordinary, groundbreaking book, the nation's leading expert on predicting violent behavior unlocks the puzzle of human violence and shows that, like every creature on earth, we have within us the ability to predict the harm others might do us and get out of its way. Contrary to popular myth, human violence almost always has a discernible motive and is preceded by clear warning signs.

Through dozens of compelling examples from his own career, Gavin de Becker teaches us how to read the signs, using our most basic but often most discounted survival skill - our intuition. The Gift of Fear is a remarkable, unique combination of practical guidance on leading a safer life and profound insight into human behavior.

©1997 Gavin de Becker; 2021 Gavin de Becker (P)2021 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about The Gift of Fear

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Good Until The Afterword

Excellent book all the way through and up until the Afterword, where de Becker goes on a leftist political rant against guns. As with any product, safe use has always, is always, and will always rest in the hands of the user. Guns simply do not kill or injure people. People kill and injure people with guns, cars, knives, fists, rope, etc. According to him, he would advocate for forcing all kitchen knives to include technology that hides the blade until the safety release is pressed...or rope that coils so tightly on its own that it can only be useful once the safety button is pressed to unfurl it in hand. Clearly, none of these ridiculous measures can prevent misuse, which is why it's important for our society to return to the days of holding individuals accountable for their behaviors, not the items they misuse. Items don't misuse themselves. People misuse items. Therefore, people, not items, are to be held accountable. It's simple, but despite an entire book full of immensely helpful information, the author takes a sudden, uncharacteristically ignorant and obtuse vector at the very end that ruins his respectability and credibility. Go ahead and listen to this book, but do yourself a huge favor and don't bother listening to the Afterword.

11 people found this helpful

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Must Read for women of all ages!🌟

My sister told me this was a good book, but what I found was that it is so much more. This is an essential book. Reading it has had a profound impact on how I view the potential to predict threats. It cannot simply be summed up as the need to always remain vigilantly suspicious of your surroundings and the habits and behaviors of all people you encounter. That would be exhausting and lead to a life filled with anxious foreboding. Rather, it provides training on consistent behaviors, patterns and language of others to be alerted to. It explains the value, relevance and, most importantly, the signs of REAL fear. This book should be required reading for all women.

6 people found this helpful

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One of the most interesting books ever.

This has been one of the most interesting books I have ever listened to. It touches on dark stories and violence, so be prepared.

6 people found this helpful

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Everyone needs to listen!

I’d like to start off by saying this version of The Gift of Fear was updated in 2021. It’s a phenomenal book and I really feel like everyone could gain knowledge from reading/listening.

5 people found this helpful

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Absolute Must Read

Many books are entertaining or informative…but very few can be classified as “life changing.” The Gift of Fear is without question a life changing must read. Gavin is brilliant and has the unique ability translate complex physiology and psychology into easily digestible prose. I’ve read the book twice, but hearing it dictated from the author himself adds an even deeper level of context. Everyone…and I mean everyone can benefit from this book.

3 people found this helpful

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Profoundly impactful

This book was mentioned in a true crime podcast that I had listened to: ‘Stalked’
Every woman should read / listen to this book. It changed my awareness of my senses. I am so much more attentive to the subtle nuances of potential danger, but also, it made me think about my unfounded fears in a clear sober way! Thank you Gavin de Becker!

3 people found this helpful

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Fascinating!!! A MUST read

Every single aspect of this book is fascinating. My adult daughter recently went through a horrific situation. She was trafficked and horribly abused and tortured. After spending 2 months in the hospital with her while she recovered physically (mostly) it was heart breaking to realize just how deep mentally this experience goes and how although eventually the physical wounds will heal, leaving terrible scars all over her body, the mental aspect will take years and years of therapy for her to be able to cope with what was done to her.
There were warning signs. I felt them but could not force an adult to make a different choice. She suffered greatly. The person who did this is in jail and will likely plea out. She almost killed my daughter. Literally. Anyway, this book opened my eyes so much. Thank you Gavin, I will share this book with every woman I know. I already have my sister reading it.

1 person found this helpful

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this book should be mandatory

the speaking was good, the material updated and relevant. the content, however, should be an absolute mandatory read for everyone on earth.

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Validation beyond belief

This book was impossible to put down. I’m Beyond blown away by how this book mirrored the way I’ve thought inside my head. Similarly to the author I’ve had childhood trauma, and wondered why we can’t teach prevention of violence. I’m excited to start his second book protecting the fear. In a world that markets off of violence and scare tactics this is beyond helpful to stay centered and trust oneself.

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I'm recommending this to everyone I know

Every aspect of this audiobook was wonderful. The book is full of great information, clearly and interestingly presented. The narration was excellent. I particularly liked getting to hear the recent additions from the author and was impressed at how he had adapted the book for audio as well as for the modern age.

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  • Mrs. Edgar
  • 02-19-22

Very insightful and informative

All women should read this book, I found it so informative that I bought a hard copy too

2 people found this helpful

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  • Naz
  • 01-30-22

Authors' Dangerous Misconception

The interpretation of primal signals are dangerous, and lots of dangerous interpretations from the author.

2 people found this helpful

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  • R. Young
  • 05-26-22

A must read!

Thank you. This book was recommended by Martha Beck, so grateful to her and to Gavin De Becker for sharing his wisdom.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-05-22

Ironically extremely relaxing

This book is truly enlightening and gives you the perspective of women in a non preachy talking down to you manner, but the primary take away is the identification of real fear and realising irrational anxiety, if you have social anxiety or panic attacks over nonsense this book will help immensely and give you real self confidence.

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  • Tania Ras-Devereux
  • 03-24-22

Must for your seldefence toolbox

Specific, very valuable information on how to spot and avoid unhealthy relationships. Recommended for every woman and girl in your self preservation toolbox.