BOOK REVIEW: THE SILENT LANGUAGE

Created: 6/1/1959

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

HISTORICALRELEASE IN FIR

STUDIES IN

INTELLIGENCE

A coBedron of articles on the historical, operational, doctrinal, and theoretical aspects ol intelligence.

All statements of Tact, opinion or analysis expressed in Studies in Intelligence are those of

the authors. They do not necessarily refleci official positions or views of the Ccniral Intelligence Agency or any other US Government entity, past or present. Nothing in the coniems should be construed as asserting or implying US Government endorsement of an amcle's (actual statements and interpretations.

pi

Recent Boofci

THE SILENT LANOUAQE. By Edward T. Hall. (New York Doubleday. )

Practically everyone In and out of government Is lull ol ideas for practical steps toS representatives abroad more effective Dr. Hall's book seeks toheoretical basis for these practical efforts, to the extent that they are directed toward minimising the reaction that takes place when one moves Into the areaoreign culture. Some people have chosen to call thiscultureall explains it as the "removal or distortion of many of the familiar cues one encounters at home and the substitution for them of other cues which areroceeding from thethat "most people's difficulties with each other can be traced to distortions Inhe Stlent"treats culture in its entiretyorm ofas it seeks to outlineheory or cultureheory of how culture came Into being" and to present "the technical tools for probing the secrets of culture."

The author isosition to know what he is writing about. He Is an anthropologist who has travelled and worked abroad to develop principles and concepts forow to be more effective. He has done suchin the State' Department, the Strategic Intelligence.-School, and elsewhere. He now makes this subject his

The study points out basic differences in languages and ways of speaking, but emphasizes the actions which speak louder than words, and particularly the kind of conununlcatlon that takes place "out ofThist says, "that there are significant portions of the personality that exist

Recent Sootl

out of one's own awareness but which are there for*everyone else to see may seem frightening. The point, however,rucial one and will grow in importance as men begin to grasp its implications" Another subtle complication In theprocess of particular significance for anyone who anticipates service abroad is brought out in elaborating the fact that "people reared in different cultures learn to learn differently."

Some readers may not be persuaded of the validity of the author's conceptual construction. His time, space, and order as communications media seem unnecessarily abstruse. His "map of culture" may be over-billed asathematics ofis classification of behavior patterns as formal, informal, and technical Ls an rflort toward unattainableHereat many wordspecialised sense when it seemsarden variety of meaning would serve the purpose just as well.

But dissatisfactions such as these only serve to point up Dr. Hall's own contention that there is much work to be done in this Held The understanding of foreign cultures is critical to intelligence operations and to mteUigence analysis andonsiderable contribution of new thinking as The Silent Language makes can but stimulate more progress toward this understanding.

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA