A slow moving book of repressed tension. Toibin seems to truly inhabit and humanize his chosen grand subject of Henry James, while demonstrating the sA slow moving book of repressed tension. Toibin seems to truly inhabit and humanize his chosen grand subject of Henry James, while demonstrating the same restrained respect and tact that James would exhibit himself. I think he did a remarkable job of bringing a difficult and reclusive character to life. There were certainly many moments when I felt that the poor guy was repressed to the point of absurdity, but I enjoyed the author's ability to find a way of balancing and slowly releasing tensions....more
Fun book to give you the ground level view of the application of economics. I felt like it lost some of it's "wow" factor when it got mired in the natFun book to give you the ground level view of the application of economics. I felt like it lost some of it's "wow" factor when it got mired in the nature v. nurture statistics, as well as racial educational statistics. None of that stuff was very thought-provoking (to me), but I did enjoy the sumo wrestler and cheating teacher revelations. ...more
I was a little hesitant to pick up this book, being as that it is classified under self-help/motivational, but I figured that it wouldn't hurt to haveI was a little hesitant to pick up this book, being as that it is classified under self-help/motivational, but I figured that it wouldn't hurt to have a bit of management philosophy reinforcement under my belt. It's funny to think of high power corporate execs reading this book and taking notes about how to be deeper people. But there is indeed quite a bit of food for thought contained in this book, and it is well worth perusing, even if much of its framing must be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, the author seems to be firmly grounded in the 1950s, even as he communicates deeply spiritual and emotional insights. As an example, he feels the need to refer to dealing with other people's feelings as making deposits into their "Emotional Bank Accounts".
I also had to force myself to gloss over overtly Christian propagandizing sections in the book, as well as ignore instigations by the author to write a personal mission statement or a family mission statement (useful exercises, perhaps, but c'mon). I also had to ignore the frequent dated references in the book to the superiority of the Japanese business ethic.
Basically, the author does a great job of stating some deep thoughts about how to be more self-disciplined, principle centered, and motivated to develop, and he does it in an as structured and formal manner as possible to make it palatable to results-oriented businessmen. For those of us who have already spent a good deal of their lives looking within themselves for guidance, it is at the very least a good reminder of where our priorities should lay.
I found the book useful personally in that rather than strengthening my resolve to be a mindless cog in the machine of my employer, it actually strengthened my resolve to pay more attention to my own personal values and what gives me joy outside of work, and to begin to seek to transition into a new field of work where I can gain more time to devote to those areas.
There are plenty of "aha!" moments, in addition to a few "ugh" moments. As I said, take it with a grain of salt, and soak up the wisdom that there is to be conveyed by Mr. Covey....more
This was a fun read, and I appreciated the insight into the politics, history, and culture behind different nations' soccer clubs. I didn't find the "This was a fun read, and I appreciated the insight into the politics, history, and culture behind different nations' soccer clubs. I didn't find the "theory of globalization" aspect of the book very well annunciated or explicit, but thinking about it a little more, I think I appreciate that he doesn't streamline his subject matter to make pat points or ideological generalizations. I just liked learning more about my favorite sport. I found the chapter on the "American culture wars" especially enlightening; to be honest, I had no idea that soccer was so reviled by a certain segment of American society. My theory has been that Americans don't like soccer simply because there's no room for commercial breaks! Fun read, well-written, highly recommended for soccer fans....more
I found McPherson's insights, particularly in the first and eighth chapters, relevant and exciting. I felt this book helped me to begin to connect theI found McPherson's insights, particularly in the first and eighth chapters, relevant and exciting. I felt this book helped me to begin to connect the vision of the Founding Fathers to the Civil Rights movement via the shifts that occurred during the Civil War.
That said, this is a compilation of various essays, rather than a unitary book, and I felt like some of the themes that are latent throughout could have better been interwoven otherwise.
"The Civil War taught us that establishing a meaningful definition of national liberty means sacrificing some individuality for the betterment of a collective good. This is a sacrifice that many of us today seem unwilling to make. And it makes one wonder—what will be the next divisive battle that we will need to fight to transform our democratic republic into a nation that will be worthy of our grandchildren?"