I might or might not have more to say about this one later. I hate to recommend it, but you're probably better off knowing that these people (Ayn Ran I might or might not have more to say about this one later. I hate to recommend it, but you're probably better off knowing that these people (Ayn Rand called them "second-handers") exist, and being wise to their tricks. As the authors are moral relativists ("the end justifies the means" is a recurrent theme in the book), I doubt either of them would mind if you stole a copy, or purchased a stripped-cover edition at a local flea market.
Like _The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion_, _Get People to Do What You Want_ is stunningly unoriginal. Its value lies in being a compendium of the vile-but-effective. To reiterate, none of the material is new. If ever you've dated a narcissistic drama-queen, you've probably been the recipient of every trick in this book. The same applies if you've ever been screwed by a commissioned financial adviser, or simply been shaken down by the school bully, or ostracized by the "cool club" for belonging to the "wrong" race, ethnicity, religious persuasion, or socioeconomic group. The psychology is a mishmash of thievery. Bandler and Grinder, Haden-Elgin, Perls, Satir, et al., are stripped and left shivering (and uncredited) on the roadside. Not a footnote in the entire book, and no bibliography. The tone is that of an angry, MMC boderliner who finally differentiated himself by --well, by joining a dangerous, badass outfit that (I never said logic was his strong suit) does the bidding of the "cool club" that once rejected him. I salute you, sir. Thou art vindicated, O knight perilous! LOL!
On a more serious note, only David Brooks's _BoBos in Paradise_ surpasses it as a first-hand account of the inner workings of the antisocial mind. This, incidentally, limits _GPTDWYW's_ long-term value. In an increasingly narcissistic and sociopathic culture, Hartley's "dark secrets" are rapidly becoming the norm. Do you want to be free of that inconvenient baby? Apply the "Landrum Factor" and your "paring options" by tossing it into a dumpster on a freezing night. Do you want to obtain another country's resources without paying for them? Apply "the dynamic of bonding." In the author's own words: "...give [the dupes] a common enemy. Find one or create one." (And in this respect, the author knows whereof he speaks. Among the credentials he boasts is that of interrogator in Uncle Sammy's miserably failed "war on terror." Unfortunately, he's too historically illiterate -- or too solipsistic -- to understand that his "strategies" guarantee long-term failure. As evidence, I submit his confusion on pp. 24-25. "...the Western world needs a different approach for a new enemy. The effect of the current system is to strengthen the self-image of the jihadists and take away any chance the interrogator has to broker anxiety by demonstrating his understanding of the terrorists' feelings of personal extinction."
LOL! Where to start with that one? By and large, the Western world has *made* an enemy by applying Hartley's tactics on a grand scale since petroleum was discovered in the (non-Ottoman, mind you) Islamic hinterlands. To the "terrorists" (pardon my cynical chuckle -- I'm of Irish descent. ) Hartley and his kind are the legionaries of the current system. Does this occur to the man who prides himself upon knowing his prey? Apparently not. And how, pray tell, does the inquisitor lose his chance to "broker anxiety" when his victims face *only* personal extinction? The assertion echoes B.F. Skinner's _Walden II_ in its single-minded, anti-scientific thoughtlessness: "Behave, damn you! Behave as you ought!"
I'll cut this review short. The shower beckons...
I've mentioned the thievery, have I not? Hartley (and his ghost-writer, ueber-Bobo Maryann Karinch) are transparent as glass: gub'mint and corporate. Short-sighted and fractured, both embody the Randian concept of "selfishness without a self." Newton admitted that he stood on the shoulders of giants. Neither Hartley nor Karinch rises to that level of humility -- with predictable results. Both are failures, parasites, predators, scavengers. And both are desperate for recognition. As evidence, I submit their groundless boasts -- in their own words.
"...discover how to win people over. You will gain an upper hand in your interaction with others that translates into higher starting salaries, greater productivity, and better relationships in which you are never the victim."
Note that bargaining, value for value, is out of the question. Ditto the simple pleasure of enjoying another person for who he/she is -- "warts and all." Why earn companionship when you can "win people over"? Why seek companionship, when you can "gain an upper hand"? And whence this "greater productivity"? Nothing in the book suggests self-cultivation or self-knowledge. The unfortunate reader is left to conclude that "greater productivity" is a euphemism for "vampirism." Bear this in mind.
"Gregory Hartley's *expertise*... *earned him honors*...Hartley has an *illustrious* military record, including *earning* the *prestigious* Knowlton Award... Yeah, fine. Torquemada's expertise earned him honors, as well. The underlying and overlying reality, though, is that neither Hartley nor Torquemada ever produced anything of enduring value - to anyone. Note, Gentle Reader, that Hartley is not a General.
More later. My wife just came in from work. Suffice to say that unlike a tax-paid army torturer, I have to work for my living -- and to maintain my social relationships. Remind me of this, BTW. Like Douglas MacArthur or a stubborn cough, I shall return. :-)