A passionate defense of ambition and a challenge to those who misunderstand or misuse it.




A debut spiritual treatise focuses on the nature of ambition.

Ambition has been labeled a conspicuous evil in modern times, a source of corruption and overreach, a sin to be fought rather than a virtue to be embraced. In his book, Timbo argues that this is a fundamental misreading of a key element of the human psyche. “Ambition is not the problem,” he writes. “The problem lies in the nature or character of the individuals who use that good thing within them solely to achieve their carnal goals; gun violence, prostitution, corruption in government and business, deception, adultery, and more.” In addition to this personal perversion of the qualities of ambition, the author identifies another significant danger: mediocrity. He characterizes this as an addiction, no different to the personality than snake venom to the body, and it’s in this context that Timbo writes that mediocrity is the ultimate thwarting of ambition. The author urges his readers to defeat this weakness and climb out of their own personal pit in order to achieve greatness, which they may not be able to see but that is calling to them all the same (“Life has a way of sometimes helping us get a taste of our destiny”).  An appealing narrative of motivational encouragement emerges from this broader discussion of ambition and mediocrity. Timbo sees his readers’ ambitions as the key to their success at overcoming challenges: “If your original situation is a mess or dysfunctional, you were not born into it to be it. You were born into it to change it.” The crucial questions at the heart of the author’s short, energetic manifesto are disarmingly simple: What is your character? Armed with ambition, will you succumb to the many evils Timbo explains, or will you use it to overcome mediocrity and reach your full potential? Readers who have felt the pull of ambition and perhaps distrusted it should find some intriguing reading here.

A passionate defense of ambition and a challenge to those who misunderstand or misuse it.

Pub Date: June 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5255-2407-3

Page Count: 180

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2018

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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