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A heartfelt memoir and an urgent demand for higher standards of juvenile mental health care.

A once-institutionalized psychiatric patient exposes a flawed, corrupt system.

Now in his early 50s, Lyon, a backpacking guide and instructor, was an ordinary kid, torn between divorced parents who lived in different states and didn’t know what to do with him. “My life wasn’t perfect. I still missed California,” he writes. “But settling in Dallas was better than being bounced from house to house like an unwanted package.” His parents’ solution was to move the understandably disaffected kid into a psychiatric facility for a few weeks, only to watch as a few weeks turned into a year. As the author notes, the standard mode of treatment was to force the teenager to sit in a chair day in and day out, the better to ponder the error of his youthful ways. Lyon serves up sharp portraits of his wardens, from the bureaucratic head who placed him in the worst unit in the place to the supposed therapist who imposed one meaningless punishment after another. Placed in a halfway house, he confronted what passed for the real world—and eventually won a legal judgment for psychiatric malpractice, a short-lived victory that preceded a series of spirit-killing defeats. “I hated being the poster boy for psychiatry gone wrong,” he writes; still, he did much to expose that malfeasance then, just as he does in these well-considered pages. One feels for Lyon as he describes coping with inconceivably terrible loss. Years later, he learned the true, and truly indefensible, reason for his having been confined in the first place. The author, who went on to become an outdoor guide, is also gracious about his difficult life, writing, meaningfully, “today is a very different place than I ever could have imagined.”

A heartfelt memoir and an urgent demand for higher standards of juvenile mental health care.

Pub Date: June 4, 2024

ISBN: 9780593657133

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Open Field

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work,” writes Meyer, a professor at INSEAD, an international business school. Yet they face a wider array of work styles than ever before in dealing with clients, suppliers and colleagues from around the world. When is it best to speak or stay quiet? What is the role of the leader in the room? When working with foreign business people, failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to frustration, misunderstanding or worse. Based on research and her experiences teaching cross-cultural behaviors to executive students, the author examines a handful of key areas. Among others, they include communicating (Anglo-Saxons are explicit; Asians communicate implicitly, requiring listeners to read between the lines), developing a sense of trust (Brazilians do it over long lunches), and decision-making (Germans rely on consensus, Americans on one decider). In each area, the author provides a “culture map scale” that positions behaviors in more than 20 countries along a continuum, allowing readers to anticipate the preferences of individuals from a particular country: Do they like direct or indirect negative feedback? Are they rigid or flexible regarding deadlines? Do they favor verbal or written commitments? And so on. Meyer discusses managers who have faced perplexing situations, such as knowledgeable team members who fail to speak up in meetings or Indians who offer a puzzling half-shake, half-nod of the head. Cultural differences—not personality quirks—are the motivating factors behind many behavioral styles. Depending on our cultures, we understand the world in a particular way, find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, and consider some ways of making decisions or measuring time natural and others quite strange.

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61039-250-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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