An illuminating examination of an often neglected but vital concept.




This detailed psychological analysis of self-acceptance explains what it is, why readers need it, and how to get it.

Waite (From Underdog to Winner, 2017) begins this book by setting it apart from works that seek to raise self-esteem. She specifies that self-esteem “relies on the perception of success…to obtain a sense of worth” whereas self-acceptance is unconditional: “We see ourselves ‘warts and all,’ and find value and potential based on the mere fact that we are complex and inherently valuable human beings.” She suggests—and supports with a great amount of evidence—that self-acceptance gives people the freedom to fail without losing self-worth, motivates them by helping them recognize weaknesses and productively move forward, takes the fear out of performance, and allows for consistent, instead of “contingent,” happiness. She then describes how readers can learn and be reminded of self-acceptance: through intuition, dogmatic messages (from religions or role models, for example), logical reasoning, and their own personal experiences. She concludes by describing “a perfect world” in which self-acceptance is the status quo, further encouraging readers to develop and promote the idea. As a whole, this book is skillfully structured—Waite first helps readers understand self-acceptance, convinces them why it’s important, explains how to develop it, and finally reiterates its value. Taken in smaller pieces, the organization is just as efficient, with alluring introductions, comprehensive explanations, and succinct summaries that make the content unmistakably clear. Waite’s lucid details and profound insights are often interwoven with case studies that effectively demonstrate the principles she’s sharing. These examples are mostly of athletes (because of the author’s sport psychology background), but the concepts are universal. For instance, a young quarterback loses a big game, drinks until intoxicated because of his shame, and commits a hit-and-run. The author uses this tale to illustrate how a lack of self-acceptance triggered these events and how this man’s later development of the belief helped him move past the tragedy. Fans of Brene Brown’s thoughts on shame and vulnerability will find many related ideas in this book, written with a similar academic flavor.

An illuminating examination of an often neglected but vital concept.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9984988-3-6

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Frendship Publications

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2018

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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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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