Not a quick read like many similar books but rather a deep, thoughtful master class on the “negotiation game.”



How to become “a mindful, sophisticated negotiator.”

Behavioral economist Sally, a veteran teacher of negotiations at Cornell and Dartmouth, goes beyond his two favorite books on the topic—How To Win Friends and Influence People (“not scientific”) and Getting To Yes (“limited”)—to explain how “becoming an analytical observer of the people around you” is the path to more effective negotiation. In this appealing, well-written book, he covers the skills and moves of outstanding negotiators, who “read” their counterparts, react, and create winning outcomes. The single most important factor for successful negotiators, writes the author, is toughness—not belligerent but rather determined and focused. Thorough preparation is critical. Advanced practitioners multitask, “practice, practice, practice,” and exhibit Edgar Allan Poe’s qualities of a con man: “minuteness, interest, perseverance, ingenuity, audacity, nonchalance, originality, impertinence, and grin.” They are “Machiavelli-esque,” combining concepts from game theory with insights from social psychology. Sally draws on a wonderful array of sources to illustrate his points, including beauty contests, TV wrestling, sociologist Erving Goffman’s insights into “framing negotiation as a drama,” John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, the Korean armistice talks, and U.N. diplomat Gianni Picco’s preparations for his early 1990s negotiations to free Western hostages in Lebanon. Whether discussing the advantages of a Columbo-like “surface incompetence” or of changing a bargaining persona “as if it were a mask,” the author fully explores the nuances of interactions. He also celebrates Richard Holbrooke’s winning “performance” during talks to end the Bosnia conflict, when the American diplomat’s troubled expression forced counterparts to ask, “What is it?” and Holbrooke said, “I’m worried. I don’t know if it’s going to work.” There are detailed chapters on key aspects of negotiation, from drama, acting, and performance to fairness, gender, and emotions.

Not a quick read like many similar books but rather a deep, thoughtful master class on the “negotiation game.”

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-16639-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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More uncommonly sensible investment guidance from a master of the game. Drawing on his experience at Fidelity's Magellan Fund, a high- profile vehicle he quit at age 46 in 1990 after a spectacularly successful 13-year tenure as managing director, Lynch (One Up on Wall Street, 1988) makes a strong case for common stocks over bonds, CDs, or other forms of debt. In breezy, anecdotal fashion, the author also encourages individuals to go it alone in the market rather than to bank on money managers whose performance seldom justifies their generous compensation. With the caveat that there's as much art as science to picking issues with upside potential, Lynch commends legwork and observation. ``Spending more time at the mall,'' he argues, invariably is a better way to unearth appreciation candidates than relying on technical, timing, or other costly divining services prized by professionals. The author provides detailed briefings on how he researches industries, special situations, and mutual funds. Particularly instructive are his candid discussions of where he went wrong as well as right in his search for undervalued securities. Throughout the genial text, Lynch offers wry, on-target advisories under the rubric of ``Peter's Principles.'' Commenting on the profits that have accrued to those acquiring shares in enterprises privatized by the British government, he notes: ``Whatever the Queen is selling, buy it.'' In praise of corporate parsimony, the author suggests that, ``all else being equal, invest in the company with the fewest photos in the annual report.'' Another bull's-eye for a consummate pro, with appeal for market veterans and rookies alike. (Charts and tabular material— not seen.)

Pub Date: March 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-671-75915-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.


An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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