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A scholarly self-help book with sage guidance and real-life examples of “cooperative wisdom” in action.

Scherer (co-author: Two Paths Toward Peace, 1991, etc.) and Jabs (The Heirloom Gardener, 1984, etc.) offer an erudite yet accessible guide to managing destabilized environments at home or out in the world.

The authors note that keeping family and friends safe from harm was easier to manage in ancient times, when most lived in clans of about 120 people. Even today, they say, social scientists set 120 as the maximum number of friends in a group that can provide mutual support to one another. By comparison, our contemporary social networks are vast, and, according to this book, the risk of doing unintentional harm to others is immense, whether one is running a parent-teacher association or a multinational corporation. To navigate our complicated world, Scherer, a professor emeritus in the philosophy department of Bowling Green State University, offers the principle of “cooperative wisdom,” a skill which may be learned, he says, by practicing five virtues: “proactive compassion,” which “attunes us to [others’] vulnerability”; “deep discernment,” which, in part, “deepens our grasp on what matters”; “intentional imagination,” which “reconceives what is possible”; “inclusive integrity,” which aims to “ensure that benefits and respect are mutual”; and “creative courage,” which allows people to “willingly incur the risks” of change. He and his co-author and former student Jabs guide readers through these and their accompanying practices. The book grew out of lecture notes that Scherer prepared for a graduate-level seminar, and this genesis occasionally peeks through in statements such as “Specialists become comfortable with and even attached to particular ways of doing things, and they may be reluctant to modify, much less abandon, specialized knowledge.” The otherwise conversational style, reminiscent of that of Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell in the 1988 PBS series and subsequent book The Power of Myth, adds friendliness to a serious topic. Jabs’ interjections are in hard-to-read italics, but for the most part, Scherer’s words are empathetic, compelling, and frequently pithy, as when he refers to the practices for each virtue as “exercises…that expand our moral range of motion.”

A scholarly self-help book with sage guidance and real-life examples of “cooperative wisdom” in action.

Pub Date: May 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9971668-1-1

Page Count: 236

Publisher: Green Wave Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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