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

COOPERATIVE WISDOM

BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER WHEN THINGS FALL APART

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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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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