Especially interesting to those already willing to make the paradigm shift to a cooperation-based world, but in need of some...

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PRINCIPLES OF ABUNDANCE FOR THE COSMIC CITIZEN

ENOUGH FOR US ALL

Demonstrating a wide knowledge and understanding of hard and soft sciences, Riddle creates a road map for those ready to live a more connected, positive and bountiful existence.

Among the abundance of books focusing on, well, abundance, Riddle’s work stands out for its ability to synthesize historical, current and complex scientific and social concepts to support a beginner’s steps toward a major paradigm shift: cooperation instead of competition in world of abundance rather than scarcity. Using four underlying principles of reality (interconnectivity of energy, individual participation in creating reality, the nonlinear quality of our experience and the complex nature of reality) and three principles of coexistence (interdependence, adaptability and cooperation), Riddle weaves theory and examples together to create an organized and accessible whole. Frequent brief and illustrative exercises encourage the reader to personalize the experience; thorough notes, diverse references and an index of exercises make this text extremely easy to use. Riddle’s suggestion of the need to move beyond scientific method and a static view of reality to a world of dynamic potential, even with her application of quantum physics, won’t win over every reader. But her thoughtful guide and its emphasis on a more positive worldview will be especially appealing to those already curious about alternative theories but wishing for a scientific basis to undergird the new possibilities. With her upbeat tone and clear prose, Riddle offers a self-help book that could actually achieve its purpose; the text (the first in a series of three) supports, energizes and informs those searching for a more joyous, harmonious and meaningful way of living.

Especially interesting to those already willing to make the paradigm shift to a cooperation-based world, but in need of some handholding and a little science to take the next step.

Pub Date: March 11, 2010

ISBN: 978-1449079260

Page Count: 256

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2010

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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 48 LAWS OF POWER

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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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Not only the definitive life, but a tour de force by a master.

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EDISON

One of history’s most prolific inventors receives his due from one of the world’s greatest biographers.

Pulitzer and National Book Award winner Morris (This Living Hand and Other Essays, 2012, etc.), who died this year, agrees that Thomas Edison (1847-1931) almost certainly said, “genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration,” and few readers of this outstanding biography will doubt that he was the quintessential workaholic. Raised in a middle-class Michigan family, Edison displayed an obsessive entrepreneurial spirit from childhood. As an adolescent, he ran a thriving business selling food and newspapers on a local railroad. Learning Morse code, he spent the Civil War as a telegrapher, impressing colleagues with his speed and superiors with his ability to improve the equipment. In 1870, he opened his own shop to produce inventions to order. By 1876, he had money to build a large laboratory in New Jersey, possibly the world’s first industrial research facility. Never a loner, Edison hired talented people to assist him. The dazzling results included the first commercially successful light bulb for which, Morris reminds readers, he invented the entire system: dynamo, wires, transformers, connections, and switches. Critics proclaim that Edison’s innovations (motion pictures, fluoroscope, rechargeable batteries, mimeograph, etc.) were merely improvements on others’ work, but this is mostly a matter of sour grapes. Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone was a clunky, short-range device until it added Edison’s carbon microphone. And his phonograph flabbergasted everyone. Humans had been making images long before Daguerre, but no one had ever reproduced sound. Morris rivetingly describes the personalities, business details, and practical uses of Edison’s inventions as well as the massive technical details of years of research and trial and error for both his triumphs and his failures. For no obvious reason, the author writes in reverse chronological order, beginning in 1920, with each of the seven following chapters backtracking a decade. It may not satisfy all readers, but it works.

Not only the definitive life, but a tour de force by a master.

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9311-0

Page Count: 800

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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