COPING WITH CRISIS by Gustave Simons


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Simons, whose What Every Woman Doesn't Know (1964) was a useful financial guide for the lady of the house, ranges far afield in this chatty compendium of the catastrophes of everyday life running the gamut from sudden death to an unfaithful spouse to an income tax audit. The aim is laudable -- a lawyer's explanation of how to prevent the preventable and cope with the unavoidable. It's hard however to imagine someone who has just had an automobile accident thumbing through this encyclopedic volume to find out what to do next, though the basic message -- plan ahead -- is unexceptionable. When he's talking law (as in the chapters on contracts, income tax and insurance), Simons is lucid and comprehensive. However, he also opines in areas where his expertise is arguable. For example, he recommends watching your step when doing business with homosexuals (you can't trust them) and he advocates ""contingent environment"" (a clearcut rule system with rewards for obedience) as a panacea for handling a difficult or delinquent child. There's even occasional misinformation, as when he cites the 1967 North Carolina and Colorado abortion laws as the most liberal in the country (the far more liberal New York law was passed in 1970) or when he suggests checking your child's pupils for dilation even hours after smoking marijuana (research reported in Science showed no change ordinarily in pupil size -- dilation is a short-lived effect of smoking in a darkened room). Some of the less common crises like bigamy seem to have been included to let Simons spin a yarn or two, although he seriously suggests a ""detailed and confidential investigation of prospective sons-in-law."" An uneasy amalgam of practical advice and idiosyncratic opinion.

Pub Date: Nov. 13th, 1972
Publisher: Macmillan