An intriguing business manual with an offbeat marketing message.




A marketing expert couples Kama Sutra romantic love with modern business practices to create an unusual plan for brand success.

With 35 years of experience as founder and CEO of the largest marketing research institute in Israel, Levy has found that while women hold much of the household purchasing power, they often bring “emotionality” to their shopping and use the word “love” to describe how they feel about their favorite products. Levy suggests that marketers can take emotional branding to a deeper level—by using Vatsyayana’s ancient Hindu text, the Kama Sutra, as a touchstone for effective gender marketing. The first part of this clearly written guide generally explains the Kama Sutra’s philosophies involving male/female relationships; contrary to popular belief, it’s not all about sexual positions. The second part melds Kama Sutra analogies with advertising. For example, the author suggests that the relationship between a business and its customers can be likened to a courtship and marriage—beginning with a “wooing” process by the business and continuing after the customer makes a purchase. Levy depicts marketing as an art, rather than a science; like the act of opening and drinking a fine bottle of wine, the wooing process should seduce the customer via more than one of the senses; for example, a brand logo that is both colorful and scented can make a strong, lasting impression on a consumer, he writes. Levy writes that businesses can also seduce other companies’ customers with “courtesans”—female marketers who speak highly of the brand to other women via blogs or chat rooms. Women using technology to sell products to other women is sound marketing strategy, but Levy realizes that the Kama Sutra’s language, and concepts such as the harem, may be offensive to some modern women; Levy suggests that instead of the term “harem,” marketers use “Brand Sisterhood” to refer to a group of like-minded women, free to take or leave a brand as they please. Hands-on exercises are provided at the end of each chapter, and the book’s appendix contains a list of the Kama Sutra’s 64 arts of love—such as tattooing and gardening—which can be used for sensory-marketing ideas.

An intriguing business manual with an offbeat marketing message.

Pub Date: May 4, 2010

ISBN: 978-1440195549

Page Count: 248

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2013

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...


A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.


A massive investigation of economic history in the service of proposing a political order to overcome inequality.

Readers who like their political manifestoes in manageable sizes, à la Common Sense or The Communist Manifesto, may be overwhelmed by the latest from famed French economist Piketty (Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century: Inequality and Redistribution, 1901-1998, 2014, etc.), but it’s a significant work. The author interrogates the principal forms of economic organization over time, from slavery to “non-European trifunctional societies,” Chinese-style communism, and “hypercapitalist” orders, in order to examine relative levels of inequality and its evolution. Each system is founded on an ideology, and “every ideology, no matter how extreme it may seem in its defense of inequality, expresses a certain idea of social justice.” In the present era, at least in the U.S., that idea of social justice would seem to be only that the big ones eat the little ones, the principal justification being that the wealthiest people became rich because they are “the most enterprising, deserving, and useful.” In fact, as Piketty demonstrates, there’s more to inequality than the mere “size of the income gap.” Contrary to hypercapitalist ideology and its defenders, the playing field is not level, the market is not self-regulating, and access is not evenly distributed. Against this, Piketty arrives at a proposed system that, among other things, would redistribute wealth across societies by heavy taxation, especially of inheritances, to create a “participatory socialism” in which power is widely shared and trade across nations is truly free. The word “socialism,” he allows, is a kind of Pandora’s box that can scare people off—and, he further acknowledges, “the Russian and Czech oligarchs who buy athletic teams and newspapers may not be the most savory characters, but the Soviet system was a nightmare and had to go.” Yet so, too, writes the author, is a capitalism that rewards so few at the expense of so many.

A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-674-98082-2

Page Count: 976

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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