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A delightful and wide-ranging folkloric self-help work.

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A guide to leadership archetypes for women that’s based on literary figures.

Davis, a public speaker who previously worked in global leadership development, offers a guide aimed at women in the business/corporate world that has the potential to reach a larger readership. The book’s introduction to the author’s spectrum, or wheel, of archetypes includes a quiz for identifying where one may categorize oneself among four quadrants representing paired elements of Fire-Earth, Earth-Water, Water-Air, and Air-Fire. Each chapter then moves through specific archetypes within these quadrants, ranging from the Temptress (who “Bring[s] the fun”) to the Mama Bear (who “Identif[ies] with [their] team’s success”) to the Empath (who “Err[s] toward generosity”) to the Witch (who’s “judiciously ruthless” but also heals rifts). The book also includes a chapter about the “Master Maid,” who embodies the ability to master qualities from all archetypes, as situations demand. Davis describes each archetype with examples from classical and folk literature—notably, not all of it Western—from Lysistrata to Shahrazade (aka Scheherazade). She then pairs each literary archetype with a counterpart from her own life who best embodies its qualities. Davis’ book can be likened to Jean Shinoda Bolen’s now-classic Goddesses in Everywoman (1984), which used the Greek goddesses as sources for female psychological archetypes. Like Bolen, Davis acknowledges that it’s possible for a person to fit one archetype yet still make use of others. That said, not all of Davis’ examples are equally strong; for instance, in her discussion of the Escapist, the author only acknowledges in passing that the Escapist tactic of evasion isn’t always possible when one is being actively pursued. Still, this is a thoughtful and highly readable book that highlights the enduring value of folk and classical literature, even in the world of business and commerce.

A delightful and wide-ranging folkloric self-help work.

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 9781637553879

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Amplify Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

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Sure to generate debate, and of special interest to adherents of free market capitalism.

A book-length assertion that capitalism’s woes can be traced to government interventionism.

Sharma, an investments manager, financial journalist, and author of The 10 Rules of Successful Nations, The Rise and Fall of Nations, and other books, opens with the case of his native India. The author argues that it should be in a better position in the global marketplace, possessing an entrepreneurial culture and endless human capital. The culprit was “India’s lingering attachment to a state that overpromises and under-delivers,” one that privileged social welfare over infrastructure development. Much the same is true in the U.S., where today “President Joe Biden is promising to fix the crises of capitalism by enlarging a government that never shrank.” Refreshingly, Sharma places just as much blame on Ronald Reagan for the swollen state that introduced distortions into the market. Moreover, “flaws that economists blame on ‘market failures,’ including wealth inequality and inordinate corporate power, often flow more from government excesses.” One distortion is the government’s bloated debt, as it continues to fund itself by borrowing in order to pay for “the perennial deficit.” As any household budget manager would tell you, debt is ultimately unsustainable. Wealth concentration is another outcome of government tinkering that has, whether by design or not, concentrated wealth into the hands of a very small number of people, “a critical symptom of capitalism gone wrong, both inefficient and grossly unfair.” Perhaps surprisingly, Sharma notes that in quasi-socialist economies such as the Scandinavian nations, such interventions are fewer and shallower, while autocratic command economies are doomed to fail. “[T]oday every large developed country is a full-fledged democracy,” he writes, and the more freedom the better—but that freedom, he argues, is undermined by the U.S. government, which has accrued “the widest budget deficit in the developed world.”

Sure to generate debate, and of special interest to adherents of free market capitalism.

Pub Date: June 11, 2024

ISBN: 9781668008263

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 22, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

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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. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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