A thorough and effective guide to establishing safe work environments.

RETHINKING HAND SAFETY

MYTHS, TRUTHS, AND PROVEN PRACTICES

A glove salesman offers advice for improving worker safety.

In this debut business book, Geng draws on his experience selling work gloves in a variety of industries to advocate for making employee safety a top priority. The volume reviews the reasons companies should take hand safety seriously. Geng then explains that safety is a matter of both having the right equipment and cultivating a strong corporate culture. The author guides readers through how to develop such a culture and evaluate progress toward keeping workers free from injuries on the job. He makes it clear that establishing a culture of safety requires a clear understanding of how employees do their jobs and the obstacles that make it difficult to practice safe habits, offering numerous suggestions for making concrete and actionable changes in the workplace. Geng is clearly knowledgeable about the intricacies of protective gloves, and readers without experience in the field will learn plenty about the subject. But the book’s real strength lies not in its narrow applicability to high-risk industries but in its approach to employer and worker psychology that has broad applicability in organizations of all kinds. Managers who will never encounter a conveyor belt or a vat of molten metal will find just as much useful information in the volume as those who work in those industries. The author explains how to understand the underlying causes of major problems—for instance, workers may fail to wear necessary protective equipment not because of laziness or ignorance but because they have been given gloves that provide padding while hampering movement. He shows how readers can effectively evaluate and respond to both the immediate and more fundamental causes of workplace problems. The book discusses the roles of empathy and effective communication in the workplace, particularly at the management level, and helps readers to understand and solve the problems caused when departments fail to communicate and have differing financial goals. While the volume does a good job of addressing hand safety specifically, its real value is much broader, as it is a comprehensive guide to developing safe and functional workplaces of all kinds.

A thorough and effective guide to establishing safe work environments.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5445-0625-8

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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SLEEPERS

An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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