A useful book for anyone intent on bettering personal communications in the modern era.

U&ME: Communicating in Moments that Matter

Accessible distillation of current research on how to build communication skills that can create meaningful personal moments and enrich our lives.

Now that face-to-face interaction has, for the most part, been overtaken by truncated, disembodied communication via email, video, tweets, and other social media, it’s likely that our one-on-one talking skills have gotten a little rusty. Stewart (Bridges Not Walls, 2012), professor emeritus of communications at the University of Dubuque, brings his professional and personal expertise to the problem of making our oral and even texted or Skyped communications as uniquely personal as possible in a world that has grown impersonal (disturbingly so, some might say). In his book, a revised edition that adds a PC-drenched chapter on multicultural communication, Stewart endeavors to show us methods for restoring these skills and even transposing them onto device-driven formats. “The challenge we face in the 21st century is that widespread cultural pressures are pushing us to connect impersonally most of the time,” he says, and this foreshortens our humanity. To redress this transformative trend and restore the natural personal-impersonal balance, we should, he says, within reasonable limits, strive for the personal touch that can unleash humanness. This means conveying our uniqueness, responding mindfully rather than reacting in knee-jerk fashion, showing empathy and respect, and bringing our emotion, spirit, and psyche to our exchanges. Stewart’s book is admirably organized to teach these techniques first, then, in later chapters, show how they can be applied in dating and romance, with family and friends, at work and school, and in spiritual and multicultural settings. There is also a helpful chapter on how to avoid “mis-meetings,” those botched or untimely failed efforts at human connection that vex us all. In these somewhat neutered pages, Stewart does acknowledge that saying or hearing the words “I love you” ranks as the personal moment that matters most, but he doesn’t go far enough in considering the power of Eros and even of our physical appearance in creating these moments. Indeed, using communication strategies to create our most transcendent moments is a little like trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

A useful book for anyone intent on bettering personal communications in the modern era.

Pub Date: July 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-1938552267

Page Count: 294

Publisher: The Taos Institute Publications

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2015

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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