MAKING A DIFFERENCE by

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this well-meaning sermon/book (""a guide to a life where helping others is more important than wealth or position""), Seymour seeks to inspire readers into a life of public service--by example. Thus, in eleven brief chapters, each devoted to some character-attribute or behavior involved in selfless action, the text consists primarily of one biographical anecdote after another--all supposedly illustrating the trait in question. For ""Be Independent,"" there's Thoreau, abolitionist Prudence Crandall, and Muhammad Ali (his conscientious-objector stand). For ""Commitment,"" there's George Washington Carver and a flurry (Louis Auchincloss, Charles lyes, etc.) of double-career artists. For ""Perseverance,"" there's Mother Jones and Harriet Tubman. And so on--through ""Follow Your Instincts,"" ""Enlist Strong Teammates,"" and ""Use the Political Process."" Inevitably, of course, these thumbnail-sketch vignettes are over-simplified; not so inevitably, they are delivered in relentlessly banal, uplift prose. And more than a few of the choices seem strained or inappropriate--from Irving Berlin as an example of ""Act Quickly and Decisively"" (the anecdote really just illustrates his genius) to Alexander Wooll-cott (a man with complex motives) as a paradigm of ""Generosity."" Unlikely to be read by anyone who needs convincing--and, even for YA readers, bland and superficial.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1983
Publisher: Morrow