Valuable, inspiring arguments for a more thoughtful approach to building a successful company.


A former “ruthless” commercial real estate broker makes the case for selfless business models in this debut book.

As the child of Christian missionaries living in Papua New Guinea, Keyser grew up helping those with even less than his parents had. After the family’s eventual return to the United States, his parents struggled financially, trying to survive on his mother’s meager salary as a teacher, but they still managed to give back to the community. The author soon left this benevolent world behind for UCLA, where he set his sights on making money. He eventually learned to lie “with sincerity” as a commercial real estate broker and achieved great success by misleading clients and stealing opportunities from co-workers—the norm in that business. But at a conference in Miami, Keyser was introduced to a radical idea that merged the triumphs he expected with the teachings of his childhood: a model for developing long-term relationships that could be based on selfless service to others. He soon began helping people with no expectation of reward or compensation and ultimately built a client base more robust and loyal than any that could be forged with back-stabbing tactics and traditional sales strategies. He has since taken this idea into his own firm and established himself as a “thought leader” in the industry, hoping to motivate others to take on his methods of service, “flat structure” (without traditional hierarchy), and an inclusive, caring company culture. The author wisely divides his book into two sections, the first being autobiographical and the second more of a guide to implementing his model. His personal anecdotes are succinct and revealing—such as the humiliating childhood moment when his principal realized he only owned one pair of jeans—and they all play into his larger argument for assisting others in order to help one’s business. The lengthier how-to section’s main arguments and buzzwords, like “being present” and “being disruptive,” become slightly repetitive, but Keyser complements his writing with extensive further reading lists and short, useful summaries. The tactics he has used in his own firm also go far beyond the world of real estate, touching on how gratitude, honesty, and service can improve just about any team dynamic.

Valuable, inspiring arguments for a more thoughtful approach to building a successful company.

Pub Date: July 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5445-0424-7

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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


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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