A thorough analysis of the necessity of planning for an economic disaster and a well-articulated system to achieve it.

ROCK THE RECESSION

A debut business book offers a strategic proposal that prepares company owners for inevitable financial challenges and finds opportunities within them. 

Slain and Belair had starkly different experiences when the recession hit in 2008. Slain was the owner of fitness franchises and was unprepared for a sharp downturn in demand for the services he sold. He was only able to survive by borrowing $250,000 from his mother-in-law. In contrast, Belair ran “a national specialty contracting company,” one he bought prior to the recession and sold after it for a huge financial windfall. The two authors devised a system—the Recession Readiness Assessment™—formulated to both appraise a company’s current state of health and help fortify current weaknesses before the cyclically inevitable occurs: a recession, broadly defined as “any big shock to a company’s system.” The assessment is a collection of 20 questions divided into five sections, each one corresponding to a gear in a gearbox—assess (first gear), tune (second gear), race (third gear), and accelerate (fourth gear), plus an emergency brake, the pulling of which means one begins cutting overhead to remain profitable. Executives always start in first gear. Then the astutely composed questions, combined with a diagnosis of the economy’s health, help them determine which gear to choose next. The authors offer sensibly prudent and consistently lucid counsel regarding not just the importance of preparation for disaster, but also its nature. The assessment itself, provided in full in the book, will at the very least serve as a valuable diagnostic tool. Some of the questions may be obvious, especially those pertaining to available cash and debt, but others are both important and easily overlooked. For example, the authors suggest taking a hard look at the financial worthiness of the vendors a company relies on. The prose can be unctuously ingratiating, unfortunately common in business guides: “We’re almost at the end of the book. Are you ready to Rock the Recession?” But the authors provide a genuinely useful discussion of recession-preparedness and a usefully actionable tool for its judicious establishment. 

A thorough analysis of the necessity of planning for an economic disaster and a well-articulated system to achieve it. 

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5445-0191-8

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Recession.com LLC

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2019

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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LIFE IS SO GOOD

The memoir of George Dawson, who learned to read when he was 98, places his life in the context of the entire 20th century in this inspiring, yet ultimately blighted, biography. Dawson begins his story with an emotional bang: his account of witnessing the lynching of a young African-American man falsely accused of rape. America’s racial caste system and his illiteracy emerge as the two biggest obstacles in Dawson’s life, but a full view of the man overcoming the obstacles remains oddly hidden. Travels to Ohio, Canada, and Mexico reveal little beyond Dawson’s restlessness, since nothing much happens to him during these wanderings. Similarly, the diverse activities he finds himself engaging in—bootlegging in St. Louis, breaking horses, attending cockfights—never really advance the reader’s understanding of the man. He calls himself a “ladies’ man” and hints at a score of exciting stories, but then describes only his decorous marriage. Despite the personal nature of this memoir, Dawson remains a strangely aloof figure, never quite inviting the reader to enter his world. In contrast to Dawson’s diffidence, however, Glaubman’s overbearing presence, as he repeatedly parades himself out to converse with Dawson, stifles any momentum the memoir might develop. Almost every chapter begins with Glaubman presenting Dawson with a newspaper clipping or historical fact and asking him to comment on it, despite the fact that Dawson often does not remember or never knew about the event in question. Exasperated readers may wonder whether Dawson’s life and his accomplishments, his passion for learning despite daunting obstacles, is the tale at hand, or whether the real issue is his recollections of Archduke Ferdinand. Dawson’s achievements are impressive and potentially exalting, but the gee-whiz nature of the tale degrades it to the status of yet another bowl of chicken soup for the soul, with a narrative frame as clunky as an old bone.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-375-50396-X

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999

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