A longtime advocate for marketing makes a thoughtful case for its importance in all businesses.



A business book looks at marketing as a tool to expedite company growth.

In this work, Patterson (Marketing Metrics in Action, 2008, etc.) centers her argument on the metaphor of marketing as a wheel driving a business, with key elements (customer insights, segmentation, operations) serving as the spokes. The volume covers each element in its own chapter, explaining why the component matters, offering examples of successful implementation, and demonstrating how it can have a noticeable effect on sales. The author makes an effective case for marketing’s importance within the corporate structure (“Marketing’s primary responsibility is to help the company accelerate growth, create value, and improve performance for the sole purpose of acquiring and retaining profitable customers”) and presents specific examples that give readers concrete ideas for their own implementation. The chapter on customer insights, for instance, includes nearly two dozen questions marketers should be able to answer (“Are there protected niches we can exploit and unique ways we can counter threats?”) while the one on innovation presents the cautionary tale of a videophone that failed in the 1990s, in contrast to the success of similar products in the 2010s. Each chapter concludes with a bulleted list of key takeaways and commentary to guide readers’ application of the material to their own circumstances. The book, while well written, does contain a fair amount of business jargon. The decision to treat “marketing” as a proper noun in these pages (which Patterson makes a lengthy case for) gives the text a quirkiness that may not appeal to all readers, and the wheel metaphor, while strong, is sometimes overdone (“Your axle will be well lubricated and ready to drive you forward”). But on the whole, the industry argot does not obscure the work’s many solid insights, which are based on Patterson’s professional experience and academic research. (A full list of citations appears at the end.) Both novice and veteran marketers should find the volume of use in developing corporate strategy.

A longtime advocate for marketing makes a thoughtful case for its importance in all businesses.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-9710086-2-5

Page Count: 207

Publisher: Violetear Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 31, 2019

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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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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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