A compelling how-to guide that also reads like a saucy celebrity exposé.

READ REVIEW

UNLABEL

SELLING YOU WITHOUT SELLING OUT

The man behind the iconic rhino logo weaves an interesting story employing alternating threads of entrepreneurial advice and autobiographical confession.

When he was younger, few could have dreamed that the chubby kid busily aping graffiti culture in the garage of his parents’ New Jersey home would one day rise to become one of the top purveyors of hip-hop cool in the country. But that’s exactly what Ecko managed to accomplish in just a few scant years. From slinging airbrushed T-shirts in high school to hobnobbing with the Tommy Hilfigers of the world, Ecko and his partners—sister Marci and buddy Seth—built a clothing empire that still remains a sartorial force on the streets, even if the core group has fractured. Though he’s taken more than a few wrong turns, the author doesn’t flinch when laying down his entrepreneurial expertise. In fact, his “guts to skin, skin to the world” philosophy about self-branding is more potent given all the mistakes. In his role as entrepreneurial guru, Ecko is a sort of anti-Trump, using human frailty instead of unattainable omnificence to educate the next generation of dreamers. The author delivers a sobering inventory of screw-ups, ill-advised team-ups, lots of overexposure and overextension, as well as generous dollops of hubris and flat-out boneheaded maneuvers. Still, he stubbornly adheres to his philosophy of authenticity while sticking it to the clueless “gatekeepers.” “My business plan for Ecko Airbrushing might have been technically naïve, but it did have this much going for it: my personal brand was massively authentic and relevant,” he writes. Ideas about authenticity run deep throughout the book. Criticized throughout much of his career for allegedly co-opting established cultural touchstones, Ecko argues that what he has been doing all along is something more akin to sampling—just like the best MCs have done on their way to creating something legitimate and pure.

A compelling how-to guide that also reads like a saucy celebrity exposé.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4516-8530-5

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more