BIRDS OF PREY

BOEING VS. AIRBUS: A BATTLE FOR THE SKIES

A British journalist's matter-of-fact take on how a state- subsidized European consortium has managed to narrow the long lead once held by American manufacturers in the high-stakes competition to equip the world's airlines with jet planes. Drawing on his own reportage as well as secondary sources, Lynn first sets the stage, reviewing the commercial development of jet propulsion after WW II in the United Kingdom and the US. While Europe briefly showed the way (with the Caravelle, the Comet, and the famously unprofitable Concorde), he notes, US airframe makers (Boeing, Convair, Douglas, Lockheed) took most of the orders for passenger jets. Lynn goes on to recount how national pride and economic necessity induced the French to challenge America's dominion in aerospace by establishing Airbus Industrie (AI) within months of Boeing's delivery of its first 747 jumbo jets. Against the odds, the fledgling firm spotted and exploited a gap in the international market, selling enough medium-range, wide-body A300s to keep Paris and the EU partners in business. Continental capitals also used their geopolitical clout, permitting Airbus to adopt the so-called ``silk route'' strategy that gained it significant sales in Asia and the Middle East at the expense of US suppliers. And on the wings of some decidedly concessionary deals, AI even cracked the American market. Although the role government has played in bankrolling Airbus was a real sticking point in recent GATT negotiations, the point was finessed and a trade war averted. Accordingly, Boeing (which is to acquire McDonnell Douglas) faces a less secure future in which it must do battle against a formidable rival that may yet become a limited company accountable to stockholders as well as politicos. While Lynn, a staffer at the Sunday Times of London, writes serviceable prose at best, this is a workmanlike briefing on a consequential clash affecting the latter-day wealth of nations.

Pub Date: March 24, 1997

ISBN: 1-56858-086-X

Page Count: 256

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1997

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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