by Maureen Chiquet ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 18, 2017
An inspirational but disjointed autobiography best suited for neophyte designers, budding fashionistas, and Chanel devotees.
A conversational memoir charting the rise of the former global CEO of Chanel.
Coached by her aesthetically aware mother to develop “a sensitivity and curiosity to see and discover more of the world,” Chiquet was only 16 when she began envisioning an escape from the conservative confines of her suburban St. Louis childhood to “take in the immense beauty of a new picture.” She instantly fell in love with France after spending time in Provence, allured by pungent cheeses, liberating nudity at beaches, and a total immersion in the elegance of Parisian culture. After college at Yale, complete with semesters abroad, Chiquet began her remarkable managerial ascent at a succession of reputable companies. She sweeps readers inside her young, driven world as a fledgling marketing intern at L’Oreal Parfumerie in 1985, a stint at The Gap, and her role launching the Old Navy brand in 1994. All the while, she cultivated controversial trends and gained credibility as a businesswoman and a fashion-forward style forecaster. The book is bolstered with the author’s frequent asides on how striving for uniqueness can lead to dynamic achievements in business. Aiming for a crisp amalgam of memoir and motivational guide, her declarations oscillate from the classically platitudinous (“no opportunity is ever too small to show you what you can accomplish”) to the practical. Though Chiquet is frank and cleareyed about her career trajectory and openly shares opinions and insights on leadership, personal growth, and embracing change, the memoir drags with excess anecdotal material leading up to her celebrated tenure with Chanel. Readers hoping for the juicy inside story on the boardrooms and catwalk action of the fashion house may be disappointed with the book’s cursory closing chapters. Resigning from Chanel in 2016, she reflects on her time as a brand leader, imparting the sage wisdom she has gained through her impressive career and as a mother. The challenge she faced after Chanel was how to reinvent herself and forge ahead in new directions.An inspirational but disjointed autobiography best suited for neophyte designers, budding fashionistas, and Chanel devotees.
Pub Date: April 18, 2017
Page Count: 288
Publisher: Harper Business
Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2017
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017
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by Daniel Kahneman ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 1, 2011
Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...
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
Page Count: 512
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011
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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.
“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
Page Count: 432
Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019
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