Though theoretically written for and aimed at, well, everyone, this book is more likely to find an appreciative audience...

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LYING BELIEFS

A proposed alternative to traditional religious ideologies, focusing on the inherent godliness of every human being.

Johnson (The Human Ego: Who Do You Think You Are?, 2012) begins his spiritual manifesto with a bang, challenging readers to accept that “the vast majority of our beliefs are based upon lies.” Through a pastiche of Freudian psychology, biblical exegesis, medicine, semiotics, astrophysics, pantheism and popular culture, he goes on to outline his philosophy of human experience: Most are governed by their egos/selves/subconscious minds when they should be in unity with their souls/beings/consciousnesses; religious beliefs are simply dictated by our parents and culture and are rigidly enforced by our controlling subconscious minds; we have erroneously ascribed human attributes to a divine essence that resides innately in all human beings and is derived from the air we breathe and the sun that lights our planet; and we must let go of fear about the past and future and be conscious in the moment in order to save ourselves and our world from a “sub-conscious Hell on Earth.” The book seems aimed at those with existing, entrenched beliefs. It seems equally apparent, however, that this target audience, particularly Christian believers, will be unlikely to make it past the first few pages. It’s a potential misstep, in that regard, to suggest people hold on to such “lying beliefs” merely to satisfy a voracious, selfish ego. A softer sell might have more effectively introduced this philosophy that, while admittedly a bit eclectic, embodies some appealing ideas and imagery that might otherwise engage followers of liberal religious traditions. Johnson’s conversational prose is informed by the rhetorical style of the pulpit. Some readers may find that his colloquial interjections effectively lighten up the heavy material, while others may feel they erode the seriousness of his investigation.

Though theoretically written for and aimed at, well, everyone, this book is more likely to find an appreciative audience among the popular philosophy and self-help crowds.

Pub Date: March 29, 2014

ISBN: 978-0615995540

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Maurice\Johnson

Review Posted Online: June 12, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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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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