Psychotherapist James (co-author, A New Self, 1977, etc.) and her son and fellow therapist expand on transactional analysis to build their own theory of psychology and the human spirit. Having a passion for life, in the authors' terms, means ``being excited and involved in what is and what can be,'' an attitude they seek to promote through an understanding of seven basic urges of the human spirit: to live, to be free, to understand, to create, to enjoy, to connect, and to transcend. A chapter is devoted to explaining each of these urges, the goal toward which it is directed, and the character trait essential for reaching that goal. Inspiring stories of individuals who epitomize success in each area are providedamong them, Betty Ford, Lech Walesa, Albert Schweitzer, Beverly Sills, and other less famous individuals. In their discussions of human spirituality, the Jameses take care to offend no religious sensibilities. Each chapter ends with a set of exercises in self- improvement, including a contemplation exercise featuring appropriate quotes from religious leaders, scientists, philosophers, and assorted pundits. Other exercises ask the reader to use visualization techniques, to recall dreams and other past experiences, to complete sentences, to examine behaviors and situations, and to analyze problems. Throughout, the tone is upbeat and the language nontechnical, and simple line drawings illustrate basic concepts, making the book accessible and appealing to the nonpsychologist. Slick pop-psychology for those interested in easy-to-digest self-help books.

Pub Date: May 27, 1991

ISBN: 0-525-24988-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1991

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This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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Worthwhile reference stuffed with facts and illustrations.


A compendium of charts, time lines, lists and illustrations to accompany study of the Bible.

This visually appealing resource provides a wide array of illustrative and textually concise references, beginning with three sets of charts covering the Bible as a whole, the Old Testament and the New Testament. These charts cover such topics as biblical weights and measures, feasts and holidays and the 12 disciples. Most of the charts use a variety of illustrative techniques to convey lessons and provide visual interest. A worthwhile example is “How We Got the Bible,” which provides a time line of translation history, comparisons of canons among faiths and portraits of important figures in biblical translation, such as Jerome and John Wycliffe. The book then presents a section of maps, followed by diagrams to conceptualize such structures as Noah’s Ark and Solomon’s Temple. Finally, a section on Christianity, cults and other religions describes key aspects of history and doctrine for certain Christian sects and other faith traditions. Overall, the authors take a traditionalist, conservative approach. For instance, they list Moses as the author of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) without making mention of claims to the contrary. When comparing various Christian sects and world religions, the emphasis is on doctrine and orthodox theology. Some chapters, however, may not completely align with the needs of Catholic and Orthodox churches. But the authors’ leanings are muted enough and do not detract from the work’s usefulness. As a resource, it’s well organized, inviting and visually stimulating. Even the most seasoned reader will learn something while browsing.

Worthwhile reference stuffed with facts and illustrations.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2005

ISBN: 978-1-5963-6022-8

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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