THE CLUB RULES

POWER, MONEY, SEX, AND FEAR--HOW IT WORKS IN HOLLYWOOD

Stale Hollywood-biz gossip. Starting in 1969, Rosenfield spent a decade as the ``leg'' (legman) for Joyce Haber, the Los Angeles Times successor to Hedda Hopper. He's now pasted his two decades' worth of jottings into a rough assemblage of a factitious establishment called ``the club''- -an always shifting power nexus of top studio heads, producers, directors, and stars. His pages sometimes stupefy as they go on and on with names randomly magnetized to names: ``Debra Winger got in because of Jim Bridges, and in spite of Robert Evans not wanting her for Urban Cowboy. Debra Winger stayed in because of Larry Mark and An Officer and a Gentleman and Jim Brooks. And in spite of Richard Gere not wanting to do love scenes with her. Polly Platt stayed in because of Jim Brooks. Polly Platt got in because of Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich. Orson Welles stayed in because of Peter Bogdanovich and Cybill Shepherd,'' etc., etc. At times, Rosenfield stops for interviews with various entrenched powerhouses (Steven Spielberg, Sydney Pollack) or those on their way elsewhere (Robert Evans). During the Evans interview, Jack Nicholson wanders in and lights ``a hand-rolled cigarette.'' Nice moments include Jane Fonda saying, ``You have to retain sexuality and it's a big bore.'' And Billy Wilder admitting his deep disappointment when he failed to land Cary Grant for the Melvyn Douglas role opposite Garbo in Ninotchka. And Spielberg breathing deeply as he says, ``The last great movie was Godfather I...it's the last one in terms of a classic—ranking right up there with The Grapes of Wrath.'' There's also much here on hotels and watering holes (Ma Maison is passÇ). Some fun as strong folks speak from a moving ice floe of insecurities—but tedium too.

Pub Date: April 28, 1992

ISBN: 0-446-51528-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1992

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

CAPITAL AND IDEOLOGY

A massive investigation of economic history in the service of proposing a political order to overcome inequality.

Readers who like their political manifestoes in manageable sizes, à la Common Sense or The Communist Manifesto, may be overwhelmed by the latest from famed French economist Piketty (Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century: Inequality and Redistribution, 1901-1998, 2014, etc.), but it’s a significant work. The author interrogates the principal forms of economic organization over time, from slavery to “non-European trifunctional societies,” Chinese-style communism, and “hypercapitalist” orders, in order to examine relative levels of inequality and its evolution. Each system is founded on an ideology, and “every ideology, no matter how extreme it may seem in its defense of inequality, expresses a certain idea of social justice.” In the present era, at least in the U.S., that idea of social justice would seem to be only that the big ones eat the little ones, the principal justification being that the wealthiest people became rich because they are “the most enterprising, deserving, and useful.” In fact, as Piketty demonstrates, there’s more to inequality than the mere “size of the income gap.” Contrary to hypercapitalist ideology and its defenders, the playing field is not level, the market is not self-regulating, and access is not evenly distributed. Against this, Piketty arrives at a proposed system that, among other things, would redistribute wealth across societies by heavy taxation, especially of inheritances, to create a “participatory socialism” in which power is widely shared and trade across nations is truly free. The word “socialism,” he allows, is a kind of Pandora’s box that can scare people off—and, he further acknowledges, “the Russian and Czech oligarchs who buy athletic teams and newspapers may not be the most savory characters, but the Soviet system was a nightmare and had to go.” Yet so, too, writes the author, is a capitalism that rewards so few at the expense of so many.

A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-674-98082-2

Page Count: 976

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more