Despite occasional shopworn truisms, a generally inspiring assemblage of informed perspectives.

NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED

TRUE STORIES OF WOMEN LEADERS IN TECH

A collection of interviews with female leaders in the high-tech industry discussing their experiences with gender bias.

After she was introduced to programming at 14 years old, debut author Rao Gluckman enthusiastically decided she wanted to become an engineer. She didn’t, however, anticipate the gender bias she would encounter when she pursued a position in management and joined the ranks of leadership. She sought out role models and mentorship among other women in positions of authority within the high-tech field, a strategy she became convinced could be helpful to other women as well. Consequently, Rao Gluckman, who currently manages a team of software engineers at a computer software company, spoke with accomplished female executives about their encounters with bias, their influences and inspirations, and their strategies for success, and she compiles 19 of those interviews here. The topics range widely—institutional bias, compensation, and the difficulty balancing the demands of work and family. One theme is the “imposter syndrome,” the discomfiting feeling of self-doubt even some of the savviest women suffer in a male-dominated industry. There are also incisive discussions of the illusion of meritocracy, a myth undermined by the ubiquity of bias. International perspectives are represented as well. Yanbing Li, a senior vice president and general manager, notes that there is much less bias in STEM fields in China. Each interview is prefaced by a “biosketch,” a brief synopsis of the subject’s experience and perspective, and ends with bulleted “takeways,” brief summaries of the exchange’s chief points. The author is a perspicacious interviewer and skillfully extracts illuminating insights and fresh perspectives from her subjects. For example, Alaina Percival, CEO and board chair for Women Who Code, observes that undercompensating women ultimately hurts companies that are unable to retain top talent as a result. The author’s prose can lazily default to clichés: Phrases like “and the world becomes your oyster” undermine the genuine insights shared. Also, some of Rao Gluckman’s own counsel is vague and overly general; her solution to the imposter syndrome problem: “By tackling it head on, becoming disciplined, and learning more about the area we are insecure about.”

Despite occasional shopworn truisms, a generally inspiring assemblage of informed perspectives.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 303

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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