PASSION AND REASON

UNDERSTANDING OUR EMOTIONS

A compelling argument that ``far from being irrational, the emotions have a logic of their own,'' and some advice on how to identify and change counterproductive emotional patterns. According to retired psychology professor Richard Lazarus (Emotion and Adaptation, not reviewed) and his wife, a freelance writer, we feel an emotion when ``we are motivated to gain something or prevent something unwanted from happening.'' Emotions, they argue, are intimately linked to our ability to appraise and interpret actions and events, so it is no accident that humans are both the most intelligent and the most emotional of animals. Each of our emotions, furthermore, has ``a distinctive dramatic plot'': Anger stems from perceiving something as an unfair slight, sadness from experiencing an irrevocable loss, happiness from making progress toward attaining a goal, and so on. Biology hardwires emotions in us; culture acts as our software, programming certain acts to trigger each emotion and teaching us how—or whether—that emotion should be expressed. Differences in personality and experience complete the program, giving each individual a distinct emotional configuration. The authors supply practical advice on when it is best to express emotion and when it is best to suppress it, along with examples of how to do both. For example, in an instance of being angered by one's spouse, they suggest reinterpreting the event to lessen the distress it evokes; one might excuse the spouse's insensitive behavior as being the result of exhaustion or stress. The authors discuss various psychotherapy options for those who need extra help in regulating their emotions. And in sketchier, less convincing chapters, they explore stress and the possible influence of emotional states on physical health. For the most part a helpful, clearly written user's guide to the human emotions.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-19-508757-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1994

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more