Next book



A simple, stunning study of the power of respect to forge salutary bonds between unlikely partners. Lawrence-Lightfoot, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (I—ve Known Rivers: Lives of Loss and Liberation,1994), offers penetrating portraits of six individuals in sundry professions who share the ability to traverse social and economic barriers in reaching others. Lawrence-Lightfoot focuses not only on the extraordinary work that these people do, but on their personal backgrounds and possible motivating factors, as well. Jennifer Dohrn, a nurse-midwife, directs a Childbearing Center that she founded in New York City’s South Bronx. Determined to empower poor women who have been neglected by traditional medicine, Dohrn oversees a staff of seven midwives, along with staffers who serve as liaisons to the community. The key to Dohrn’s success is her admiration and respect for the struggling families she meets daily. And the support that she offers others helps restore her after the painful death of her activist husband, who was killed in Cape Town, South Africa. Just as Dohrn encourages the women with whom she interacts to question authority, Kay Cottle similarly challenges her middle and high school students. Willing to take risks and share personal stories with young people, Cottle successfully forges a bond with them that allows them to share their experiences and insights in return. In her respect for her students, Cottle constantly tries new approaches that “urge students to confront ideas from a variety of perspectives and appeal to a number of senses.” While most of the professionals portrayed came from educated, nurturing backgrounds, there are exceptions. Bill Wallace, an Episcopal priest, pastoral psychotherapist, and AIDS activist, attributes his caring for the disenfranchised to his having grown up in chaos within a distressed family. Replete with a bibliography entitled “Some Roots of Respect” (with source materials as diverse as Shakespeare, Buber, Kant and contemporary therapists on self-esteem), Lawrence-Lightfoot’s elegantly written study enlightens and invigorates. (Author tour)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7382-0093-X

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Perseus

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1999

Next book


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

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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Next book



These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work,” writes Meyer, a professor at INSEAD, an international business school. Yet they face a wider array of work styles than ever before in dealing with clients, suppliers and colleagues from around the world. When is it best to speak or stay quiet? What is the role of the leader in the room? When working with foreign business people, failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to frustration, misunderstanding or worse. Based on research and her experiences teaching cross-cultural behaviors to executive students, the author examines a handful of key areas. Among others, they include communicating (Anglo-Saxons are explicit; Asians communicate implicitly, requiring listeners to read between the lines), developing a sense of trust (Brazilians do it over long lunches), and decision-making (Germans rely on consensus, Americans on one decider). In each area, the author provides a “culture map scale” that positions behaviors in more than 20 countries along a continuum, allowing readers to anticipate the preferences of individuals from a particular country: Do they like direct or indirect negative feedback? Are they rigid or flexible regarding deadlines? Do they favor verbal or written commitments? And so on. Meyer discusses managers who have faced perplexing situations, such as knowledgeable team members who fail to speak up in meetings or Indians who offer a puzzling half-shake, half-nod of the head. Cultural differences—not personality quirks—are the motivating factors behind many behavioral styles. Depending on our cultures, we understand the world in a particular way, find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, and consider some ways of making decisions or measuring time natural and others quite strange.

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61039-250-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

Close Quickview