Beautifully constructed and expertly written in straightforward language; will make it far easier for anyone to navigate the...

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ACCESS TO ASIA

YOUR MULTICULTURAL GUIDE TO BUILDING TRUST, INSPIRING RESPECT, AND CREATING LONG LASTING BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS

This outstanding guidebook plies the cultural waters of Asia and offers insider tips for developing successful business relationships.

Intercultural consultant Schweitzer and consultant/author Alexander (# Thought Leadership Tweet, 2012, etc.) have crafted an invaluable reference guide that is comprehensive and fascinating. Using a consistent approach, the authors offer details about 10 countries, including a historical overview, the names of heroes and sports figures, foods, business protocols, etiquette for socializing, and more. Each chapter also has an ingenious “self-awareness profile,” a simple one-to-six scale so the reader can gauge the nuances of certain cultural aspects. The authors map the scale to “the prevailing cultural preference”; in the case of doing business in Japan, for example, the cultural tendency is to be “highly formal” (six on the scale) rather than “very informal” (one on the scale). The ranking provides key intelligence to a businessperson in light of his or her own cultural bias. Interestingly, the authors begin with an overview of the United States of America, both to demonstrate the book’s framework as it relates to the subsequent countries and to offer guidance to readers who might wish to do business in the USA. The remainder of the book covers China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. The insights offered could only be the result of a deep understanding of each country’s cultural attributes, so to validate the content, the authors wisely called upon numerous country experts, who are acknowledged in the back of the book. Details both broad and specific paint a rich, unique picture of each country. Readers learn, for instance, that in China, “decisions are made as a group rather than individually.” In Japan, “gifts (omiyage, or honorable presents) are a crucial element and expected on almost all business occasions.” In the Philippines, personal hygiene is vital because “Filipinos shower several times a day.”

Beautifully constructed and expertly written in straightforward language; will make it far easier for anyone to navigate the cultural differences of doing business in Asia.

Pub Date: April 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-1118919019

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Wiley

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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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

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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

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