YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY

UNDERSTANDING THE PARADOX OF SELF-DEFEATING BEHAVIOR

A thoughtful examination of the puzzling behavior of those who persist in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Psychologists Berglas (Clinical Psychology/Harvard Medical School; The Success Syndrome, 1986) and Baumeister (Psychology/Case Western Reserve University; Escaping the Self, 1991) draw on both clinical examples and research findings to explore self-destructive behavior. Locating no single cause of the phenomenon, they view it along a continuum. At one end, there's well-intentioned self-defeating behavior, which involves poor judgment—such as trying too long or too hard. More inimical to happiness is the self-serving kind, which provides immediate- or short-term benefits but potentially greater long-term risks- -such as abusing dangerous drugs. At the far end of the scale lies maliciously intended behavior, in which harm is inflicted on oneself in order to hurt another person—what the authors call ``Pyrrhic revenge.'' Berglas and Baumeister use the actions of prominent figures (Magic Johnson, Jim Bakker, and Leona Helmsley among them) to illustrate typical behavior patterns, and the authors' discussion of choking under pressure will be of special interest to sports fans: Research indicates that the home field can actually be a disadvantage when a team is on the brink of a championship. A few final words touch on minimizing or preventing self-defeating behavior, but no easy solutions are offered. A smooth blend of theory, research, clinical observation, and anecdote.

Pub Date: April 28, 1993

ISBN: 0-465-00099-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Basic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1993

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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