This immensely useful book will have wide appeal and leave many readers anxious to put their new skills to work.

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HOW TO NEGOTIATE TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS IN THE REAL WORLD

A former Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter for the New York Times, Diamond (Law/Univ. of Pennsylvania) debuts with a superb how-to based on his immensely popular course on negotiation.

The author prepares for any negotiation by asking himself, “What are my goals? Who are ‘they’? What will it take to persuade them?” Depending on the answers, he then draws selectively on bargaining tools and strategies described in this anecdote-rich book. Others in his field assume that most people in a negotiation are rational. Not so, says Diamond. People in the real world—whether friends, store clerks or CEOs—tend to be emotional and irrational in their interactions. Since the people involved make up 90 percent of a negotiation (substance accounts for only 10 percent), you must negotiate based on your understanding of “the pictures in the head of the other party”—a phrase Diamond frequently uses to underscore that psychology trumps the issues at the bargaining table. Successful negotiators must prepare, learn what makes others tick (through research and small talk), take small steps, communicate clearly, turn problems into opportunities, avoid deceit and embrace differences. Above all, writes the author, they must stay focused on specific goals and connect with the other party. Many of Diamond’s suggestions are counterintuitive: Help the other person do better (you might even give them a copy of the negotiation model in this book, he says); learn their personal likes and dislikes; offer them something you know they want, such as hard-to-get event tickets. While good vibes and communication can help clinch a deal, writes the author, getting emotional can kill one: “People who are emotional stop listening. They often become unpredictable and rarely are able to focus on their goals.” Diamond provides hundreds of fascinating examples of what people in his classes have achieved using his approach—from talking a reluctant retailer into giving a discount to closing multimillion-dollar deals. He devotes separate chapters to negotiating at work, in the marketplace, in relationships and while traveling.

This immensely useful book will have wide appeal and leave many readers anxious to put their new skills to work.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-71689-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown Business

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2010

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Not only the definitive life, but a tour de force by a master.

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EDISON

One of history’s most prolific inventors receives his due from one of the world’s greatest biographers.

Pulitzer and National Book Award winner Morris (This Living Hand and Other Essays, 2012, etc.), who died this year, agrees that Thomas Edison (1847-1931) almost certainly said, “genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration,” and few readers of this outstanding biography will doubt that he was the quintessential workaholic. Raised in a middle-class Michigan family, Edison displayed an obsessive entrepreneurial spirit from childhood. As an adolescent, he ran a thriving business selling food and newspapers on a local railroad. Learning Morse code, he spent the Civil War as a telegrapher, impressing colleagues with his speed and superiors with his ability to improve the equipment. In 1870, he opened his own shop to produce inventions to order. By 1876, he had money to build a large laboratory in New Jersey, possibly the world’s first industrial research facility. Never a loner, Edison hired talented people to assist him. The dazzling results included the first commercially successful light bulb for which, Morris reminds readers, he invented the entire system: dynamo, wires, transformers, connections, and switches. Critics proclaim that Edison’s innovations (motion pictures, fluoroscope, rechargeable batteries, mimeograph, etc.) were merely improvements on others’ work, but this is mostly a matter of sour grapes. Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone was a clunky, short-range device until it added Edison’s carbon microphone. And his phonograph flabbergasted everyone. Humans had been making images long before Daguerre, but no one had ever reproduced sound. Morris rivetingly describes the personalities, business details, and practical uses of Edison’s inventions as well as the massive technical details of years of research and trial and error for both his triumphs and his failures. For no obvious reason, the author writes in reverse chronological order, beginning in 1920, with each of the seven following chapters backtracking a decade. It may not satisfy all readers, but it works.

Not only the definitive life, but a tour de force by a master.

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9311-0

Page Count: 800

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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