WINNING THROUGH COOPERATION: Competitive Insanity: Cooperative Alternatives by Terry Orlick

WINNING THROUGH COOPERATION: Competitive Insanity: Cooperative Alternatives

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Writing with some of the crusader's blinkered zeal, Orlick expounds on the virtues of noncompetitive children's games. Even without much persuasion, one can see immediate merits in his position: kids can get fierce and ugly about winning, and less aggressive ones, seeing their disadvantage, often lose interest in games with just one winner. But Orlick burdens his text with too much philosophical arm-twisting, evidence from contemporary ""Stone Age"" and other cooperative cultures, and quotations (however estimable) from Margaret Mead, and he clearly intends larger goals from the changed orientation: ""We can attempt to bring out the universal qualities of cooperation and concern for one another and therein safeguard our future."" He never concedes that some competition can be constructive or that failure is not always devastating and may even be motivating. And by using only the slimier examples of successful sports heroes (such as Mark Spitz), he neglects genuinely admirable competitors like PelÉ or Roberto Clemente. Still, his suggestions for Musical Hugs, revised Monopoly, and other Games Nobody Loses (the title of an upcoming book) are commendable and worth trying, especially among young children not fully indoctrinated into the Lombardi ethic; and his observations on those little leagues which tyrannize kids for the ego needs of their elders will not go unappreciated.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1978
Publisher: Acropolis