An entertaining saga about “the power of second chances,” and resetting life and management priorities.


The Kingmaker


With his top clients involved in crises, a PR “kingmaker” realizes that he has lost sight of true leadership and purpose in this business/self-help fable.

Kyle Ellis is jogging in Central Park, musing on what his confidant/driver Parker “Mac” Macintosh II calls “The Collapse.” Kyle, CEO of a hugely successful, self-named PR firm and dubbed “the kingmaker” for spotting and supporting leadership potential, has two clients requiring extra-special damage control. Kit Jackson, a Wall Street finance CEO, is accused of stock manipulation that particularly hurts his one true friend. Prime Networks chief Michael Allan receives death threats targeting him and his family after tussling with Russian mob types over a land deal. Kyle rushes to Kit’s office and flies to Michael’s Wyoming ranch. He helps to address his clients’ situations, yet also observes that both are caught up in their own power, failing to lead with integrity or purpose. But the kingmaker achieves the ultimate awakening when his wife tells him over dinner that their marriage is in trouble. Kyle realizes that he has lost his way, taking responsibility for his clients’ behavior and his own lapsed priorities. After an eye-opening health scare and with the particular encouragement of Mac and a congresswoman, one of two “kings” who have remained effective, true leaders, Kyle tries to convince Kit and Michael to join him in getting back on track. By fable’s end, there is much to celebrate—but also differing choices. Dallas-based management consultant Bridwell (The Difference Maker: A Simple Fable About Making A Difference In The Life Of Others, 2013) concocts a jet-setting corporate fable (Kyle also travels to his own ranch in Texas) that offers some sweet and simple precepts to live a more other-directed and purpose-driven life. Occasionally, the tale’s focus on glitz (dining at swanky Per Se in Manhattan, etc.) feels at odds with its overall message, although these details and some charming character nuances (particularly Kyle’s friendship with Mac) also enliven what in other hands might have been dry, didactic text. Bridwell also helpfully provides a seven-point summary of his takeaway points at the book’s end.

An entertaining saga about “the power of second chances,” and resetting life and management priorities. 

Pub Date: June 14, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-943425-30-3

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Elevate

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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