A practical testament to the significance of the questioning mind.

A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION

THE POWER OF INQUIRY TO SPARK BREAKTHROUGH IDEAS

How the art of the inquiry can transform ideas into action.

Journalist and advertising guru Berger (Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life, and Maybe Even the World, 2009) examines the science of questioning and the ways in which the world’s top innovators have used it to their advantage. Establishing a “culture of inquiry” is a prudent move for both producer and consumer, writes the author, who cleverly examines the impact the “Whys, What Ifs, and Hows” have on the development of products like snow shovels, baby carrots and Crackerjack, among many others. Berger explores how, in asking “the question that defined the problem,” struggling entrepreneurs have moved from product conception to profitable execution. Begun as a website assisted by volunteers and researchers, Berger’s book expands further on questioning as a skilled art form that can be polished to gain its maximum benefits, even though the author finds its usage underutilized in today’s electronic multimedia age. Berger makes great use of both historical and contemporary examples of educators, innovators and business moguls who, by taking time to ask pointed questions of themselves and their respective industries, have both broadened their understandings of challenging situations and expanded the range of positive possibilities. Rhetorically (and hypothetically) asking the right questions also enabled entrepreneurs to establish wildly successful businesses like Netflix (“What if the video-rental business were run like a health club?”) or game-changing inventions like the microwave oven (“Could the energy from the radio waves be used to actually cook food?”). The author also touches on the reasons why we stop asking pertinent questions as we age and the ways parents can inspire inquisitiveness in children. If asking questions demonstrates an open willingness to know, Berger writes, the answers have the power to dispel ignorance.

A practical testament to the significance of the questioning mind.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62040-145-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS

AND OTHER ESSAYS

This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more