I'd like to have liked this more, but there's two reasons I couldn't.
He starts strong, giving a litany of what he thinks is wrong with American politics and business life. But the more you listen to his positions on big business activities like Enron and WorldCom, you may find yourself thinking "but it's not like you were an outsider during all of this". Reich was in the Clinton White House. He was Secretary of Labor. He was there. Sure, Clinton didn't control the Congress, but people listen when a Cabinet Secretary talks. He didn't speak then, so he waives a bit of his moral right to speak now.
2. This book isn't actually about Why Liberals Will Win. It's about what Robert Reich thinks is wrong with conservatism. That's fine, but you may find yourself waiting for the conclusion that never comes.
I listen to this book about 3x per year. It is a textbook and a bible for anyone who has to negotiate deals for a living. It is pure tactics, with excellent and appropriate war stories from the trenches. Although it's from 1995, it's not dated.
If you listen to this and compare it to things like Getting to Yes, you'll realize this book is superior because it's by someone who has actually lived these principles. McCormack founded ICM and these are the tips he used to make it into a powerhouse.
For a non-fiction book it's not scenes, it's anecdotes and sections. Each chapter has tons of them.
I am a great fan of Howard Gardner's other work, most specifically his work on multiple intelligences. This book is not related to those books. Gardner is a psychologist and does best when describing, then drawing conclusions from empirical data. This book is normative - Gardner states that he is acting as an advisor to policymakers and not as a psychologist or researcher. The editorial review on this site doesn't call that out, and so if you're looking for a continuation of the themes Gardner has developed in his other work you will be disappointed here. Instead he talks about the five types of personality that he thinks will be important for future societies. Nothing new or inventive about this.
I perhaps shouldn't review the book because I didn't finish it. After about an hour I realized there were better things I could do with my time. But the fact that it caused me not to want to finish, that seems to be worth sharing. The portions that I did hear were exhortations on how to develop educational policy to promote certain ideas. I am not a policymaker so perhaps I'm not the right audience. But I didn't find anything he said to be particularly insightful in this regard either.
The narration style adds to the problems. It is annoyingly nasal. I was quite surprised to see that the narrator is not the author - author-narration would at least forgive choosing someone whose voice detracts from the material. But the fact that they paid someone money for this? Astonishing.
This book focuses on what the author calls "murketing", which is where marketing blends into real life. Examples include the way people are invited to become "product advocates" (my term not his) to promote products for corporations, and how brands have become a part of self-identification. Walker is a journalist and it shows from his writing which is clear and not overwrought or stilted.
I found the book to be interesting, although the author was a bit too enamored of the new. Everyone who writes one of these books talks about how the world is changing and has never been this way before. Walker isn't quite that gullible and he even points to the past sometimes, but I found still that he seems to believe that his insights are unique a bit too often. They're not, but that doesn't make the book less worthwhile and it doesn't mean you shouldn't consider it.
Often Audible narrators are annoying and can't pronounce non-English words properly, emphasize the wrong syllables, etc. You won't have that problem here.
Same comments on this book as I had for "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" - bought both of them before I'd listened to either one, which was a big mistake. If you're not interested in listening to "quirky family stories" then Sedaris isn't your guy. David Rakoff is a better choice.
If you've got any background whatsoever in Internet-related issues, this book is a complete waste of time. If you don't, you'll probably need the paper copy of the book, or you'll want to listen to this with a notepad so you can write down the details of what he's saying. Either way, this download isn't worth your time or money.
I used to wonder what all the hype was about. Now I know. Not much. David Sedaris has had a not atypical suburban kid life - he grew up alienated from his parents and family, he went to college and didn't do as well as he might have hoped, he started using and then recreationally selling drugs, he cleaned up his act, and he moved on to bigger things. He's got family members with quirks, and he's gay. And he tells you about them.
Before you get this book or any of his others, go download David Rakoff's Fraud. I think Rakoff is superior to Sedaris here - Rakoff is a journalist so his subject matter is intrinsically interesting. Sedaris, if you don't want to hear about his family, or you think he just sounds whiny, you're out of luck. I wasn't bored out of my mind so 3 stars seems appropriate, but that's still 5 hours of my life I'm never getting back.
This book is good in parts, and other parts are a bit trite. It relies on a few stories a bit too much - by the end of the book you're going to feel you don't care at all about some guy and his violin teacher but you've been hearing about them for a long time now - but often balances that by stating some obvious things that people sometimes don't say out loud and so they go unnoticed. You wouldn't be wasting your time here, but don't burn your last book credit on it either.
This is a very solid book. Like all business books there's parts where it lags, and you sometimes might think she's overusing certain case studies, but this is a good analysis of a difficult topic, well-written and well-read. I listened to this on the beach in Mexico and never once regretted the choice.
Interesting. I had stopped downloading fiction through Audible because there's no way to skip through the boring parts, and I would have assumed biographies would suffer from the same issue. Maybe other ones do. But this one doesn't get boring. Could be that's because of the subject matter, could be I'm a bit too interested in scammers than is totally healthy. But this is a great book. Recommended
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