- Audio CD
- Verlag: Audiogo; Auflage: Unabridged (8. April 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1483001830
- ISBN-13: 978-1483001838
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 1,9 x 12,7 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
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The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don'ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life (Englisch) Audio-CD – Audiobook, Ungekürzte Ausgabe
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Charles Murray is the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He first came to national attention in 1984 with his book Losing Ground. His subsequent books include In Pursuit, The Bell Curve (with Richard J. Herrnstein), What it Means to Be a Libertarian, Human Accomplishment, In Our Hands, Real Education, and the national bestseller Coming Apart. He received a bachelor's degree in history from Harvard and a Ph.D. in political science from MIT. He lives with his wife in Burkittsville, Maryland. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: MP3 CD.
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There are two fairly distinct sections. The book begins by discussing work habits, manners in the work place and in general, how to dress, and similar topics. It explains the need to tailor those habits to our generation of sometimes surly curmudgeons if you expect to see your career progress rapidly, helping young people understand what will and will not impress us.
One of the points made that really resonated with me is that there is plenty of opportunity for highly capable and reliable people. That was my experience early in my career. Most businesses have more work to be done than they can find good people to do it, so I found myself with steadily increasing responsibilities as I proved what I could do. The limiting factor in my own business today is still finding the people who can do what I need them to do without someone looking over their shoulder all the time.
The second half is more about life in general: what it means to live a "good life", how faith might or might not fit in, how to find the right person to share your life, and similar matters. I agreed with about 90% of what he had to say in that section, and thought it all worth reading and reflecting upon.
It's aimed at those just entering the work force, but I'm also encouraging my college sophomore to read it.
Daughters and sons, nephews and nieces, young people we’ve cherished for one reason or another: they’re about to embark on the next journey in their life, and we want to speed them along their way with a meaningful gift. Cash is always handy, of course, to the young—and I might add, to some of us who are old—but cash is a cold gift, the sort of boon and gratuity given by most of us out of desperation, ignorant of what those just graduating from high school or college might need or want.
While these graduates may well appreciate hard cash, there is a gift available this season to accompany your check. Charles Murray’s The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don’ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life (ISBN 978-0-8041-4144-4, $17.95) is written for young people in their late teens and through their twenties, and offers some great advice to grads and to anyone that age struggling with all that life can throw at them these days.
As Murray writes in the Introduction to The Curmudgeon’s Guide: “I wish I could tell you that his little book will fix all that. (Your problems). It won’t, but it might help.”
And he’s right. While the future offers no guarantees, The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead does give the young some excellent advice. Here are just a headings from Murray’s bits of wisdom, culled, I might add, from a lifetime of experience:
“Don’t use first names with people considerably older than you until asked, and sometimes not even then.
“Excise the word ‘like’ from your spoken English.
“On piercings, tattoos, and hair of a color not known to nature. (Here Murray strongly advises jobseekers not to display any of these. Of tattoos visible during a job interview, he writes that with the exception of a former member of the armed forces with a tattoo of his unit’s insignia, ‘show up with a visible tattoo and you are toast before you open your mouth’).
“On the proper use of strong language. (Murray is for strong language, but only in certain situations).
“Leave home. (He strongly advises twenty-somethings to ‘jump out of the nest’).
“Get real jobs. (He strongly opposes working internships that pay no money. He also advises young people who have grown up in upper-middle class homes and neighborhoods to find work first in such places as restaurants and construction. Here, he contends, the privileged will find their best chance at expanding their horizons and their understanding of people).
“Come to grips with the difference between being nice and being good. (Here he discusses both the four cardinal virtues originated by the ancient Greeks—courage, justice, temperance, and prudence (also called ‘wisdom’)—and brings Aristotle into the argument as well. He has some excellent comments in this section, mostly pointing out that being nice is easy and being good difficult).”
His concise tips on writing, that valuable tool which so many young people ignore or neglect, would benefit even skilled writers. Especially striking is his solution to the use of third person singular pronouns: he and she. As anyone knows who spends time writing, we’ve spent the last forty years trying to figure out how to use gender-neutral pronouns. Traditionalists want to maintain the use of ‘he,’ while others recommend either ‘he or she,’ or, in what sane writers should regard as an abomination before the muse, ‘s/he.’ Murray’s recommendation: “Unless there is an obvious reason not to, use the gender of the author or, in a co-written text, the gender of the principal author.” This solution will strike many readers as eminently practical.
The last chapter in The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead, “On the Pursuit of Happiness,” is only twenty-two pages long, but Murray crams it full of advice on subjects ranging from marriage to the practice of religion. Section 29—“Show Up”—strikes me as particularly wise. Murray stresses here the importance of “showing up,” not only for work, but for family, community, and faith. He points out how easy it is not to show up these days, when so many spend so much time sitting in front of a screen, and advocates engaging with people and events in person. “You are not going to reach old age satisfied with who you have been and what you have done because you interfaced with a screen. Thus the first essential step in the pursuit of happiness: Show up.”
The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead is to the point, witty, packed with excellent advice, and short in length. Any young graduate will find at least several treasures here, sharply-cut diamonds of wisdom certain to help them find their way in the world.
One final note: at the very end of his book, Murray recommends watching the movie Groundhog Day repeatedly. Fans of this movie would heartily second this recommendation. The movie is all about effort, about the transformation of the self such effort produces. So if you’re looking for a second gift to accompany the book, you’ll find it in Groundhog Day. Wrap up the book and the DVD, and you’ll give your graduate a worthy gift.
What a hoot! Charles Murray, famous for quite a few thought-provoking books on race, intelligence and other topics of social research started writing a few short email essays for his young colleagues at the American Enterprise Institute covering topics designed to help interns and young employees succeed. They were well received by his older colleagues and he wrote more--enough to make a small book.
The curmudgeon part appeals to me, as does Murray's approach to giving advice to the younger generation. Perhaps most important is why are we curmudgeon's (both male and female). His explanation supporting the executive portrayed in The Devil Wears Prada elicited a smile, a laugh, and an experiential nod. Yes, we are grumpy for a reason!
This book is loaded with good practical advice on how to deal with bad bosses, professional response, dress, manners, sucking up, etc.
Buy it for the young graduate, but read it yourself first. Then inscribe it when you give it away. Delightful. Will buy copies as gifts.
So if a young person is set out do something really original in life, then this book is not for them. But rest of more than 90% young people will benefit. I wish I had read this book before starting work in American workplace. If the book did not have a conservative slant I would give it 5 stars.
I think it makes a great graduation gift.