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A person's longing for significance--which can lead to excessive ambition, moral compromise, and preoccupation with status--often stands in conflict with a longing to be good. In Living a Life That Matters, Harold S. Kushner (the Massachusetts rabbi whose bestselling books include When Bad Things Happen to Good People) suggests that the most successful lives are the ones that most effectively manage and resolve that conflict. For example, Kushner retells the biblical story of Jacob, in a chapter whose lesson is named by its title, "How to Win By Losing." Hamlet, Dirty Harry, and Exodus are a few of the dozens of examples he cites while elaborating on the essential lesson of this book: that success and significance converge in every act of love, generosity, and self-sacrifice that we make for our families, friends, and communities. --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Rabbi Kushner (When Bad Things Happen to Good People, etc.) outlines a common human struggle between the need to feel successful and the need to think of oneself as a good person. Indeed, he relates, the biblical Jacob wrestled with the impulse to succeed through cleverness and fraud, and "to become someone exemplary." While the subtitle might be challenged can't success be more a matter of dedication than ruthlessness? Kushner's wide-ranging, occasionally meandering book fortunately focuses more on the basic question of a meaningful life. Citing examples from both contemporary life and the Bible, he observes that revenge and retribution cannot heal victims, whereas the new trend toward restorative justice (which works "toward the... restoration of the victim" and holds "the offender accountable") might do so. Kushner sees Isaac Bashevis Singer's character Gimpel the Fool as achieving the utmost integrity because he is "the same person all the time." Love and friendship, Kushner writes, not only signify bonds between people, but help bring God into a selfish world. To avoid feeling insignificant, he urges readers to help someone needy and to think not of themselves but of the next generation. He concludes with words that are more comforting than challenging: simply "[b]y being good people" doing honest work, helping a neighbor, delighting a child "we have an impact on the world." (Sept. 15)Forecast: With a 250,000-copy first printing; a Today Show appearance; selection by BOMC, Literary Guild, Traditions and QPB; first serial rights bought by Family Circle and Parade; and simultaneous audio and large-print editions, this will be another Kushner juggernaut.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Editorial Reviews
During my weekly library browsing day last week, I found a book called Living a Life that Matters by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Colleen
Harold Kushner is quite an inspirational author. Great reading.
A must read!
Awesome book, full of wisdom and practical applications just like most book by Harold Kushner.Published 4 months ago by lfbensimon
I really like his books, and he really makes you think about your own life & how you are living it!!Published 6 months ago by Sue Gillman
Highly enlightening. I will keep this on hand and refer to it often.Published 8 months ago by D. L. Slowe
A beautiful treatise of life, what brings it a sense of meaning, why we crave it and in what form. Compassionate in its approach and insightful in its exploration of the human... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Abhishek