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Mastery: Interviews with 33 Remarkable People Hardcover – September 25, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Rudra Press; First Edition edition (September 25, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915801701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915801701
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #931,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By TD on June 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What do you trust more: autobiographies or biographies? I prefer the latter because they tend to be more objective. This book is nothing more than a collection of brief and carefully controlled glimpses into the lives of a few famous and many not-so famous people.

I purchased a copy of this book on the strength of the reviews on this page. Unfortunately, the book turns out to be a complete disappointment if you happen to be looking for insights into how these people became masters in their respective fields. Each brief 7 to 9 page chapter is simply a record of the author's one-hour, or so, visit with the subject. At the end of it all, the only insight you take away is that successful people are exceedingly courteous to authors planning on devoting an entire chapter to them.

If you are curious about mastery, you will benefit far more from a reading of "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "coffeeguzzler" on December 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is well worth the time investment. Ames interviewed 30 people who are considered to be at the top of their field, and asked each one how to achieve mastery, what are the components of mastery, and what are the pitfalls along the way. The uniformity of their answers is striking. Every chapter is just wonderful, and equally engaging. This is easily one of the best books I've ever read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Baz on January 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I spent an hour writing a rambling review of this outstanding book and decided that no amount of words could do it justice. There are interesting books, there are good books, there are great books and there are books that can make a profound difference to your life. If you've reached the understanding that there is a dimension to human existence that is very, very rare, then you need to read this book. (I don't mean organisesd religion or a consciousness of a 'God', though all the people here approach their work with a profound awareness of the transcendent). One measure of this rarity is the appalling fact that books on genuine mastery are as scarce as masters themselves. This book was published almost ten years ago and is now, criminally, out of print. Grab a copy while you can.

In my humble opinion, this is a much more in depth study of mastery than George Leonard's slim tome (grateful though I am for it) and there is wide agreement among those interviewed here about the path to mastery and its rewards and pitfalls. Interestingly, none of the interviewees regard themselves as masters, and most have a warm sense of humour.

Joan Ames has done a masterly job in arranging the interviews, in the focus of her interview questions and in editing and compiling the answers. Anyone interested in the path to mastery can't fail to be deeply indebted to her (and let's not forget the publisher) for this book. It's also beautifully designed.

If you're unable to find a copy of Mastery, I'd recommend the following (not in any order): Gene Landrum - Eight Keys To Greatness; Howard Gardner - Extraordinary Minds; Eugen Herrigel - Zen In The Art of Archery; Ken Carpone - The Virtuoso; Terry Orlick - In Pursuit of Excellence; Steven Pressfield - The War Of Art; John Schuster - Answering Your Call: A Guide To Living Your Deepest Purpose; and the most enchanting, Richard Bach - Jonathan Livingston Seagull
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mykola Dzyuba on February 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I personally like this book a lot. I just finished reading it and I think I want to read more, especially interviews with scientists and engineers. I guess it is because they shared thoughts and ideas on mastery that are more related to what I do for living. This book definitely expanded my view on how to achieve new levels of mastery. I especially like the advice by Alexis Sanderson on the ability to be delighted in the discovery of your own errors. I think it is kind of important quality for a software developer. I also like the approach of Peter Steidlmayer on reaching the higher level of knowledge by simplifying things, i.e. figuring out the key principles behind complex things. I am going to apply some ideas and thoughts I've got from this book to my daily practice. I am also going to recommend this book to my friends.
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