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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 MP3 CD – April 8, 2014

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About the Author

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 book Coming Apart: The State of White America 19602010 was a New York Times bestseller and named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2012 by the New York Times Book Review. His other books include In Pursuit, The Bell Curve (with Richard J. Herrnstein), What It Means to Be a Libertarian, Human Accomplishment, In Our Hands, and Real Education. He received a bachelor's degree in history from Harvard and a doctorate in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives with his wife in Burkittsville, Maryland.

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Product Details

  • MP3 CD: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio; Unabridged MP3CD edition (April 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1483001822
  • ISBN-13: 978-1483001821
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,756,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Paul Mastin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Charles Murray since I read his classic Losing Ground while I was in college. Many are familiar with Murray's always thought-provoking and insightful work in his books and his work with the American Enterprise Institute. During his tenure at AEI, he as seen countless college interns and young scholars come through their doors. His new book, The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead, is a wonderful distillation of practical advice for these young people and others.

As a writer, Murray is of course concerned with language usage, in both written and spoken communication. Most of it is standard style manual material, but this passage stands out: "Do you use the word like as a verbal tic? I mean, like, do you insert it in, like, random points in your, like, spoken conversation? If the answer is yes, this is the single most important tip in the entire book: STOP IT!" Well said! His tips on writing (and re-writing) are worth a read for any aspiring writer.

Some of his advice will seem old-fashioned and out of date, but it's still hard to argue with it. Speaking of tattoos, he agrees that they have a place in history, "first among savage tribes and then, more recently, among the lowest classes of Western societies." He reluctantly makes exceptions for insignias from the armed forces, but clearly advises against any visible tattoos.

Some of his best advice is for that class of students and young people who end up in places like AEI for internships, which he calls "affirmative action for the advantaged.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By D. Ashbaugh on April 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Murray is back again with another book for lay people. This time he takes the role of the elderly statesman advising the younger generation. Being roughly the same generation as Murray, I tend to agree with much of what he says, although my rational side says the audience he is addressing will largely ignore much of what he advises. His advice on marriage seems particularly pertinent in this day and age when many young people are postponing marriage and children. The start up marriage of two young people who then go on to build a life together and have shared memories seems to be the most satisfying in the long run, when it works. Murray notes this and does not blame couple who split up, but does note that those that survive work through problems that would cause many others to break and run. He calls marriages when two people are older and established, as "mergers" and notes that they may also work well but often lack the shared successes and hardships overcome that all young marriages have to undergo. The old adage that "whatever doesn't kill me, makes me stronger" certainly applies to those marriages that succeed. I was less taken with his rather long passage on writing skills. Reminds me of William Safire and other scolds. It is a good read and well written but not a book I will reread.
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63 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Sandy Winnich on April 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
When it's revolutionary to be traditional and controversial to be safe, you know that society has gone off the deep end. And it takes innovative thinkers to wake that society up from its bizarre state of affairs. Like the iconic How to Take Advantage and Freakonomics before, Curmudgeon takes a unique look at the world and provides a refreshing take-home concept for the reader: get married young and try to marry someone who's religious.

This may fly in the face of all the modern advice and sure to make feminists pop a couple blood vessels but his argument makes sense. People have been pushing this self-centered hedonistic lifestyle on teens and twenty-somethings for decades and they're the least happy they've ever been, despite having the most opportunity and wealth in history. Weird. Maybe, as Murray writes, "The clichés are true."

And I think the kids these days are ready to hear it. They've tried the common ideal being sold now and found it empty. That's why more young people are going to traditional churches and getting involved in traditional organizations.

Marry young, become deeply involved with religion, and prioritize virtuous conduct over fame and fortune. Grandpa Murray's right. It may just lead to a happier you.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Helpful Advice TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
‘The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead’ written by Charles Murray is a good book for older teenagers and people in twenties that provides many interesting lessons about life and helps getting around in this world where there are not many great opportunities and it is important to quickly grab the ones that show in our life.

Charles Murray made an effort to gather in one place many small, at first glance, not so much important tips and consolidated them in his book that you will read in 2-3 hours because of its brevity without any problems.

‘The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead’ is divided into four major chapters – ‘On the presentation of self in the workplace’, ‘On thinking and writing well’, ‘On the formation of who you are’ and ‘On the pursuit of happiness’ - each of them consisting of several lessons that are shared on a few pages.

Although I'm not the target audience for this book, nor with my age, and even less with my business experience, I am sorry that this kind of book I have not encounter many years ago when I started with my career because with almost all found inside I completely agree. Therefore in my opinion Murray’s will be of help to young people in search for their first job, but also on the other aspects of their business and personal development.

The author begins his book in a funny way saying to reader that first thing they need to understand is that most organizations in the private sector are led by curmudgeons just like author is, except of the entertainment or IT industries, which are led by people who are either young or trying to be.
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