on March 20, 1999
I am extremely impressed by the accuracy with which this book describes the nine enneagram types. I have been a student of the enneagram for 15 years, and of all the books I have read, this is by far the best in summarizing the essence of each type. It is also very easy to read, and the material is presented with a gentle humor. Through the authors' eyes, we can see our gifts and foibles clearly, with compassion, and with an appreciation of the cosmic humor inherent in the human condition.
on January 8, 2003
Baron & Wagele's "The Enneagram Made Easy" is-- for my money-- one of the best introductory level books available for someone who's just beginning to study the Enneagram, or who just wants some "bare bones" coverage to satisfy their curiosity about this ancient personality typing system. Although I have studied the Enneagram for many years, I often refer to this book when trying to illustrate basic concepts to someone who has expressed an interest.
The authors have put together a light hearted and highly readable book about the basics of the Enneagram. Each of the nine "types" has its own standardized chapter, which includes a "personality inventory" checklist to help readers determine their type; then coverage of the ups and downs of that type; relationships, relating, typical thoughts, childhood, parenting, careers and free time. The chapters also include brief coverage of "wings," as well as a section of "practical suggestions and exercises" (for making life easier) for each type.
The final 20 or so pages of the book covers the interaction and overlaps between the Enneagram types and Jungian psychological types, specifically making comparisons with the popular Myers-Briggs typology system.
The book is illustrated throughout with Elizabeth Wagele's generally funny-- often poignant, sometimes silly cartoon drawings.
Do keep in mind, however, that this book presents a VERY superficial and simplistic outline of a profoundly complex and thorough psychological "personality mapping" and philosophical system. If you are seriously interested in studying and understanding the complexities of the Enneagram, I highly recommend that you also invest in one of Riso/Hudson's or Helen Palmer's more thorough books.
Final thoughts: Excellent (9.5 bookmarks out of a possible 10); keeping in mind that this is an introductory text and by no means a "thorough" work on the Enneagram. A quick and easy read, and well worth it!
on March 12, 2000
"The Enneagram Made is Easy" is making an honest attempt at breaking down a rather complex system to give the uninitiated a brief understanding of the Enneagram. The problem with that is that it makes the Enneagram look trivial and the value of the system is completely lost. Instead of showing what a beautiful mirror and map to the complexity human soul this system is, "The Enneagram Made Easy" helps reinforce stereotypes of the types and probably will turn people away from exploring the Enneagram deeper. I think that Riso and Hudson's "The Wisdom of The Enneagram" is a much better introduction to the system. It is also much better written than this book.
I own at least ten books on the enneagram and this is my hands down favorite (followed closely by Baron & Wagele's Are You My Type?). I recommend it highly, and have made a pest of myself sharing it with friends, relatives, everyone. Although many of my friends have initially dismissed the enneagram as new age psychobabble hocus pocus, and refuse to think that they could fit into a type, once they see themselves in the wonderful cartoons, they change their minds and want to know more. Baron & Wagele treat the enneagram with great insight and humor -- The cartoon drawings depicting the nine types of people are so accurate and will have most people saying, "Yep, that's me" (or "Yep, that's so&so"). For each of the nine types, the authors list traits when a type is at its best and worst, a personality inventory checklist, comments on how to get along with the type, what each type likes and dislikes about being that type, how the type drives itself crazy, how the type acts as children, as parents, and at work, things that type would never dream of doing, and so on. The information is presented primarily in bulleted lists, so it's easy and quick to read -- and the cartoons are so witty. In addition, there are several cartoons throughout the book that depict each of the nine types "before the dinner party," at "the dinner party", "during coffee break", and "after the dinner party" that make the enneagram come to life.
If you're looking for a heavy, scholarly treatise, this is not your book. If you're looking for something fun, entertaining, yet surprisingly full of information, this is for you.
on June 26, 2003
If you've been meaning to figure out how the enneagram personality typing system works, but felt intimidated by weighty tomes on the subject, THE ENNEAGRAM MADE EASY is the book for you! Packed with amusing cartoons that describe aspects of each enneagram personality type on almost every page, this book provides the most interesting and entertaining introduction to the enneagram anyone could hope for. A chapter is devoted to each enneagram type, so you can fully explore: the Perfectionist, the Helper, the Achiever, the Romantic, the Observer, the Questioner, the Adventurer, the Asserter, and the Peacemaker.
I love the way THE ENNEAGRAM MADE EASY includes fascinating sub-sections in each chapter such as: "What's Hard About Being a Four," "Typical Thoughts of a Seven," and "How to Get Along With Me." These fun profiles make it easy to spot one's friends, family members, co-workers and even oneself -- and to find ways to make life easier.
Whether you have never before studied the Enneagram, or are intimately familiar with it, THE ENNEAGRAM MADE EASY is a book you'll feel refreshed to refer to again and again. I highly recommend it!
-- Cynthia Sue Larson
author of AURA ADVANTAGE: How the Colors in Your Aura Can Help You Attain What You Desire and Attract Success
on September 17, 2000
I was forced to read this book for Senior Religion, but I actually found out so much information about other people and how to get along with them. While reading through it, it helped me see why I act the way I do. It is very easy to read. Full of little cartoons and easy to identify with. I especially recomend it to parents who struggle to understand their children. This might offer a new perspective on why they are they way they are.
on December 8, 2013
Reviewed by C. J. Singh (Berkeley, CA)
GRAPHIC NOVEL MANUAL for ENNEAGRAM NOVICES
The wonderful cartoon-illustrations and the concision of its text make the book fun to read. For those who feel unease at the "made easy" title, suspecting it to mean simplistic, there are several ponderous books on the enneagram.
"The Enneagram (pronounced ANY-a-gram) system is represented by a circle containing a nine-pointed starlike shape" (page 2). It introduces the 9 main types of people. Actually, once you count the subtypes and the connections between the nine points, this system presents 27 types.
One, The Perfectionist;
Two, The Helper;
Three, The Achiever;
Four, The Romantic;
Five, The Observer;
Six, The Questioner;
Seven, The Adventurer;
Eight, The Asserter;
Nine, The Peacemaker;
The description of each main type begins with a 20-item "Personality Inventory" to help you determine your type. Next, each type's positive and negative adjectives are listed, followed by several brief sections such as "How to Get Along With Me"; "Relationships"; "What I Like About Being this Type"; "What's Hard About Being this Type"; and detailed "Practical Suggestions and Exercises for this Type."
The Enneagram tells me that I'm Type Four, with wings, that is, incorporating some of the traits of the neighboring Types Three and Five. "Type Fours at their best are: warm, compassionate, introspective, expressive, creative, intuitive, supportive, refined" (p 53). Fours at their worst are...? My strong wing to Type Three, the Achiever, is fluttering EVEN STRONGER, so I'm not telling.
This compact book even includes a 20-page chapter "How the Enneagram and the Jungian Types Fit Together." Based on the Jungian Types, the Meyer-Briggs Type Indicator comprises 16 types: combinations of Extrovert/Introvert; Sensing/iNtuitive; Thinking/Feeling; Judging/Perceiving. I am an ENFP -- Extrovert, intuitive, Feeling,Perceiving type.
"Extroverted Fours are sociable and expressive (sometimes flamboyant). They are likely to have more developed Three wing. iNtuitive Fours are insightful, idealistic, and often more interested in the world of imagination than in everyday reality. Fours prefer Feeling. They are emotionally sensitive, empathic, and warm. Perceiving Fours are more impulsive, indecisive, and adaptable" (p 144).
I disagree with the book's ascription of the Enneagram origins to Sufi sources. The psychologcal typology is derived from the ancient teachings of Hindu and Buddhist Psychology. In early 20th century, George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (of Greek-Armenian heritage) travelled to India, studied there for many years, and brought this knowledge to Russia and France in the 1920s. In the 1960s, Gurdjieff's followers took his teachings to the Americas. The Enneagram design itself is of India-origin: the "Mandala" (circle) and "Sri Yantra" (triangles and lines) shown as enclosed in a mandala of nine pointed-leaves. Even the name Ennea- is derived from the Indo-European root for nine, the earlier Sanskrit "nava" and later the Greek "ennea." If you have been told that numerals are of Arabic origin, please google the article by "Professor Ian Pearce, St. Andrews University, Indian Math History."
GRAPHIC-NOVEL MANUAL for ENNEAGRAM NOVICES.
on January 25, 1999
After taking classes and reading other books on the enneagram, I discovered this one and tossed out all the rest. It's exactly what I need to remember who I am and how best to deal with those many other types who cross my path. This is a keeper!
on March 19, 2016
This is one of the easiest to understand books on enneagram that I have ever come across. Previously, I had been struggling to figure out my type and wing and was torn between several. I have a firm grasp of mbti and have been studying it for years but enneagram had always confused me. After much internet searching, more confusion, and searching other books, I finally came across this one. The illustrations made me smile and the outlay of each chapter was so easy to read and to understand. It reads like an activity book rather than a novel, and is well written even for a non enthusiastic reader. I was easily able to pinpoint my type after reading this book and find myself able to explain enneagram much better now. Note: it is simply a beginner's guide and does not delve into sx, so, and sp tritypes.
I highly recommend this to anyone looking to get a beginner's understanding of enneagram.
on March 15, 2000
The book gives a very easy-to understand and amusing introduction to the Enneagram, explaining the basics of the system as well as how it relates to the Myers-Briggs type indicators.