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The Hungry Spirit Paperback – January 5, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (January 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767901886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767901888
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #859,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Hungry Spirit, by esteemed British businessperson-philosopher Charles Handy, is an extraordinarily eloquent and original treatise on the discomfort that many feel as a result of the overriding quest for corporate profit and personal advancement. Offering a carefully considered and compelling alternative vision, the book challenges the status quo on everything from capitalism and organization to goal-setting and morality. With nods to Kant, Keynes, Sartre, and Drucker, The Hungry Spirit is not your usual business tome, but that, of course, also seems to be part of Handy's plan. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

It seems a bit two-faced to argue that money is just a means, not an end, when you're a leading management writer wealthy enough to divide your time among London, Norfolk, and Tuscany, but the point is well taken.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

He's incredible insightful and thought provoking.
Marc
Once you begin to read, you will know the reason why...........
A Customer
Unknown to us, I think all us have a 'Hungry Spirit' within us.
kkant@singnet.com.sg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By kkant@singnet.com.sg on December 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Mr Handy has some very thought provoking ideas about capitalism, work and meaning of life. It was his 'Personal Preface' that attracted me to buy the book. As he said in the conclusion, "Life without hope is dismal."; I wanted to find out what he meant. In Part A of the book he talks about the impact of capitalism on the capitalist society . He explores the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the marketplace and competition. It is in Part B where the main substance of the book is. It is about the self and how individuals should respond. He profiles the changing world of work over the years and its impact on individuals. In reading the section on self-knowledge and self-awareness, I found the 'obituary exercise' took a new meaning in the context of what I had read; although I had done this exercise several times previously. Learning to live with others and discovering connectivity with society is an important aspect of living. This is very vividly brought out by Mr Handy. It is here I found hope that we could live more meaningful lifes. In Part C, there are some possible solutions to the dilemmas we face. It is in this part, Mr Handy elaborates on the 7 cardinal principles of trust. In the context of career management, the idea of of a school for life and work is a valuable concept. His chapter on the role of government mentions about the I's - information, involvement, individuality and infrastructure. He concludes in the epilogue with seven trends and indicators for the future. I would consider the book as required reading for anyone who wants to add value or meaning to their life, actively contribute to society or is interested in people. Unknown to us, I think all us have a 'Hungry Spirit' within us. Mr Handy's book may meet some of this hunger!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
Capitalism improves the lives of people more effectively than any other economic system. But the underlying principles of capitalism, efficiency and the bottom line, are too widely applied says the author. We are exhorted nowadays to run everything, even our personal lives, like a business. The problem is that the mandates of your life, and even many industries, like healthcare and social services, fall outside the basic structure of capitalist economics. Capitalism can provide wealth and comfort for people and institutions, but it cannot provide a meaning to their existence. People want more than money, says the author, they also hunger to make the best of themselves. The answer is to become "properly selfish." To be properly selfish means to reach beyond economics and find a true purpose to your life, to satisfy yourself by helping others, and building a legacy you can be proud of.

Charles Handy has the following advice for those seeking to add true meaning and richness to their lives:

· Know when to say "enough." Eventually, more wealth doesn't add value to your life, it just accumulates.

· Create the sublime. Make room in your life for things that lift your spirit like music and art.

· Reach for immortality. Find a way to leave something positive behind for the generations that will come after you.

· Help employees achieve their dreams. Give them a vision, a reason to feel passionate about their work.

· Treat your employees as citizens. Today, companies are more often a collection of people, not things.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By cyrus@hermes.com.tw on March 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Don't complete your reading too fast with this article. Take a break from time to time, for reflection within you now and then. You may discover something meaningful, which existed, yet faded away with your busy life.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marc on March 7, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Handy is an incredible author. Reading this book was like sitting at the feet of one of the elders at the gate. He's incredible insightful and thought provoking. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 14, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Charles Handy is one of the most literate and eloquent writers in the English language. A lifetime of business experience and a tremendous intellectual depth make his books a tremendous pleasure to read. I've always found his books about 10 years prescient of profound trends in society. The Hungry Spirit gave me an important insight into interesting books I have not read, spiritual insights I had not yet confronted and in the end, a glimpse of spiritual strength I have not yet achieved. A rare and beautiful book. Scholars for several decades will look back on publication of this book as an important event.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F C on March 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Managers, who have not yet read this book, should rush to read it from cover to cover. Hungry Spirit should be included in the reading materials for all MBA programs.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bill Wiersma on April 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
What struck me about this book was the search the author himself had made (and was continuing to make) in finding meaning for himself. The theories behind his views on capitalism (while interesting) wasn't the point to me. Handy reveals that (in the end) he had paid a terrible price in his family relationships while aggressively pursuing a demanding career as an oil executive and, to a lesser degree, later as an educator. This is something that most people can relate to--as it's a particularly delicate balance to maintain early in one's career.

It's insightful and painful at the same time to watch Handy go through his contortions. It was something I could certainly relate to...experiencing the guilt associated with investing so much of one's self in career at the expense of (ultimately) bigger priorities.

Towards the sunset years of one's life, one's life priorities become very clear. There's not a lot of preaching here...simply great wisdom from someone who attempts to inspire others to evaluate these important questions for themselves.

Bill Wiersma

Author: The Big AHA!
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