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Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity: Servant Leadership as a Way of Life
Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity: Servant Leadership as a Way of Life
by Shann Ray
Edition: Paperback
Price: $32.31
29 used & new from $19.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much-needed paradigm for leadership, March 25, 2012
In this expansive analysis of servant leadership, Shann Ray Ferch examines a humanist model of leadership, and some of its models in the modern political landscape. The author finds in servant leadership a paradigm for both personal development and an attitude toward leadership that is both humble and empowering, yet capable of great strength. Using the work of Robert Greenleaf as a foundation, Ferch lays out essential characteristics of servant leadership, which flows naturally from the belief in the dignity of individuals. As he puts it, "...the power of servant leaders emerges from their devotion to being transparent with regard to their own faults and humble in their approach to self, others, and leadership. ... In servant leadership...humbleness of spirit leads to strength of relationship, whether the relationship be personal, familial, organizational, or global." Further, "Servant leadership calls people toward a communal effort with others that both invigorates the individual person and draws the community toward moral clarity; therefore, it requires a sustained effort at both personal and spiritual formation, the contemplative and active will to understand the inner life."

This leads quite naturally to an analysis of precepts of servant leadership as exemplified by Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Vaclav Havel, and others. Ferch quotes from Vaclav Havel: " ...the salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the power to reflect, in human meekness and in human responsibility." Both Tutu and Havel's roles in fostering national forgiveness and reconciliation are models of servant leadership, and their work is seen as a model for future endeavors. "Many people have begun to follow Desmond Tutu's resolute call to the nations: 'The most effective wat to build a new world community is for the perpetrators or their descendants to acknowledge the awfulness of what happened and the descendants of the victims to respond by granting forgiveness.' Tutu states unequivocally that there is no future without forgiveness."

Although Ferch does not discuss the Middle East, it is clear that, among others, the Israelis and Palestinians are both awaiting leaders who embrace the humility and dignity of servant leadership. "For people who hold tight to an intense need to declare right and wrong, forgiveness is an empty vessel, but for those willing to live in the paradoxical tension of forgiving on one hand while not depleting personal power on the other, the center of life calls forth the best of our humanity." We can only hope that such leadership is manifest before further political disasters engulf that region.

This is a powerful book, full of Shann Ray Ferch's own personal experience, enlightenment, and grace. Parents, community leaders, politicians, and businessmen can all benefit from a full understanding of the attitude and practice of servant leadership, and this book provides a rich examination of how these principles have played out in different parts of the world.


American Masculine: Stories
American Masculine: Stories
by Shann Ray
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.06
105 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece of American Fiction, July 25, 2011
Stunning stories in this collection, stories of pain, sorrow, loss, and ultimately, redemption. Off but near the reservations of rural Montana, the narrators all suffer the ravages of alcoholism, child abuse, and the alienation of life in the city. The first story (How We Fall) sets the tone for the collection: Benjamin Killsnight, having left the reservation and married a white woman, stoically struggles with his own alcoholism and his wife's steady disintegration. She runs away from him, and "He worked on small hopes and limited understanding" while waiting for his wife to return. He considers the sorrowful history of suicides among his friends, she returns, and they survive.

Bleak but hopeful, the stories ring with austere images of natural life:

"In Montana on the high steppe below the great mountains the great birds called raptors fly long and far, and with their translucent predatory eyes they see for miles. The Blackfeet called it the backbone of the world. Once he watched two golden eagles sweeping from the pinnacled heights, the great stone towers. He was three hours from Billings, west past Bozeman. The day was crisp, the sky free of clouds, the sun solitary and white at the zenith. Hunting whitetail he sat on his heels, his rifle slung across his back as he glassed the edge of coulees and the brush that lined the fields. He used the binoculars with focused precision, looking for the crowns of bucks , that would be lying down, hiding. But it was high up to his right, along the granite ridge of the nearest mountain where he'd seen movement."

These are powerful and affecting stories, almost unbearable in their intensity, yet they almost all end in healing, forgiveness, and in the final story, a marriage. Shann Ray has an engaging, unassuming voice that is clear and deeply genuine. Transcending the boundaries of regional fiction, Ray speaks to universals with calm, unblinking accuracy. Only someone with a heart of stone could read these stories and not be shaken.


London Journal 1762-1763 (Penguin Classics)
London Journal 1762-1763 (Penguin Classics)
by James Boswell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.07
74 used & new from $4.70

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively and Vivid Vignettes of Georgian London, May 21, 2011
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James Boswell, twenty-two year old Edinburgh gentleman, kept a daily diary of adventurous stay in London from 1762 to 1763. Unknown for 150 years, the journal is a witty and detailed account of his adventures in the theaters, coffee-houses, and salons of Georgian London. His entries provide endless entertainment, and present a picture of London life that is vibrant and quite frequently shocking. Boswell recounts, among other things, his first meeting with Samuel Johnson, and his many visits to the theater, where he saw and came to know the great David Garrick, and his experiences with whores.

Most will approach the journals from familiarity with Boswell's life of Johnson, and there are many interesting entries regarding Johnson in the journals, including their first meeting. "I drank tea at Davie's in Russell Street and about seven came in the great Mr. Samuel Johnson, whom I have so long wished to see. Mr. Davies introduced me to him. As I knew his mortal antipathy to the Scotch, I cried to Davies 'Don't tell where I come from.' However he said From Scotland. Mr. Johnson [,] said I [,] indeed I come from Scotland, but I cannot help it. 'Sir' replied he [,] 'That I find is what a great many of your countrymen cannot help.' " (Monday 16 May 1763)

Boswell, who came to know the actor, saw David Garrick in King Lear: "I went to Drury Lane & saw Mr. Garrick play King Lear. So very high is his reputation even after playing so long, that the pit was full in ten minutes after four, altho' the play did not begin until half an hour after Six. ... Mr Garrick gave me the most perfect satisfaction. I was fully moved & shed abundance of tears." (Thursday 12 May 1763)

A dirty story: "I toyed with her. Yet I was not inspired by Venus. I felt rather a delicate sensation of love, than a violent amorous inclination for her. Louisa knew not my powers." (Sunday 2 January 1763) Louisa was soon to discover his full powers, multiple times. Mr. Boswell discovered, shortly thereafter, that he knew not Louisa's powers, as he caught the clap from her. Boswell records his many amorous adventures in unblushing and vivid detail, and the editor at Penguin has helpfully glossed his assignations with full details of the places, customs, and characters involved in these escapades.

I don't usually enjoy journals, but Boswell's is greatly entertaining, and worth getting to know.


O Sole Mio: Song of Italy
O Sole Mio: Song of Italy
Offered by Music Spot 1
Price: $15.74
31 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O Sole Mio, July 12, 2000
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An excellent compendium of Neapolitan songs. The recordings date from 1933-1949, and are all very cleanly transfered. Nice alternation of energetic and soulful, a pleasure to hear. The first track, Gigli's performance of "Torna a Surriento", is alone worth the price of the recording.


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