From Library Journal
These two books are based on the ancient Greek concept of the four temperaments (sanguine, melancholic, phlegmatic, and choleric). First-time author Maddron refers to them as colors-orange, gold, green, and blue, respectively. Each has a "ruling sign" (air, earth, water, and fire) and is typified by physicality, high standards, intellectualism, and sensitivity respectively. Chapters cover the characteristics of each personality type as well as various combinations, and the author includes an instrument for self-analysis. Particularly intriguing is Maddron's discussion of how colors complement one another in functional society and the importance of understanding and appreciating the strengths and limitations of each. Despite the risks inherent in oversimplifying people and society, Maddron's treatment is nonetheless very thoughtful. Rolfe's passionate examination of the role and function of the four temperaments in life translates into half handbook, half treatise. Like Maddron, Rolfe (The 7 Secrets of Successful Parents) describes the traits and characteristics typical of each humor and accounts for the blending of multiple humors. Reasonable and encouraging in tone, the book emphasizes that "the humors can only add to and not detract from your deepest understanding as your life unfolds." Rolfe uses a holistic and ambitious approach that sometimes meets with uneven results. Discussing all the humors at once is often confusing, and the nutritional suggestions feel incomplete. While neither author tries to pigeonhole people, both present "a set of lenses for looking at the world" and its inhabitants. Both are recommended; Maddron's narrower scope results in a clear, entertaining read, while Rolfe is for readers seeking a serious treatment.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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