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Master Passions: Emotion, Narrative, and the Development of Culture Hardcover – April 1, 2002
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
In contrast to currently fashionable views of the inner world of passion and desire as an introjection of discursive externalities, the authors have sought to understand social phenomena from within, restoring introspection as a legitimate means of understanding and knowledge. They have succeeded brilliantly.(Yiannis Gabriel, Professor of Organizational Theory, Imperial College, University of London)
An acute, sometimes disturbing incursion into the emotional landscape of modernity. Moldoveanu and Nohria have effected an original synthesis between the phenomenology of consciousness, the psychology of deception and self-deception, and the culture of desire, deceit, and domination. It is scholarly throughout and often profound.(Ellen J. Langer, Department of Psychology, Harvard University)
Master Passions is an insightful, brilliant, readable, and compelling book. Moldoveanu and Nohria are to be congratulated (and envied) for resuscitating the powerful world of the passions -- long but uneasily obscured by many trumpeted mythical beliefs in rationality.(Neil J. Smelser, University Professor of Sociology, Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley)
All of us, especially managers, must learn how our ambitions and actions contribute to our personal and organizational conditions. Master Passions provides a remarkable roadmap to help us be introspective in useful ways.(James Champy, Chairman of Consulting, Perot Systems Corporation)
Rage, envy, jealousy, and ambition: awkward aberrations in our lives, or central to our sense-making and social structures? Master Passions persuasively reveals them at the core of our identities and relationships. These passions create narratives that we come to both trust and despise. The authors' creative use of introspective accounts, literature, and cross-disciplinary sources offers rewarding reading to scholars of emotion. By focusing on passions, this book is a worthy addition to the growing inquiries into emotion in and beyond organizations.(Stephen Fineman, Professor of Organizational Behavior, School of Management, University of Bath, UK)
Top Customer Reviews
You get some flavor of the book, when you look in the index and find the names of Michel Foucault, Rene Girard, Mikhail Bakunin, Camus, Thomas Kuhn, Heidegger, Isaiah Berlin, Arthur Koestler, Sartre, Umberto Eco, Karl Marx, Milton Friedman, Samuel Beckett, Hegel, Descartes, Pascal, Nietzsche, Bergson, Dostoyevsky, Emil Cioran, Kafka, Lenin, John Milton, Max Weber, Simmel, Wittgenstein.
With a strong philosophical orientation, the book was nevertheless shelved under "psychology" even though it was written by two graduate business school professors (Harvard, Toronto).
Some of the chapter headings are intriguing: "Anxiety: the Primeval Broth", "Ambition as Desire and the Will to Power", "Envy and Jealousy: The Master Ratchets", "Want, Will, Wish, Would: the Predicaments of Desire", "A Self Against Itself: An Aesthetic or Rage", "Soliloquies of the Candid Villain: Catharses of the Master Passions".
Personally, I found the book riveting. Once immersed in the discourse of the book, I could not put it down. The writing style reminds me of European writers like Catherine Clements or Slavoj Zizek though not Lacanian in the least, even if the subject matter circles around desire.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in books of this genre, mixing philosophy and the cultural sciences while ranging over a vast amount of territory in a short number of pages (to be exact, 231 pages without the references and index).
It's actually a fun book to read, and if one does not take it too seriously, a lot of laughs. Or if one does take it seriously, then a survival manual and roadmap for achieving ultimate status and power, while ruthlessly overcoming one's rivals.