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Power Tactics of Jesus Christ and Other Essays, Second Edition Paperback – December 10, 2005
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There are some startling assertions here. I hope Mr. Haley owns a backyard bomb shelter. --John Leonard, The New York Times
About the Author
Jay Haley studied with Dr. Milton Erickson for 17 years. He was a major editor of Erickson's work and authored many books about him. Mr. Haley was professor at Stanford University, Howard University, the University of Maryland, and at the California School of Professional Psychology.
Top customer reviews
Jay Haley does the work that more authors should do I my opinion. He does without the value judgments and ideology associated with a subject people think they already know and presents it in a useful context. In this case, Haley focuses on the strategy and tactics Jesus used to form his organization and take hold of the Roman Empire.
From defining the term power tactic, to analyzing the power of the surrender tactic (turn the other cheek), to Jesus final strategic calculation (or perhaps, miscalculation) in his arrest and execution, Haley covers Jesus' entire gambit, focusing on what he gained strategically from his actions and what we can learn from them.
The most useful strategy Jesus used when first starting his movement was that he framed his radical movement within the existing framework of the society in which he lived. Instead of claiming he was starting a new religion, he instead insisted his ideas weren't, "deviations from the established religion but a more true expression of the ideas of that religion."
After reading The Power Tactics of Jesus Christ, a logical next step would be Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. I saw shades of the great community organizer throughout the essay, making me think he did Haley's work years before for his own study.
I have only one caveat about this expanded second edition. It omits Haley's charming & informative essay "The Amiable Hippie" -- no doubt because it was considered terribly dated & unimportant now. I disagree. It's one of the few attempts to examine the genuine hippie (as opposed to all the wannabes) from the viewpoint of psychology & sociology, providing an honest & three-dimensional portrait of a movement that's since been reduced to caricature over the decades. Having known some of those genuine hippies myself as a boy, I can attest to Haley's analysis -- an understanding, forgiving, and ultimately admiring view that both recognized, even then, the fragility & ephemeral nature of the movement, but also its very humane qualities -- qualities we could use today. If you can find that earlier edition, check out this particular essay.
That aside, the expanded selection in this edition remains well worth reading & mulling over -- highly recommended!
Haley takes a systems perspective of behavior. Every behavior is an attempt to get "one-up" on the other person. Even schizophrenia can be explained as an adaptation to complicated, interrelated interpersonal relationships.
The most useful essay is "Therapy - A New Pheonoen." I entered therapy without a clear understanding of what therapy was and wasn't, the therapists role, and what I could do to make it more effective. Don't waste time as the therapist tries to politely guide you; understand where he is trying to take you so you can decide to follow or not.
There is a surprising amount of wit. For some reason, I am much more receptive to an essay titled "How to Have an Awful Marriage" than "The Keys to a Good Marriage." It turns out, we use the same, tired ploys to try to get "one-up" on our spouse - our tactics aren't that original or useful.
The title essay delivers, but I agree with Ryan, it isn't the best essay in the collection. If you enjoy "The Power Tactics of Jesus Christ" the obvious extension is Rules for Radicals.