Saturday, January 29, 2011

With all the Bluster About Civility, Congress Needs Only to Read Rules from our First President

It is only fitting that with all the recent banter about "civility" in government, our politicials have forgotten what a real national leader is or should be.

How many presidents or politicians have run multiple businesses, spent a career in the military, presided over Congress, and gave up power willingly rather than seek it beyond any measure of democratic principle - all in one lifetime?

Look no further than to the first President of the United States, George Washington.

George Washington, the Father of the United States, exhibited notable manners throughout his life. Diligence in social matters was common practice in a decent society the world over, during his lifetime. At the age of 14, George washington wrote down 110 rules under the title, "Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation."

These rules were drawn from an English translation of a French book of maximsand were intended to polish manners, keep alive the best affections of the heart, impress the obligation of moral virtues, teach how to treat others in social relations, and above all, inculcate the pratice of perfect self-control.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wealth Virtues

It was inevitable that when my own book hit the market, I would certainly recommend it to everybody. In this case, I will defer to the literary critique provided by Deborah Young in March of 2010 for Dog Ear Publishing. At least I can present somewhat of an unbiased recommendation - James Ward, Author of Wealth Virtues.

I find the concept of this manuscript beneficial to the economic times we are currently living in. When I begin a book, I search for something to immediately capture my attention. This book does that extremely well. After the first two paragraphs I wanted to continue reading. That is a great sign and very beneficial to sales when a copy of this book is picked up in a store and the reader instantly wants to know the purpose of the message. Capturing the reader’s attention right at the beginning ensures they will continue rather than having them search through a few pages looking for the point of the book, become bored, put it down and move on. Excellent beginning!

Another aspect of this manuscript I find intriguing is the common sense style of the author. People can pick up so many books these days which offer instant wealth and false dreams. This author is so down to earth in his explanations of building wealth. It makes sense. The strategies don’t offer paths to “miracles”, but actual methods by which you achieve comfort in living standards and retirement. That is why I believe this book is far more useful than those who offer dreams and wild imaginations, but not real methods of arriving at the position in life one desires to be in.

The next very positive feature of this book is the fact it is based on Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues. I have to admit, since I minored in history in college, I always feel I have a fair grip on America’s history and those who shaped our country. However, while reading this information on Benjamin Franklin, I learned many things about his character and achievements that I hadn’t previously discovered. I think to intertwine his theories and teachings into a financial book of this type is nothing short of genius. Most people never would have thought of it. Very clever technique on the author’s part and it makes this book stand out as unique instead of yet another financial instructional manual.

The author’s interpretation of Franklin’s virtues and then relating them to his own experiences is very well done. It will give the reader an opportunity to look into their own lives by comparison as they move throughout the book. This is an excellent concept. The lists of questions and/or guidelines for the reader to incorporate into their own lives within each section is a wonderful addition and helps the individual reading this book for improvement and self-discovery the chance to draft their own “outline” for improvement.

Even though the general topic of financial wellbeing (and health initiatives) in this manuscript is of a serious nature, I like the way this author incorporates humor into many situations. Readers like to move through a non-fiction manuscript which holds their attention. The book should contain a storyline alongside useful, life-changing information. This book does that and more. It is constructed with a highly-skilled method of writing which makes the reader want to follow the author’s tales, yet they are learning something about improving their lives at the same time.

The charts at the end of this book are excellent in helping the reader evaluate their own financial condition. Many people, as we all know, never really see the whole picture or the trouble they could be in until it is placed before them in black and white. This helpful tool along with the quotes from Benjamin Franklin are completely appropriate. Excellent way to end the book.

At this point in a critique, I generally like to start picking apart everything I found wrong with the manuscript. In this case, that is nearly impossible to do. I liked it. I found the information relevant and entertaining. It didn’t drag on, was just long enough to contain all the required information, and kept my interest. I think this manuscript has a great potential for high-volume sales. In fact, I am going to actually read it from start to finish again for my own benefit, something I have to say I almost never do when writing a critique.