Getting What You Want: The 7 Principles of Rational Living

Robert J. Ringer, Author
Robert J. Ringer, Author Penguin Putnam $23.95 (258p) ISBN 978-0-399-14686-2
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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More than 20 years ago, Ringer had two sensational bestsellers, Winning Through Intimidation and Looking Out for #1. In an attempt to recapture the limelight, he has written another provocative self-help book, though it is unfortunately weighed down by rambling critiques on such topics as fast foods, Elvis, talk shows and the misguided efforts of the unnamed New Zealand company for which the entrepreneurial author distributed herbal products for a time. The latter is an especially noteworthy example of the book's lack of discipline and focus, which distracts from Ringer's articulation of a philosophy that may connect for some readers. Defining rational living as a ""moral right to do what is in our best interest without hurting another person,"" Ringer offers his guidelines for achieving a rational life. Among his principles are: acting from the basis of truth; focusing on values, not entitlements; ridding oneself of encumbrances such as an obsessive focus on past hurts and unsatisfying relationships or jobs; behaving with dignity, civility, honesty and humility; avoiding people who tax one's time, energy and vitality; and acting on intellect, not impulse. Though Ringer is no longer a household name, the commercial value of his provocative outtakes and Putnam's well-designed promotional campaign are not to be dismissed. (Sept.)
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