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5.0 out of 5 stars "I Left My Heart in . . . .", 28 Aug 2004
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines (Hardcover)
This book clearly deserves more than five stars, for creating the potential for much more real conversation, cooperation, and understanding in American life.
Professor Anna Deavere Smith, actor, teacher, and playwright, has written the first totally new book on listening that I have ever had the pleasure to savor. This book takes you past the words, past the mannerisms, past the rehearsals . . . into the heart of the person. Your life will never be the same after you commune with this extraordinary American journey.
She feels that actors resonate because they are really trying to help people while politicians fail when using acting skills because they misuse them.
The duality of those extremes frame the remarkable investigation of how we all relate to the American dream and political system. Ms. Smith uses many such contrasts to open your mind and illuminate what you have already grasped from a further distance away -- we're badly divided. For example, she shows how both prisoners and the guards are caught in a harmful net with one another. This sets the stage for pointing out the same thing is true of politicians and the press.
Her most revealing comments are about life inside the Beltway as Washington insiders like to describe themselves. By the way, that means that the rest of the world is merely "outside the Beltway," an afterthought.
Ms. Smith has an eloquence that is impossible to resist.
We are like Dante, being accompanied into Hades by Ms. Smith, as she points out the self-poisoning, self-reinforcing downward spiral of the political process. Some date its beginning to Watergate, others earlier to Vietnam.
As a result, there's no heart left in government or those who cover government. Without that heart, there can be no progress . . . only service to the powerful interests who can buy attention.
You will find her comments about those she interviewed (many of them prominent) to be unforgettable. You could read this book just to know those people better and be well rewarded.
After you have finished enjoying this book and learning how to hear the "heart" of the speaker, I suggest that you continue your journey by seeking out "heart-felt" authentic conversations with those you meet. With your new listening skills from this book, you should be able to reach out to feel all those you converse with.
Listen and speak with all your heart!
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Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines
Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines by Anna Deavere Smith (Hardcover - Oct 2000)
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