Learn more Download now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
20
The Empty Raincoat: Making Sense of the Future
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£8.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 February 2009
This book is not new having been written nearly fifteen years ago. However the recent events in the financial markets reveal that its message remains remarkably relevant.

Handy begins by discussing how economic progress has been won at a high cost. The claimed increase in freedom and choice have meant less equality and more misery if not for the wealthy few, for the rest of society. One of many paradoxes that Handy explores. I particularly enjoyed his thoughts on how paying for jobs to be done, often destroys the jobs. His argument being that many worthwhile and valuable jobs simply become uneconomical once they are paid for, and thus disappear. It's certainly my belief that the willingness of someone to pay for something is a very poor measure of whether something is worth doing. Think of the care you lavish on your children or time spent on hobbies.

The title comes from his plea that people should not be reduced to being empty raincoats.
"We were not destined to be empty raincoats, nameless numbers on a payroll, role occupants, the raw material of economics or sociology, statistics in some government report",
"If that is to be its price, then economic progress is an empty promise." Handy believes that it is every individual's challenge to fill their empty raincoat. to make meaning in their life.

Handy argues that life is full of paradox and things simply can't be predicted or understood. The challenge of life is to manage paradox, not to accumulate possessions.
He argues that wealth should not be measured in property and land, but in terms of knowledge.

"The means of production" in the future will be owned by the workers because it will be based on their intelligence and know how - a difficult thing to gauge in financial terms alone.

Handy makes the analogy that where in the past an organisation was like a castle, it will become more like a condominium: "an association of temporary residents gathered together for their mutual convenience".

It seems to me that the messages of this book provide a reminder that the world is rapidly changing and that our understanding of change must also change.

"Like dogs, if we are well fed we are content. However, contentment and complacency have no place in a world where inequality and despair are rife. Success and vision can no longer be about our individual "empty raincoat" struggle for profit and material gain. If we do not help each other then we most certainly cannot help ourselves."
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 22 June 2017
An insightful and life-affirming read. Charles has an interesting and unique perspective on how we live our lives, backed up by a solid understanding of economics and grounded by his experience in the field. He takes you through the paradoxes surrounding our society, giving an interesting psychological and philosophical perspective on how we live our lives and why. He also dares you to hope for a better future!

I had the pleasure of hearing Charles Handy speak a year ago; he is a fantastic orator, and his insightful wit and sharp mind comes across in his writing. Currently reading 'The Second Curve'.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 5 May 2017
Charles Handy is insightful as ever and still very applicable more than 20 years after first publication
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 31 July 2015
I enjoyed the premise of the book and it started well but I struggled with some chapters which were a little heavy going but overall it was an interesting series of concepts.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 1 December 2016
an okay book
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 15 April 2016
Thanks
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 10 January 2017
Timeless book, everyone should have a copy
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 14 August 2013
Fast delivery and a good read.This is not for a quiet Sunday browse.The book is most interesting and I suggest that anyone with an interest in their country has a read./
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 17 May 2016
Great book
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 6 August 2015
Brilliant book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse