From Library Journal
Like Landrum's previous, successfully done studied on genius (Profiles of Genius, Prometheus, 1993, and Profiles of Female Genius, LJ 6/1/94), this book features 13 black "creative geniuses who changed the world." These extraordinary individuals (Maya Angelou, Bill Cosby, Michael Jordan, Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey, et al.) all possess Landrum's criteria for inclusion in his collection?they must be self-made, dominant for ten years, contemporary (since 1950), and have an international influence. The Myers-Briggs Indicator Test and Kiersey's Temperament Preferences are then applied to each individual, with fascinating results; well-organized tables assist in elucidating the five factors to which Landrum attributes creative and entrepreneurial success: historical mentors, nature vs. nurture, crisis and creativity, success imprints, and personality. This study effectively integrates social science principles with pop psychology. For public libraries.?Kay Meredith Dusheck, Animosa, Iowa
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"What does it take to achieve superstardom?" is a question posed not only by many doting relatives and kids themselves but also by inventor and author Landrum, who, since 1993, has investigated the success secrets of the world's most powerful people. This time, he turns to the black community, selecting 13 household names who survived a rather rigorous selection test but, most important, were "normal people with abnormal lives." In a curious mix of academic and popular journalistic styles, he examines with extraordinary care such critical influencing factors as historical mentors (beyond Frederick Walker and Martin Luther King); the nature versus nurture controversy, managing to discredit The Bell Curve
's hypothesis that genetics rules; crises; personality traits, from charisma to vision; and the racial differences of overachievers. Although his choice of subjects may be debated and the omissions glaring (e.g., no Muhammed Ali), Landrum presents enduring portraits and role models for people of all colors. Barbara Jacobs