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Master Passions: Emotion, Narrative, and the Development of Culture Hardcover – March 15 2002

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From Library Journal

We of the Western world tend to believe that reason, principles, and laws govern our decisions and actions. The authors of this scholarly work argue that the less obvious form of control is the master passions, which originate in anxiety and are expressed in ambition and envy. Moldoveanu (Rotman Sch. of Management, Univ. of Toronto) and Nohria (Harvard Business Sch.) here explore the effects of passion-induced behaviors in inter- and intrapersonal and institutional relationships. Enriching their own observations, experiments, and examples of passion's grip on our minds, the authors include many excerpted writings from a variety of philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, politicians, economists, poets, and novelists, from Socrates to 20th-century thinkers. Throughout, Moldoveanu and Nohria compare the natural science and social science approaches to behavior prediction and the inquiry process, explaining their own focus on "person hood," the "I" in us all, and the nature of introspective inquiry in the process of constructing explanations of behavior. This is a challenging work that should be appreciated by an educated audience; suitable for academic and large public libraries. Suzanne W. Wood, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Alfred
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


In contrast to currently fashionable views of the inner world of passion and desire as an introjection of discursive externalities, the authors have sought to understand social phenomena from within, restoring introspection as a legitimate means of understanding and knowledge. They have succeeded brilliantly.

(Yiannis Gabriel, Professor of Organizational Theory, Imperial College, University of London)

An acute, sometimes disturbing incursion into the emotional landscape of modernity. Moldoveanu and Nohria have effected an original synthesis between the phenomenology of consciousness, the psychology of deception and self-deception, and the culture of desire, deceit, and domination. It is scholarly throughout and often profound.

(Ellen J. Langer, Department of Psychology, Harvard University)

Master Passions is an insightful, brilliant, readable, and compelling book. Moldoveanu and Nohria are to be congratulated (and envied) for resuscitating the powerful world of the passions ― long but uneasily obscured by many trumpeted mythical beliefs in rationality.

(Neil J. Smelser, University Professor of Sociology, Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley)

All of us, especially managers, must learn how our ambitions and actions contribute to our personal and organizational conditions. Master Passions provides a remarkable roadmap to help us be introspective in useful ways.

(James Champy, Chairman of Consulting, Perot Systems Corporation)

Rage, envy, jealousy, and ambition: awkward aberrations in our lives, or central to our sense-making and social structures? Master Passions persuasively reveals them at the core of our identities and relationships. These passions create narratives that we come to both trust and despise. The authors' creative use of introspective accounts, literature, and cross-disciplinary sources offers rewarding reading to scholars of emotion. By focusing on passions, this book is a worthy addition to the growing inquiries into emotion in and beyond organizations.

(Stephen Fineman, Professor of Organizational Behavior, School of Management, University of Bath, UK)

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Mariel Calderon M
5.0 out of 5 stars Passion trickster!
Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2015
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