Sunday, June 05, 2005

Misc - Confessions --> Book Reading - by Dubner & Book Signing - by Deming

Confessions of A Hero-Worshiper

By Stephen J. Dubner

Many of you might not know who Stephen J. Dubner is but I bet you have seen his name along with another guy named Steve D. Levitt. They are the co-authors of the best selling book “Freakonomics.” A number of you have purchased the book since I recommended it in May

While Steven Levitt is well known in the Economics Circles, Stephen Dubner is best known for his articles and two other books “Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son’s Return to his Jewish Family,” and Confessions of A Hero-Worshiper.”

An interesting pairing, I have always been intrigued by “the other guy.” You know, guys like Bud Abbott, Oliver Hardy and Larry Fine. And since I enjoyed the book so much I wanted to learn more about the authors. I have known about Steven Levitt but not "the other guy" - Stephen Dunbar.

I finished reading Confessions of A Hero-Worshiper last Thursday. While wanting to tell you how much I enjoyed the book and highly recommend that you read it I’m having difficulty pinning down exactly what I liked best.

It could be the book was such a change a pace of my normal readings that I welcomed a heart warming true story from am author who bares his soul to the reader. While I never had a Hero Worship to the extent of Stephen, I found myself amazed at the extent and patience the author had with Franco Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers Fame in writing this book (if you’re a fan of the Steelers and in particular Franco Harris this is a “must” read).

It wasn’t until page 234 at the end of Chapter 16, that I found what the book was trying to tell me the reader and perhaps ultimately the author:

“But I had been wrong. No book could ever accomplish such a thing. No book, as hard and bloody as it might be, was suitable sacrifice. It would take a riskier, more painful project to fulfill my offering; fatherhood.”

I always try and determine the aim/purpose of the book I am reading; somehow I think Stephen wrote this book for himself. I’m sure glad he did I was glad to be along for the ride.

Whenever I read a book I often illustrate it by highlighting passages and writing my comments all over the pages. I then tear small pieces of paper or miniature post-its and put them between the pages so that I can come back later to the page if I want to remember an important thought. By the time I’m done the book is usually inches thicker.

"Confession of a Book Signing"
by qualityg
I remember the first time I met Dr. Deming at one of his seminars. He graciously would sit at break and sign his book “Out of the Crisis” for the attendees. Needless to say after four days of taking notes and highlighting numerous pages I waited in line where eventually I would approach the podium where he sat. I will always remember the person in line in front of me making the comment “Are you going to ask him to sign that.? you destroyed his book! I don’t usually care what other people think, let alone some pimple faced MBA Hot Shot from General Motors but I was somewhat ashamed that I should have revered the book with more consideration. I just couldn’t stop capturing his every word.

As I approached him I was preparing to get scolded as he had done to many for asking silly questions over the past four days. As I handed him the book he looked over the book and smiled, I just looked straight ahead (I had not done that since I was in front of my drill sergeant), eventually he said, “What’s your name,” Greg I replied. “Well Greg, I like a person who uses my book as a tool, well done.” That was it, he signed the book with my name in it and it sits even more marked as before since I have read the book many times.

After that encounter I was fortunate to be able to speak, listen and learn from Dr. Deming on a number of other occasions.

While I have multiple copies of “Out of the Crisis” and “The New Economics” I have always wanted a first edition and printing of each. Last week I ordered them from PTurner Books.

Thanks to Dr. Joyce Orsini and Patricia Turner for answering my Emails so that I can add these books to my Quality Library.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed "Freakonomics." I need to check out "Confessions."


qualityg says said...


You won't be disapointed. There is a talk to another book by Dubner & Levitt. Yes it will be on Freakonomics.

I hope Dubner continues to do some work on his own, I believe his best work is still to come.


Anonymous said...

I'll check them out, thanks for the information about Dubner.


Anonymous said...

I was not aware that Stephen Dubner worte other books. I thought he just wrote articles for Newspapers.