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Posted August 19, 2005
Recommendation Eric Liu is a gifted, practiced writer whose prose shines, particularly when he writes about his life. This book chronicles his quest to learn what makes someone a great mentor. Quest genre sagas share lessons learned along the course of the journey, and usually culminate with some variation of Judy Garland's parting words in 'The Wizard of Oz': '...if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!' Liu's verbal gifts and originality enable him to avoid most, but not all, of this New Age genre's pitfalls. Liu discovers the five characteristics of great teachers, as personified by the 15 delightfully diverse mentors he interviewed: a sought-after Hollywood acting instructor, a major league pitching coach, a forensics teacher, a corporate motivational speaker and more. Liu approaches each mentor with reverent inspection, as if each unknowingly possesses a clue to the puzzle of what makes a teacher extraordinary. While the book's business relevance may be somewhat limited, Liu's essay-stories are consistently original, thoughtful and engaging. That's why we give this book a strong recommendation, particularly for coaches and trainers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.