Boswell, a book packager, should be expected to know, yet he manages to come up with only 10 awful truthsperhaps he neglected to consult the galley slaves in the hold below virtually any book-biz aerie. Among his gloomy alerts: returns of hardcovers average three out of every 10 books shipped to bookstores; paperback shelf life is three to six weeks; 53,000 new titles are published annually, with the average individual hardcover sale 5000 copies. After alarming aspiring writers with such verities, Boswell becomes positively cheering and sets out to instruct them on how to bypass the slush pile and best the overloaded system of publishing``one of our most idealized and misunderstood industries.'' Writers, he argues, must be calculating, from psyching out the subliminal wants of potential readers to submitting a book proposal to a publisher (the stress is on ``research, germination, execution''). Boswell, coauthor of What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School, here shows himself to be a sound teacher to yet another sort of tyro, providing they're not named Bellow, say, or Ludlum. About how a novelist might learn to be cunning, he is mute. (September 10)
The humanistic psychology movement is reaching beyond individual potentialism toward an evolving global consciousness. Four questions, presented here as debates, are particularly relevant at this critical stage. Is the movement making the world better politically, or does it encourage disengagement? Does its view of human beings fail to acknowledge evil? Does Maslow show a theoretical ambivalence, an implicit elitist concern only for the more realized individual offset by emphasis on inner rather than outer freedom? Finally, how can the movement promote larger strategies for humanistic social intervention? These debates, based on recent articles chiefly from the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, display lively disagreement and valuable restatement of theoretical positions. For collections supporting works on humanistic psychology.William Abrams, Portland State Univ. Lib., Ore.