out of 5
Review by arjuna
Fluent and flowing breakdown of the way in which emotion is generated, how it manifests in the body, how it affects cognition, behaviour and learning. A lot of what Goleman has to say is commonly accepted now, but his feat in pulling the couple of decades' worth of available data, research and theory together in such a way as to both support his case and appeal to the layman should not be underestimated. The book is a little simplistic, presents too much "anecdata" at times in an attempt to Create Personal Interest, and occasionally slips perilously close to Self-Help territory, but that's a standard pitfall of US non-fiction - one can overlook it when it's less than pervasive, and Goleman does a decent job staying empirical and informative for the most part. As an EC teacher, his recommendations about the need for explicit teaching to pre-primary children of "emotional competence" gladdens my heart - the more people who understand that what we do in "daycare" IS TEACHING - and not only that, teaching according to scientific principles in accordance with what we know about the demonstrable neurological and behavioural effects over time of a lack of these and other skills - the better. A useful text, if only because it uses reasonably plain English to show why we do what we do, and precisely why it is valuable.