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Book Reviews

How to Get More out of What You Read

March 13th, 2013 // 11:37 am @

Two Books Reviewed by Oliver DeMille

People often ask me if I’m going to write a book called Thomas Jefferson Education for Adults.

They usually say this after reading my books A Thomas Jefferson Education or A Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens, or both.

They get excited about getting a truly great education, not settling for anything less than the highest quality of learning for themselves and their children, and they wonder how to really get that kind of education themselves.

My answer is always, “Start reading the classics.”

When people follow this suggestion, many of them soon realize they’re not getting as much out of their reading as some people seem to.

When they ask how they can get more from their reading, I frequently tell them to study the logical fallacies.

Too many classrooms and schools today teach students what to think rather than how to think, and even many professional and graduate schools focus on when to think.

Teaching students how to think (deeply, broadly, creatively, innovatively, etc.) seems to be a lost art in too much of our modern educational system.

Two books on fallacies are an excellent response: The Art of Argument by Aaron Larsen, Joelle Hodge, and Chris Perrin, and Joseph Spider and the Fallacy Farm by David Grant.

Read these books together, since the first is an excellent workshop on how to think and the second is a fun story that will pull in younger students.

These books not only teach readers how to think, they inspire them to engage thinking.

In short, to think.

A lot.

Specifically, these two books teach a number of fallacies of thinking—in an interesting and effective way.

I highly recommend them for any youth, parent and teacher who wants to boost their students’ thinking ability.

In fact, both books are a great read for any adult.

When people know the fallacies, they automatically start thinking more deeply and they get a lot more out of everything they read—especially the classics.

So if you’re reading important books and want to significantly increase your rate of learning from them, check out these two books.

It’ll make a huge difference for your students and, even more importantly, for you.

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odemille 133x195 custom Egypt, Freedom, & the Cycles of HistoryOliver DeMille is the chairman of the Center for Social Leadership and co-creator of Thomas Jefferson Education.

He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

Category : Blog &Book Reviews &Education &Featured

Is China Really a Threat?

March 11th, 2013 // 1:01 pm @

I try to read most new books on China, because I think the growth of China on the world stage will continue for some time and eventually conflict with America’s interests.

Whether the conflict turns to cooperation or serious difficulty remains to be seen, but keeping abreast of what is happening in China is essential for today’s leaders.

A new book, Is China Buying the World? by Peter Nolan, is an interesting addition to the field and adds several key ideas to the dialogue.

First, it makes the case that no, China is not buying the world any more than Japan bought it in the 1980s (despite widespread fears that this was occurring).

Second, however, China is certainly growing economically and in world influence.

Chinese firms have purchased ownership in a number of companies around the advanced world, as well as tying up access to a lot of natural resources in the developing world.

And numerous multi-national companies have heavily invested in China.

This growth will likely continue, and even expand.

Third, China’s major challenge is restricted access to oil and energy.

As it grows, its thirst for energy will continue to increase and drive its international business expansion.

Fourth, China wants to be a much bigger player on the world scene, and it is following a specific strategy for global influence.

This strategy includes major investments in two key sectors of the world economy, banking and the aerospace industry.

Chinese leaders hope that together, these things—increased investment in the developing world, increased ownership of international resources especially oil, growing global investment in China, increased ownership in multi-national companies, major growth of Chinese influence in the banking and aerospace sectors—will significantly strengthen China’s world role.

Fifth, advances in the aerospace industry are significant because of the close ties between military and business technologies and projects.

As China increases its role in this endeavor, along with banking, it becomes more powerful economically, technologically and, if it chooses, militarily.

This book is a detailed and important read for anyone who cares about the future of the big powers in world relations.

More to the point, more people need to read and think more about the specific issues currently at play in China’s growth.

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odemille 133x195 custom Egypt, Freedom, & the Cycles of HistoryOliver DeMille is the chairman of the Center for Social Leadership and co-creator of Thomas Jefferson Education.

He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

Category : Blog &Book Reviews &Business &Current Events &Economics &Featured &Foreign Affairs

A Modern Classic – The Conscious Creator

February 15th, 2013 // 2:33 pm @

Book Review by Oliver DeMille of The Conscious Creator by Kris Krohn & Stephen Palmer

The Law of Attraction, Revisited

Every once in a while I read a book that really changes me—deeply, drastically, truly. I’ve never been the same since I read Les Miserables the first time, for example, and when I read The Making of America by W. Cleon Skousen my whole life shifted. The same happened when I read A World Split Apart by Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn, and The Law by Bastiat. Of course, scripture is the best read because it has changes for you no matter how many times you re-read it. Some books just change your life.

Today I read another life-changing book. In fact, I read it through the evening and couldn’t put it down so I read through the night. I usually read fast, but in this case I took so many notes that I didn’t finish until after 3 a.m. The book is The Conscious Creator by Kris Krohn with Stephen Palmer.

This book is brilliant, and I don’t use that word lightly. This book is a revolution, because it really gets to the heart of what the whole modern “Manifesting Your Dreams” movement is all about. Manifesting works for some people, but not for others, and Krohn and Palmer show why.

When the book The Secret came out a few years ago, it was an international phenomenon. Millions of people were touched by it, and moved by its promise of what great things can happen to one’s life when we apply “The Law of Manifestation.” Within a year, many people around the world were using its concepts in their daily lives. But over time, a lot of them felt disappointed by the results. Many critics lamented that the reality just didn’t live up to the hype, that the promises of the book just weren’t as realistic as described.

Perhaps the problem was that many people didn’t quite understand what was really needed. “Manifesting” can mean different things to different people, after all.

This problem is remedied by The Conscious Creator. It outlines six laws of manifesting, not just one. The first law, which is basically the same as that listed in The Secret and so many other books on manifesting what you really want in life, doesn’t work if you don’t apply the other five laws!

Just the chapter on Law 4 alone is worth much more than the price of the book. Anyone who wants to really understand the laws of success should read this book. After I finished reading it, even though it was late, I pulled out my copy of The Secret and perused my notes. In fact, many of the six laws are there, I just didn’t quite catch them before. But with the six laws fresh in my mind from reading The Conscious Creator, suddenly The Secret was a whole new book.

I read every new book I can get my hands on about the topics that really interest me, and manifesting is a fascinating field—whether you buy into it or not. Having read dozens of books on the subject, I am impressed by how effectively The Conscious Creator teaches the principles of success. In my opinion, it is the best book in the entire manifesting genre, right up there with The Jackrabbit Factor.

It is written as a story, like The One Minute Manager or The Richest Man in Babylon, and the story is engaging and fun. This is a great book, and I couldn’t sleep until I wrote this recommendation to everyone. In short, this is truly a great book! Read it! It won’t disappoint. It’s a modern classic.

Category : Blog &Book Reviews &Mini-Factories

A LeaderShift is coming. Are you ready?

February 8th, 2013 // 2:09 pm @

Now available for presale!

Pleadershiftcoverlease join us in celebrating Oliver DeMille’s latest work, co-authored with best-selling author and business guru Orrin Woodward — the  soon-to-be released book, LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, with an on-sale date of April 16, 2013.

This action-packed business fable is the culmination of Orrin and Oliver’s combined expertise and will offer every North American a deeper understanding of the Five Laws of Decline and how the respective effects are becoming increasingly evident in the United States.

LeaderShift will explain this devastating phenomenon in detail, motivate readers to take immediate and precise action and, most importantly, offer guidance on how each individual can contribute to not only stopping, but reversing this crippling trend.

Orrin and Oliver are proud to have LeaderShift published by the prestigious Hachette Book Group (second largest book publishing company in the world) and will hit the mainstream under the Business Plus imprint of one of the country’s most elite book publishing groups. In 2011, Hachette Book Group had a record 182 print books and 62 eBooks on the New York Times bestseller list, 45 of which reached #1.

At the time of this posting, LeaderShift is already rated #38 on Amazon’s sales ranking for Business Leadership titles, and #25 on Barnes and Noble.

Pre-order your copy today! >>

 

Category : Blog &Book Reviews &Business &Current Events &Entrepreneurship &event &Independents &Leadership

Understanding the President

August 13th, 2012 // 11:43 am @

One way to understand current events is to take a long view of the major historical trends at play, and another is to clearly define the systemic forces that influence what is going on.

A third is to learn about the character of the leaders who shape policy and especially those who have the power to make decisions that change society.

This third method may be the least accurate at predicting the years ahead, but it is often the most interesting of the three.

David Maraniss has helped Americans understand the character of our current President in his new book, Barack Obama: The Story.

Maraniss is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, and he tells us several key traits that help us understand our top executive.

For example, according to Maraniss, Barack Obama is loathe to take risks until he has thought through every detail.

As a result, he avoids taking many risks, but often ends up taking a big risk when time runs out and he must act.

Thus his presidency has consisted of few singles or doubles, to use a baseball analogy, but a few well-placed homeruns such as passing health care and executing Osama bin Laden.

This methodology gives his critics evidence of a president lacking in consistent leadership and bungling too many things as the months pass, and it provides his supporters with a list of significant successes that only a truly top achiever could attain.

Thus the critics brush away his homeruns as anomalies, while his supporters see the months where little is accomplished as prelude to great strokes of leadership.

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odemille 133x195 custom Egypt, Freedom, & the Cycles of HistoryOliver DeMille is the chairman of the Center for Social Leadership and co-creator of Thomas Jefferson Education.

He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

Category : Blog &Book Reviews &Current Events &Government &Leadership &Politics

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