Help wanted

A mere two years after publishing an absorbing study of anger, Garret Keizer has produced a probing work on an even thornier subject. Is help, as Keizer asserts, the original human dilemma? Was Eve only trying to help Adam when she offered him that piece of fruit? Pardon me if I have been infected by Keizeritis, for the spirit of this book—much in keeping with my own proclivity—is to offer flip remarks along with insights. For example, Keizer casts a wary eye on our offers of hypocritical help, as when we attempt to “empower” others. “As a precedent,” he writes, “we have the serpent who ‘empowered’ Eve. ‘Empowerment’ as it’s often practiced is nothing more than fleecing sheep with the help of a motivational speaker.”

 

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