walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

_The Red Book of Groups_, Gaie Houston

Subtitled: and how to lead them better

I have the 3rd revised edition, 2004 printing ("impression"). I bought it in March of 2006. I think I was talking to someone about holistic peer counseling, and this book came up, not because it was about holistic peer counseling, but because it was a really good book for thinking about support groups and how to run them/how they function.

A couple of obvious points to make: author is _very_ British, and Americans are treated almost as another species. Which is interesting, but not necessarily disastrous. More problematic is the uniformly positive light in which Mao Tse-tung is considered. I'm not sure that's a frame I'm happy with for running groups, and I'm not even getting into the communism or the dictatorship. More the oppressive, relentless focus on purity and self-criticism. Houston gives no indication that she is taking that into consideration; presumably her perception of things like the Cultural Revolution is/was a lot different from mine.

It's thin. It's chatty. It has some nice, concrete examples which support the points being made. On the other hand, I probably should never have bought it, because it's not something I participate in on any level. There is a very limited amount of what she talks about that applies to things like the book group I participate in, but it's so limited I just don't see the point. Some of the content applies to peer counseling (which is a lot more interesting to me), but again, very limited.

Out of print, as near as I can tell, after a long life. Not horrible, but no reason for you to seek it out.

I'm apparently reading and reviewing books that have been sitting on the shelf for a long time, so I can get rid of them. That's something, I guess, altho I wish I had the energy to concentrate on the central banking book, because I think I would like it better. But I just don't have it in me right now.
Tags: book review

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