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BOOK REVIEW: A PERFECT MESS
BY ERIC ABRAHAMSON AND DAVID FREEDMAN

We hope you enjoy this book review by Nancy Eaton.

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Scientists have often stated that a little disorder is good and can make some systems more effective. This book takes a look at messiness in all aspects of our lives and institutions and give us an idea as to where it might be effective.

The authors begin by giving the reader the definition of a mess and the different types.

One of the examples given is Arnold Schwarzenegger's style. His appearance is one that is of a man who has carefully planned everything in his life but it is really very different. The authors state that he is a master at looking neat while keeping major aspects of his life steeped in a mess. He refuses to make appointments. If he is there when one calls, he will meet with them for five minutes or five hours depending on what else he has to do. The book states that he has achieved through improvisation and inconsistency and he is highly effective.

The book gives the reader several more true stories and case studies that point to the hidden benefits of a mess. They apply this theory to not only situations like parenting and business but to large-scale operations like the war on terrorism.

Whether or not you agree with the authors, they do make some excellent arguments to promote their theory. Who wouldn't like to be told that their closet or desk is a mess but that is fine because in the long run you will be more effective. It is obvious that the authors have spent much time doing research for this book. This is an intriguing book to read and will give the reader an exercise of the mind to see if they agree or disagree with the authors.

REVIEWED BY NANCY EATON

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, NANCY EATON

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