Xlibris welcomes you back to Critic’s Choice, where we present reviews of noteworthy offerings from our self-published authors.
Today, we bring you Ralph M. Frid’s study of innovation in the United States,Trumping the Red Queen. The entire Clarion Review, which gave the book four stars, can be read here, but we’re proud to present highlights below:
Trumping the Red Queen is a comprehensive study of innovation in the United States. The title is derived from the novels Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and the author pays tribute to Lewis Carroll’s fanciful stories by employing vivid images that work well in framing the subject of this book.
“Innovation can be as disorienting as a rabbit hole,” Frid writes. “…In spite of having the latest in technology, many people feel like the White Rabbit. They run from one event to the next and are perpetually late.” The author explains that “trumping the red queen” is a metaphor that describes what is required to succeed in today’s chaotic world.
Frid demonstrates his own creativity by likening the story of innovation to Carroll’s fantasy world. It’s a good thing, too, because Trumping the Red Queen can be mind-boggling in its level of detail. The book is divided into three parts. Part one traces the history of innovation in the US. Frid observes that “learning new information in a shorter period of time is becoming more valuable,” and “As knowledge becomes more valuable, its ‘shelf-life’ is getting shorter and shorter.”
Part two addresses elements of learning, creativity, and human behavior that play a role in innovation. Frid believes more diversity is needed in terms of how people interact to improve creativity and innovation.
Part three of the book uses a new trump card, as the author explains, to demonstrate methods of improving creativity and innovation in small groups. While this part looks to the future, the author spends quite a bit of time analyzing the Lewis and Clark Expedition to demonstrate that, during their own time, these explorers were under-valued, but “the two men later became appreciated in ways that no one in the 1800s could have ever understood.”
Trumping the Red Queen is clearly a well-researched and exhaustive work. It will likely be challenging for the average reader to digest, but as an assessment of where innovation has been and where it is going, this book has significant value.
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