Whose Fault Was That?: A Journey into Blaming and Other Musings by Bard Schachtel

★★★★   In today’s morally, emotionally, and politically fraught world, “blame” is a favorite word for many. Fingers are pointed, faults are assigned, and everyone ends up feeling wronged. Organizational theorist Dr. Robert Anthony once wrote, “When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” In Bard Schachtel’s book Whose Fault Was That?, the act of blame is extensively broken down, analyzed, and explained so the reader gains not only the ability to take responsibility, but to change their actions. Schachtel takes complicated psychological concepts and breaks them down for the reader in easy-to-approach prose with a multitude of bright informational graphics. Whose Fault functions best as a workbook, with the reader actively engaging with the text and its suggested activities. The reader can take the Bullshit Challenge to determine self-awareness as they keep track of their accomplishments in the Personal Track Record. Schachtel’s work is extraordinarily thorough.

It’s worth nothing, though, that sometimes the helpful metaphors and charts in Whose Fault tip into overwhelming. Some categories are broken down quickly with only a little space dedicated to the relationship between subcategories that the big picture can be lost. Whose Fault zips along quickly, thanks to the neat prose, but a little more connection between topics would not go amiss. Still, the author manages to fold in his interests (including music) into the text, giving depth and interest to its graphics and charts, and demonstrating that he’s a clear expert on the various subjects he examines. For this reviewer, the only person to blame is the would-be reader who doesn’t pick up the life-changing Whose Fault Was That?

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