Speaking of Success: Collected Wisdom, Insights and Reflections
Reviewed: December 3, 2002
By: Pamela Wallin
Publisher: Key Porter Books
208 Pages, $28.95
is the measure of a successful life? By all accounts Pamela Wallin probably
qualifies as having had such a life so far. Recently appointed as a special
envoy for Canada to the city of New York, Wallin has had several successful
careers in broadcasting and journalism, and managed to rebound even stronger
than before from her unpleasant experience on The National to become the
Canadian queen of one on one interviews.
is from these interviews that she drew the material to shape the chapters of
this book, which is, as the title says, about the subject of success. In
fifteen chapters extracts from interviews are loosely strung together around
such themes as Setting Your Moral Compass, Making it Matter, Playing the Cards
You're Dealt, Breaking with the Pack and Learning from Experience.
not going to learn the secrets of successful living from this book though you
will learn what a variety of writers, politicians, actors, athletes, musicians,
ground breakers and survivors had to say on the various subjects when they were
in Wallin's guest chair.
material has been chosen with care. Quotations head each chapter and are
sprinkled through the margins of the book, as well as being incorporated in the
text itself. Wallin has done a good job of patching everything together with
bridging material of her own, so that the journey from one extract to another
actually feels like a natural process.
are some worthwhile thoughts and anecdotes in the book. My only warning is that
one should not expect too much from it. I suppose it's the word
"wisdom" which triggers that word of caution. "Insight" and
"reflection" don't promise answers in quite the same way, so they
don't bother me, but "wisdom" is a strong word, maybe too strong for
what I've read here.