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8 pages/≈2200 words
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Religion & Theology
Book Review
English (U.S.)
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In Good Company: A Priest Of The Society Of Jesus (Book Review Sample)


For this paper, you are to select and read a book that tells the story of how an historical person arrived at a faith position (their ultimate concern), what events influenced their decision, and how they lived out the consequences of their decision You may select one of the books listed below or another book of your choice that has similar characteristics, is at least 150 pages long, and is approved by the professor.

The paper (7-10 pages) should be an analytical review of the book that describes what the major elements of the person’s faith commitment arc, how the major turning points and decisive influences in the person’s life led the person to that position, the choices that the person faced in reaching that commitment and struggling with its implications and consequences, the person’s reasoning or method of discernment, and the influence of a religious tradition where one is involved. You must use at least one additional, substantial, scholarly source that provides background or commentary on the person’s life. Of course any sources that you draw upon for background/context or commentary must be properly referenced and quotes must be footnoted. References to particular pages in the book that you are writing your paper on may simply be put in parentheses.


Student Name
In Good Company Book Review
The transition from the corporate world in America to self-employment or working for oneself can be traumatizing if not very difficult. Many people are so involved with their jobs that they don't think they can survive without them. They spend the largest percentage of their time at work or doing work related activities with hardly any time for themselves or those close to them such as family and friends. The effects can be catastrophic as they end up suffering from stress related issues and some even end up losing people close to them because they hardly have time to spend with them. The book In Good Company highlights the efforts of one man James Martin to transition from the corporate world to his association as a priest of the Society of Jesus which is otherwise known as Jesuits. The paper examines his remarkable journey from corporate America and his love for humanity that led to his admiration for the simple lives and service to humanity by the Jesuit missionaries where he later served as a priest of the Catholic Church.
The protagonist, who is also the author, narrates his life story from his involvement in employment at General Electric Aircraft Engines to his subsequent calling to the Jesuit order. He was unhappy just like the many people who are in employment because of the need to get payments that would sustain their upkeep and who end up in jobs that they are not meant or enjoy doing .James Martin notes in the book “I was miserable in my job”. Some people are also in the corporate world because that is what the society has dictated. People in corporate jobs are respected in the society and considered to be very successful. James alludes to that fact and notes “With a finance degree I was pretty much guaranteed a great starting salary. So when the time came, I dutifully signed up for interviews with the investment banks, corporations, commercial banks and consulting groups”. The statement indicates the notion that many students had and have regarding careers in the corporate world with majority entertaining the idea of huge salaries that came with them. It also shows that James was influenced into a career in business and finance because at that time it was considered the “ideal” profession. James further acknowledges that the salary he was offered at General Electric proved to be the motivating factor that swayed his decision to join the company. He states “But what really convinced me was the money, $ 20,000a year. I calculated what my take home pay would be grinned and said yes”. From early on in the book, it's noted that James had little interest in the business career he went into and was only in it because of the money and the high social status the profession guaranteed.[Martin, James. In Good Company: The Fast Track from the Corporate World to Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. Plymouth, UK: Sheed and Ward,2000.] [Martin James 20] [Ibid 26]
James Martin's disinterest in his career is shown in the lavish lifestyle he engaged in during his time in Manhattan working for General Electric. He mentions that he attended concerts, went to clubs and the movies, threw and attended parties and basically loved hanging out. It's also noted that many of the other trainees took part in the aforementioned activities which is another indication that most people joined the corporate world as a means of attaining the luxuries that life had to offer as opposed to doing something that they loved. James states “The twenty or so young trainees spent a lot of time together, dancing at the clubs in Manhattan, throwing parties in our apartments, going to movies and especially hanging out in nearby bars”. Despite their tender ages whic...

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