One recent spring Gerald Celente went to visit his cuddly eighty-three-year-old Italian aunt, Zizi, in Yonkers, New York. He was expecting the same delectable combination of food, friendship, and motherly love that Zizi had served up through the years at her little kitchen table. But Celente got more than he expected. Over chicken cutlets and games of Scrabble, the straight-talking Zizi raised some tough questions for her nephew, "Honeyboy," to consider. Targeting some of the essential issues of our time-work, family, health care, politics, war, and aging in America -- Zizi made Celente think about whether America was delivering on its promises. Have we lost too many timeless old-world values in the march of progress? Are we really better off today than we were yesterday? And what does the future hold for each one of us, our families, and our community as a whole?
Celente thought he had it all figured out. As the founder of the Trends Research Institute, he is well respected for his track record of picking business, consumer, political, and economic trends before they come to pass. It is his job to see the future and understand how the issues and events of today will determine the trends of tomorrow.
But it took Zizi to help him see the unsettling truths about what has happened to America over the last several decades. They would talk about the world they once knew -- a world filled with family, dinners together, and Sundays at church. Zizi would remember "back then" with fondness, and Celente would recall his years growing up with his parents and six siblings. As they reflect on their pasts, their lives, and where we've arrived as a nation, Celente and Zizi realize that something has been lost. There is an emptiness that most of us feel. But what is the cause of it? And what can we do to fix it?
In What Zizi Gave Honeyboy, Gerald Celente provides a provocative look at our lives today and a glimpse of the future we deserve in Zizi's warmth, her recipes, and her wisdom.
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Gerald Celente founded the Trends Research Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, in 1980. He is the publisher of The Trends Journal, a quarterly newsletter used by businesses and media worldwide, and the author of Trends 2000 and Trend Tracking.From Publishers Weekly:
Zizi is an ailing but feisty 83-year-old Italian matriarch, widowed and living alone in Yonkers, N.Y. Honeyboy is her nickname for her nephew, author Celente, a divorced analyst who directs the Trends Research Institute. Here, Celente shares about 20 conversations that the two had in 1999 over home-cooked meals and Scrabble games at Zizi's kitchen table. (Recipes for Zizi's breaded chicken cutlets and anise cookies are included.) In the spirit of Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie, this is a book in which a wise, spiritual older person offers heartfelt advice to an overworked baby boomer. However, while Albom freely shared his emotions, Celente generally responds with facts and figures. For example, when Celente complains about Zizi's lifelong cigarette habit, she jokingly asks if marijuana would be preferable. Celente curtly says that he used to smoke pot but doesn't anymore. Before Zizi can respond in what could have been a lively debate, Celente compares and contrasts the effects of smoking marijuana vs. tobacco, launching into a long, statistic-laden monologue. The book also contains a fair amount of politically incorrect observations made, ironically, by Celente and not Zizi (e.g., when Celente speaks of some of his acquaintances who won't hire a black acupuncturist, he says, "these guys aren't racists, that's just the way it is.") Not surprisingly, the book is at its strongest when Zizi talks and Celente listens. Her recollection of a near-death experience involving the entertainer Danny Thomas is both poignant and hilarious. This is a sweet if at times frustrating inspirational tome. B&w photos.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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