August 25, 1980 12:00 PM

by John Stickney

The title and subtitle (“Braving an Independent Career in a Corporate Age”) suggest an inspirational how-to manual, but the color of this parachute is cautionary yellow. There are numerous cases of outright disaster cited, and this is no guide to certain success. Instead, the book is a loosely organized group of delightful essays about a bright, energetic, innovative group of individuals who are trying to make a living on their own terms. A lawyer quits a large firm, finds two partners, and goes out on his own. An academic type starts a biweekly newspaper and a graphic design service to support the paper. A man builds a brokerage business up to $3.5 million annual volume, then falls into bankruptcy at the first hint of recession. Even the “successful” subjects of these interviews admit they have become slaves to the demands of doing it all on their own. Most of their marriages have fallen apart too. This volume is full of valuable insights into the agonizing problems of getting into business for oneself. (Putnam, $10.95)

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