Economics
Featured Items
The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000
The Cash Nexus
Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000
Paperback      ISBN: 0465023266

Does money make the world go round, as Cabaret's Master of Ceremonies sang to us? In The Cash Nexus, acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson offers a radical and surprising answer-No. Conventional wisdom has long claimed that economic change is the prime mover of political change, whether in the age of industry or the Internet. In our own time Paul Kennedy has claimed that economics provided the key to international power, while Francis Fukuyama and others have argued that capitalism doomed socialism and ensured the victory of democracy. Small wonder politicians are obsessed with the economy: the Clinton campaign motto-"It's the economy stupid" -sums up a central tenet of modern life. But is it the economy? Ferguson thinks it is high time we re-examined the link-the "nexus," to use Thomas Carlyle's term-between economics and politics, in the aftermath not only of the failure of socialism but also of the apparent triumph of American-style capitalism. His central argument is that the conflicting impulses of sex, violence, and power are together more powerful than money. In particular, political events and institutions have often dominated economic development. A bold synthesis of political history and modern economic theory, Cash Nexus will transform the landscape of modern history and draw challenging and unsettling conclusions about the prospects of both capitalism and democracy.

Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer And Save the World
Fermenting Revolution
How to Drink Beer And Save the World
Paperback      ISBN: 0865715564

Fermenting Revolution delivers an empowering message about how individuals can change the world through the simple act of having a beer. Chris O'Brien presents the case for beer as both the cause of and solution to all of the world's problems. Beer has contributed to the best qualities of civilization, but it is also helping to destroy them.

The global beer industry relies heavily on fossil-fuels and chemical agriculture, rapidly destroying nature and contributing to climate change.

Corporate beer is centralized and hierarchical, which is good for a few elites, but displaces local brewing traditions and exacerbates the growing wealth gap.

But the craft brewing renaissance relies on cooperation, emphasizes local production, protects and celebrates nature, and nurtures the growth of strong and equitable communities.

Fermenting Revolution traces the path of brewing from a women-led, home-based craft to corporate industry, and describes how modern craft breweries and home-brewers are forging stronger communities. O'Brien explains how corporate mega-breweries are also taking steps to pioneer industrial ecology, and profiles the most inspiring and radical breweries, brewers, and beer drinkers that are making the world a better place to live.

In the last two decades, Americans have returned to to beer as a way of life rather than as a commodity. Casting off its industrial chains, beer is again communal, convivial, democratic, healthful, and natural. The contemporary American brewing scene champions ecologically sustainable production and is helping to create thriving community places. After reading Fermenting Revolution, mere beer drinkers will become "beer activists," ready to fight corporate rule by simply meeting their neighbors for a pint at the local brewpub-saving the world one beer at a time.

The Working Poor: Invisible in America
The Working Poor
Invisible in America
Paperback      ISBN: 0375708219

From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Arab and Jew, an intimate portrait unfolds of working American families struggling against insurmountable odds to escape poverty.

As David K. Shipler makes clear in this powerful, humane study, the invisible poor are engaged in the activity most respected in American ideology--hard, honest work. But their version of the American Dream is a nightmare: low-paying, dead-end jobs; the profound failure of government to improve upon decaying housing, health care, and education; the failure of families to break the patterns of child abuse and substance abuse. Shipler exposes the interlocking problems by taking us into the sorrowful, infuriating, courageous lives of the poor--white and black, Asian and Latino, citizens and immigrants. We encounter them every day, for they do jobs essential to the American economy.

This impassioned book not only dissects the problems, but makes pointed, informed recommendations for change. It is a book that stands to make a difference.
Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
Fooled by Randomness
The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
Paperback      ISBN: 0812975219
Fooled by Randomness is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb's landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don't understand. The other books in the series are The Black Swan, Antifragile, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes.

Fooled by Randomness is the word-of-mouth sensation that will change the way you think about business and the world. Nassim Nicholas Taleb-veteran trader, renowned risk expert, polymathic scholar, erudite raconteur, and New York Times bestselling author of The Black Swan-has written a modern classic that turns on its head what we believe about luck and skill.

This book is about luck-or more precisely, about how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill-the world of trading-Fooled by Randomness provides captivating insight into one of the least understood factors in all our lives. Writing in an entertaining narrative style, the author tackles major intellectual issues related to the underestimation of the influence of happenstance on our lives.

The book is populated with an array of characters, some of whom have grasped, in their own way, the significance of chance: the baseball legend Yogi Berra; the philosopher of knowledge Karl Popper; the ancient world's wisest man, Solon; the modern financier George Soros; and the Greek voyager Odysseus. We also meet the fictional Nero, who seems to understand the role of randomness in his professional life but falls victim to his own superstitious foolishness.

However, the most recognizable character of all remains unnamed-the lucky fool who happens to be in the right place at the right time-he embodies the "survival of the least fit." Such individuals attract devoted followers who believe in their guru's insights and methods. But no one can replicate what is obtained by chance.

Are we capable of distinguishing the fortunate charlatan from the genuine visionary? Must we always try to uncover nonexistent messages in random events? It may be impossible to guard ourselves against the vagaries of the goddess Fortuna, but after reading Fooled by Randomness we can be a little better prepared.

Named by Fortune One of the Smartest Books of All Time

A Financial Times Best Business Book of the Year
Jump Start Your Business Brain: Scientific Ideas and Advice That Will Immediately Double Your Business Success Rate
Jump Start Your Business Brain
Scientific Ideas and Advice That Will Immediately Double Your Business Success Rate
Paperback      ISBN: 1578601797
JUMP START
Your Business Brain

details data-proven methods that will make your sales, marketing and business development measurably more effective.

What makes this book unique:
The methods detailed here are backed by hard data and grounded in the statistical analysis of the success and failure of more than 4,000 new products and services, and more than 6,000 innovation teams.

The research quantifies the impact of a back-to-basics, customer-focused approach to sales, marketing and business development. It also uncovers ways to measurably increase effectiveness in today's super competitive, time-compressed and overstressed marketplace.

"America's #1 New Product Idea Man"
--Inc. Magazine

"Hall's book is a damn good read...because he's a damn good storyteller. But, speaking as an engineer-business analyst, it is credible because it is supported by a ton of (VERY HARD) data. I LOVE THIS BOOK. (And I rarely--never before, truth be told--go that far.) PLEASE. P.L.E.A.S.E. Read--and ingest--this book. PLEASE."
--Tom Peters, Co-Author, In Search of Excellence

"Eureka Ranch's unconventional approach has won raves from some of the biggest corporations in the country."
--CNN

"Doug Hall has a method to his madness, a rigorous, quantifiable process for inventing breakthrough ideas for clients. Unlike many creative gurus hustling ideation wares in the corporate marketplace, Doug makes it imperative that his Eureka Inventing processes are quantified every step of the way.
--Todd Datz, Features Editor, CIO Magazine

"Doug Hall's unique and effective approach to creating ideas is stimulating, embracing, and fun--and the results explode with new possibilities. It is truly a winning experience in ideas and self-confidence."
--Ron Nicodemus, Conference Director, Walt Disney Institute

World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability
World on Fire
How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability
Paperback      ISBN: 0385721862

The reigning consensus holds that the combination of free markets and democracy would transform the third world and sweep away the ethnic hatred and religious zealotry associated with underdevelopment. In this revelatory investigation of the true impact of globalization, Yale Law School professor Amy Chua explains why many developing countries are in fact consumed by ethnic violence after adopting free market democracy.

Chua shows how in non-Western countries around the globe, free markets have concentrated starkly disproportionate wealth in the hands of a resented ethnic minority. These "market-dominant minorities" - Chinese in Southeast Asia, Croatians in the former Yugoslavia, whites in Latin America and South Africa, Indians in East Africa, Lebanese in West Africa, Jews in post-communist Russia - become objects of violent hatred. At the same time, democracy empowers the impoverished majority, unleashing ethnic demagoguery, confiscation, and sometimes genocidal revenge. She also argues that the United States has become the world's most visible market-dominant minority, a fact that helps explain the rising tide of anti-Americanism around the world. Chua is a friend of globalization, but she urges us to find ways to spread its benefits and curb its most destructive aspects.
The Hungry Spirit: Purpose in the Modern World
The Hungry Spirit
Purpose in the Modern World
Paperback      ISBN: 0767901886

From one of the world's most respected business and social philosophers, a groundbreaking book that challenges us to question our reliance on traditional definitions of "success" and inspires us to find meaning and fulfillment in our professional, personal and spiritual lives.

Many of us, Charles Handy asserts, are confused and frustrated by the fast-paced, prosperous world we have created for ourselves. We are puzzled by the consequences of capitalism, whose material benefits and comforts we enjoy every day, but which also divides rich from poor, consumes so much of our energies, and does not always lead to a more contented life. In a world that is super-efficient, highly productive, and too often soulless, how do we quench our spiritual "hunger"?

In The Hungry Spirit, one of the most visionary business thinkers of our age offers a powerful argument for reexamining the role of work in our lives and discovering what we are truly meant to do and to be. Calling on individuals and organizations to find purpose in the journey we take rather than focusing on money and profits, which are simply the means to keep us going, Handy shows how we can all better ourselves and our companies while also contributing to a decent society.

As an oil executive, world-renowned economist, consultant, and professor at the London Business School, Handy himself was once no stranger to the trappings and fortunes of capitalism. But several years ago, Handy realized that he, like many of us, had placed too much significance on job titles and career success to the exclusion of his family, friends, and, especially, the fulfillment of his need to become a complete person, not just a worker slaving away in corporate machinery. He set about looking for what he calls his "white stone"--a symbol of the higher self that represents our true destiny, what you can become when you don't let titles and money and societal pressures get in the way.

Just as Handy urges all of us to seek our "white stone" and take greater responsibility for shaping our lives, he also entreats companies and organizations to push themselves to new heights by sticking to a clear-cut purpose. Companies, like individuals, can only grow if they embrace risk and break rules and attract people looking to turn dreams and new ideas into businesses that consumers and investors are excited about. Rather than trying to rally coworkers around a quarterly profit goal, companies must treat employees as citizens, as well as behaving as corporate citizens within the wider community. Handy calls for corporations to take a greater role in upholding the moral structure of society and to use their power to distribute knowledge and wealth to those who need the opportunity to develop--which will one day benefit us all.

A rare combination of engaging storytelling, philosophical exploration, and down-to-earth wisdom, The Hungry Spirit offers readers a powerful tonic for the profit-driven lives we've prescribed for ourselves and an inspiring message of hope.
The Protestant Ethic and the
The Protestant Ethic and the "Spirit" of Capitalism and Other Writings
Paperback      ISBN: 0140439218

In The Protestant Ethic, Max Weber opposes the Marxist concept of dialectical materialism and relates the rise of the capitalist economy to the Calvinist belief in the moral value of hard work and the fulfillment of one's worldly duties.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Bait And Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream
Bait And Switch
The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream
Hardcover      ISBN: 0805076069

The bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed goes back undercover to do for America's ailing middle class what she did for the working poor
Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed explored the lives of low-wage workers. Now, in Bait and Switch, she enters another hidden realm of the economy: the shadowy world of the white-collar unemployed. Armed with a plausible resume of a professional "in transition," she attempts to land a middle-class job--undergoing career coaching and personality testing, then trawling a series of EST-like boot camps, job fairs, networking events, and evangelical job-search ministries. She gets an image makeover, works to project a winning attitude, yet is proselytized, scammed, lectured, and--again and again--rejected.
Bait and Switch highlights the people who've done everything right--gotten college degrees, developed marketable skills, and built up impressive resumes--yet have become repeatedly vulnerable to financial disaster, and not simply due to the vagaries of the business cycle. Today's ultra-lean corporations take pride in shedding their "surplus" employees--plunging them, for months or years at a stretch, into the twilight zone of white-collar unemployment, where job searching becomes a full-time job in itself. As Ehrenreich discovers, there are few social supports for these newly disposable workers--and little security even for those who have jobs.
Like the now classic Nickel and Dimed, Bait and Switch is alternately hilarious and tragic, a searing expose of economic cruelty where we least expect it.

What Makes a Great Exhibition?: Questions of Practice
What Makes a Great Exhibition?
Questions of Practice
Paperback      ISBN: 0970834616

For better or worse, museums are changing from forbidding bastions of rare art into audience-friendly institutions that often specialize in "blockbuster" exhibitions designed to draw crowds. But in the midst of this sea change, one largely unanswered question stands out: "What makes a great exhibition?" Some of the world's leading curators and art historians try to answer this question here, as they examine the elements of a museum exhibition from every angle.

What Makes a Great Exhibition? investigates the challenges facing American and European contemporary art in particular, exploring such issues as group exhibitions, video and craft, and the ways that architecture influences the nature of the exhibitions under its roof. The distinguished contributors address diverse topics, including Studio Museum in Harlem director Thelma Golden's examination of ethnically-focused exhibitions; and Robert Storr, director of the 2007 Venice Biennale and formerly of the Museum of Modern Art, on the meaning of "exhibition and "exhibitionmaker."

A thought-provoking volume on the practice of curatorial work and the mission of modern museums, What Makes A Great Exhibition? will be indispensable reading for all art professionals and scholars working today.