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With the American economy simultaneously struggling to recover from the worst recession since the Depression while also grappling with the increased presence of technology in all phases of American life, business books set for the fall reflect the debate on how the country can best move forward.

David Batker and John de Graaf's What's the Economy For, Anyway?: Why It's Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness asks the provocative and timely question, how can ordinary Americans make the economy work for them rather than the other way around? A similar theme examined in a more scholarly approach is The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity. In Price, economist Jeffrey Sachs, author of the bestseller The End of Poverty, examines why American capitalism is largely inadequate in confronting the challenges of the modern world. How America plunged into the financial crisis is the subject of Lost Decades: The Making of America's Debt Crisis and the Long Recovery, in which economists Menzie Chinn and Jeffrey Frieden explore the origins and long-term effects of the financial crisis in historical and comparative perspective.


The flaws of capitalism led directly to the Great Recession and prompted a federal stimulus program that is still being debated. To gauge how the various bailouts worked, investigative reporter Michael Grabell "followed the money" in Money Well Spent? Not everyone believes the American economy is a hopeless mess, and Daniel Gross, author of Dumb Money, provides a positive assessment of the economic recovery and the longer-term prospects for the health of the economy in Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Economic Decline.


One solution to rebooting the economy is to lessen the country's dependence on imported oil in favor of more domestic sources of clean, renewable power. In Unlocking Energy Innovation: How America Can Build a Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Energy System, energy experts Richard Lester and David Hart outline a plan to overhaul the U.S. energy system for large-scale adoption of reliable energy resources.


The mobile Web, social media, and real-time information are creating a global culture and forcing business to think about new ways to operate. How that can be done effectively is the subject of Brian Solis's The End of Business as Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution. The flow of information on the Web can be a blessing and a curse, and helping to put some checks in place is the subject of Mark Davis and Richard Torrenzano's Digital Assassination: Protecting Your Reputation, Brand or Business Against Online Attacks.


How to sift through the amount of information available today is a major fall topic, including books from two major houses. Drinking from the Fire Hose: Making Smarter Decisions Without Drowning in Information by Christopher Frank and Paul Magnone provides seven questions business people can ask themselves to manage data and make better decisions. A new title that hopes to distill all that businesspeople need to know in a matter of minutes is 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Harvard Business Review columnist Peter Bregman, which shows how to cut through the information clutter to focus on the details that are the most important.

PW's Top 10 Business & Economics

What's the Economy For, Anyway?: Why It's Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness
David Batker and John de Graaf. Bloomsbury, Oct.

The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity
Jeffrey Sachs. Random House, Oct.

Lost Decades: The Making of America's Debt Crisis and the Long Recovery
Menzie D. Chinn and Jeffry A. Frieden. Norton, Sept.

Money Well Spent?
Michael Grabell. PublicAffairs, Jan.

Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Economic Decline
Daniel Gross. Simon & Schuster/Free Press, Oct.

Unlocking Energy Innovation: How America Can Build a Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Energy System
Richard K. Lester and David M. Hart. MIT, Nov.

The End of Business As Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution
Brian Solis. John Wiley, Sept.

Digital Assassination: Protecting Your Reputation, Brand, or Business Against Online Attacks
Richard Torrenzano and Mark W. Davis. St. Martin's, Oct.

Drinking from the Fire Hose: Making Smarter Decisions Without Drowning in Information
Christopher J. Frank and Paul F. Magnone. Penguin/Portfolio, Sept.

18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done
Peter Bregman. Hachette/Business Plus, Sept.

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