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.
Business & Economics
Harvesting Intangible Assets: Uncover Hidden Revenue in Your Company's Intellectual Property by Andrew J. Sherman (Oct., hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-8144-1699-0) shares the author's insights and expertise gleaned from his work with some of the world's leading companies that have capitalized on such intellectual assets as patents, trademarks, customer information, codes, databases, business models, and processes.
Lean but Agile: Rethink Workforce Planning and Gain a True Competitive Edge by William J. Rothwell, James Graber, and Neil McCormick (Jan., hardcover, $45, ISBN 978-0-81441777-5) presents a system for analyzing work and selecting the ideal combination of cost-effective resources to accomplish it.
The Enemy of Engagement: Put an End to Workplace Frustration—and Get the Most from Your Employees by Mark Royal and Tom Agnew (Oct., hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-0-8144-1795-9), based on the latest research findings from the prestigious Hay Group, uncovers the hidden impediments to performance—excessive procedures, lack of resources, overly narrow roles, and more—and outlines best-practice solutions for eliminating them.
The New Entrepreneurial Leader: Developing Leaders Who Shape Social and Economic Opportunity by Danna Greenberg, Kate McKone-Sweet, and H. James Wilson (Sept., hardcover, $34.95, ISBN 978-1-60509-344-4). In years past, the keywords for entrepreneurs were confidence, single-minded purpose, and charge-ahead thinking. But in our vastly more complex globalized, networked, post-crash world this isn't enough. This game-changing book details a new approach: entrepreneurial thought and action.
What's the Economy For, Anyway?: Why It's Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness by David Batker and John de Graaf (Oct., hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-60819-510-7). The question no one ever bothered to ask about the economy: how can we make it work for us, instead of the other way around?
Nicholas Brealey Publishing
The Price of Fish: Beyond Economics—Making Sense of the Way the World Really Works by Michael Mainelli and Ian Harris (Nov., hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-85788-571-2). In this groundbreaking book, Mainelli and Harris examine the big picture of real commerce and how it drives society, politics, the economy, and our future.
Brookings Institution Press
Appalachian Legacy: Did We Win the War on Poverty? by James Ziliak (Oct., hardcover, $34.95, ISBN 978-0-8157-2214-4). In 1964, Lyndon Johnson went to Kentucky's Martin County to declare war on poverty. As the focal point of domestic antipoverty efforts, Appalachia took on special symbolic as well as economic importance. Nearly half a century later, prominent economists examine the results of that war.
The Procrastination Cure: 7 Steps to Stop Putting Life Off by Jeffery Combs (Oct., paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-60163-199-2) reveals that 20% of people admit to being procrastinators and an untold number never admit to it at all. Procrastination is an epidemic that can only be eliminated if the underlying causes are uncovered.
Chelsea Green Publishing
Reinventing Fire: Business-Led Solutions for the New Energy Era by Amory Lovins (Oct., hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-60358-371-8). Imagine fuel without fear. No climate change, no oil spills, dirty air, or lost wildlife—and no energy poverty. That richer, fairer, cooler, safer world is possible, and Lovins shows how, mapping a path for integrating real energy solutions driven by business—not forced by government.
18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman (Sept., hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-446-58341-1). Based upon his weekly Harvard Business Review columns, Bregman clearly shows how busy people can cut through all the daily clutter and distractions, and find a way to focus on those things that matter most.
Escape Velocity: Free Your Company's Future from the Pull of the Past by Geoffrey A. Moore (Sept., hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-204089-3), a leading high-tech business strategist (Crossing the Chasm), shows 21st-century enterprises how to overcome the pull of the past and reorient their organizations toward a new era of competition.
Once Upon a Car: The Fall and Resurrection of America's Big Three Auto Makers—GM, Ford, and Chrysler by Bill Vlasic (Oct., hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-184562-8). The Detroit bureau chief for the New York Times takes readers inside the Big Three U.S. automakers for the rise and fall—and rise again?—of this quintessentially American industry.
Pirate Nation: How Digital Piracy Is Transforming Business, Society and Culture by Darren Todd (Dec., paper, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-7494-6379-3). In 2008, 95% of all music downloads were illegally obtained. In the same year, digital album sales increased by 36%. Todd tells the story of modern-day digital piracy and how it affects business, society, and culture, tracing the origins, methods, and motivations of these pirates.
Little, Brown and Company
Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?: Trick Questions, Zen-like Riddles, Insanely Difficult Puzzles, and Other Devious Interviewing Techniques You Need to Know to Get a Job Anywhere in the New Economy by William Poundstone (Jan., hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-0-316-09997-4). You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and thrown in a blender. The blades start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do? If you want to work at Google, or any of America's best companies, you need to have an answer to this and other puzzling questions.
Macmillan/Hill and Wang
The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America by Marc Levinson (Aug., hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-8090-9543-8) relates how two secretive brothers built the Great A&P—and unleashed decades of conflict over the fate of small business in America.
360 Degrees of Influence: Get Everyone to Follow Your Lead on Your Way to the Top by Harrison Monarth (Dec., hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-07-177355-3). From the coauthor of the New York Times–bestselling The Confident Speaker come powerful strategies for exerting the kind of influence leaders need to reach the top of their organization, their industry, or their field.
The Zappos Experience: 5 Principles to Inspire, Engage, and Wow by Joseph Michelli (Sept., hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-07-174958-9). Recognized around the world for its customer service experience and management practices, here is an inside look at the principles that have driven Zappos to become a global business phenomenon, by the author of The Starbucks Experience and The New Gold Standard.
Intellectual Property Strategy by John Palfrey (Oct., paper, $11.95, ISBN 978-0-262-51679-2) tells how a flexible and creative approach to intellectual property can help an organization accomplish goals ranging from building market share to expanding an industry.
Unlocking Energy Innovation: How America Can Build a Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Energy System by Richard K. Lester and David M. Hart (Nov., hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-262-01677-3). Experts outline a plan to overhaul the U.S. energy innovation system for accelerated, large-scale adoption of reliable, low-cost, low-carbon energy technologies.
StandOut: The Groundbreaking New Strengths Assessment from the Leader of the Strengths Revolution by Marcus Buckingham (Sept., hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-4002-0237-9) introduces the next-generation strengths assessment from the co-author of Now, Discover Your Strengths, the book that launched StrengthsFinder. The product of a massive data set and rigorous statistical testing, the StandOut assessment unveils key strengths.
New World Library
Creative Thinkering: Putting Your Imagination to Work by Michael Michalko (Sept., paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-60868-024-5) Bestselling creativity expert Michalko demonstrates that in every field of endeavor, from business and science to government, the arts, and even day-to-day life, natural creativity is limited by logic and rules. Through exercises and strategies, he shows how to over these strictures and achieve the light-bulb moment.
The Complete Guide to Buying a Business by Fred Steingold (Aug., paper plus forms on CD-ROM; $29.99, ISBN 978-1-4133-1267-6). The clear-cut information and forms you need to buy a business.
Lost Decades: The Making of America's Debt Crisis and the Long Recovery by Menzie D. Chinn and Jeffry A. Frieden (Sept., hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-393-07650-9). Two acclaimed political economists explore the origins and long-term effects of the financial crisis in historical and comparative perspective.
North Atlantic Books/EVOLVER EDITIONS
What Comes After Money?: Essays from Reality Sandwich on Transforming Currency and Community, edited by Daniel Pinchbeck and Ken Jordan (Sept., paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-1-58394-349-6). Twenty visionary essays introduce fresh alternatives to the current systems of bank-financed currency, from Web magazine Reality Sandwich. Essayists include economists, activists, scientists, artists, academics, and journalists, revealing varied paths to a new balanced and equitably attuned economy.
Borderless Economics: Chinese Sea Turtles, Indian Fridges, and the New Fruits of Global Capitalism by Robert Guest (Nov., hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-230-11382-4). The global business editor for the Economist looks at how networked immigrant populations are radically diversifying the flow of ideas today, increasing international trust, and transforming the global landscape.
Penguin Group (USA) Inc./Portfolio
Drinking from the Fire Hose: Making Smarter Decisions Without Drowning in Information by Christopher J. Frank and Paul F. Magnone (Sept., hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-59184-426-6). Seven simple yet powerful questions to manage data overload and make better business decisions.
The Education of a Millionaire: It's Not What You Think, and It's Not Too Late by Michael Ellsberg (Sept., hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-59184-420-4). Many hugely successful people never finished college—what did they figure out that others didn't?
One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com by Richard L. Brandt (Oct., hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-59184-375-7) presents an insightful look at how Amazon really works and how its founder and CEO makes it happen.
Crude Awakening: Money, Mavericks, and Mayhem in Alaska by Amanda Coyne and Tony Hopfinger (Jan., hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-56858-447-8) it the rollicking story of politics in Alaska, where corruption is currency, oil is lifeblood, and corporations like BP and players like Sarah Palin and the late Ted Stevens run the show.
Princeton Univ. Press
Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful by Daniel S. Hamermesh (Sept., hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-691-14046-9). Blogger and economist Hamermesh illustrates, through his years of research, how beauty leads to better jobs, better wages, and better spouses.
Money Well Spent? by Michael Grabell (Jan., hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-61039-009-5). An investigative reporter "follows the money" spent in the wake of the 2009 stimulus bill to see whether and how it influenced the American economy.
The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity by Jeffrey Sachs (Oct., hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-4000-6841-8). The pre-eminent economist and New York Times–bestselling author of The End of Poverty turns his attention for the first time to his home turf and reveals the stunning inadequacy of American-style capitalism in confronting the challenges of the modern world.
Random House/Crown Business
Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World's Greatest Companies by Jim Stengel (Dec., hardcover, $27.50, ISBN 978-0-307-72035-1). Based on nine years of empirical research involving 50,000 companies, Stengel illustrates how the world's 50 best businesses—as diverse as Method, Red Bull, Discovery Communications, Pampers, and Petrobras—show a cause and effect relationship between financial performance and a company's ideals.
Random House/Spiegel & Grau
Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie (Sept., hardcover, $22, ISBN 978-1-4000-6918-7) is the incredible story of the man behind TOMS Shoes and One for One, the revolutionary business model that marries fun, profit, and social good.
Creating a Business You'll Love: Top Entrepreneurs Share Their Secrets by Mark Chimsky-Lustig (Oct., paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-4162-0641-5) draws on essays from distinguished business leaders who have started or invested in businesses that then went on to great success, in order to offer would-be entrepreneurs access to experiences, opinions, recommendations, and observations for creating a business they'll love.
Seven Stories Press
Maonomics: Why Chinese Communists Make Better Capitalists Than We Do by Loretta Napoleoni, trans. by Stephen Twilley (Sept., hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-60980-341-4). The end of the cold war was thought to signal the triumph of Western capitalism over communism. Napoleoni argues just the opposite: what we are witnessing instead is the beginning of the collapse of capitalism and the victory of China's economic approach .
Simon & Schuster/Free Press
The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life's Most Difficult Problems by Stephen R Covey (Oct., hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-4516-2626-1) offers conflict resolution guidance through the use of the "third alternative."
Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Economic Decline by Daniel Gross (Oct., hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-4516-2128-0) details a positive assessment of the recovery and the longer-term health of the American economy, from the author of Dumb Money.
Simon & Schuster/Scribner
King Larry: The Life and Ruins of a Billionaire Genius by James D Scurlock (Jan., hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-4165-8922-8). The story of DHL cofounder and billionaire Larry Hillblom, who disappeared, leaving behind an international fiasco that is still unraveling.
The Warren Buffett Stock Portfolio: Warren Buffett's Stock Picks: When and Why He Is Investing in Them by Mary Buffett and David Clark (Oct., hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-4516-0648-5) analyzes what every investor wants and needs—an insider's guide to the stocks Warren Buffett buys and why.
The Art of Digital Branding by Ian Cocoran (Oct., paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-58115-876-2) reveals a wealth of tips and strategies for building a Web presence that can increase revenue, improve customer relations, and boost brand loyalty.
Consumerist Manifesto Handbook: The Guerrilla's Guide to Making Corporations Pay for Faulty Goods, Substandard Services, and Broken Promises by Charles Selden (Oct., paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-4027-8648-8) is a funny, irreverent, and informative guide that exposes the many abuses committed by corporations against the modern consumer, urging readers to shake off the fog of learned helplessness and demand their money's worth from every transaction.
St. Martin's Press
Digital Assassination: Protecting Your Reputation, Brand, or Business Against Online Attacks by Richard Torrenzano and Mark W. Davis (Oct., hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-312-61791-2). Two leading reputation experts reveal how the Internet is being used to destroy brands, reputations, and even lives, and how to fight back.
What Would Ben Stein Do: Applying the Wisdom of a Modern-Day Prophet to Tackle the Challenges of Work and Life by Ben Stein (Oct., hardcover, $21.95, ISBN 978-1-118-03817-8). The author's experience from Washington to Hollywood—and everywhere in between—provides him with expertise in countless fields, and his valuable, keen observations cover a range of topics and challenges.
The End of Business As Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution by Brian Solis (Sept., hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-118-07755-9). Today's biggest trends—the mobile Web, social media, real time—are forcing us to rewire the way we think, act, and run our businesses. They have produced a global culture, shrinking the world one tweet at a time. These new tools have created an ever expanding "Egosystem," in which we all believe.