The two themes that have dominated the business book field for the past two to three years—the impacts of the Great Recession and technology—are front and center again for spring 2013. There is no better place to start an examination of America’s financial health since 2008 than with Ben Bernanke. The head of the Federal Reserve delivers a history of the country’s most important monetary policy institution as well as the steps it took to end the most recent recession in The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis. A good complement to Bernanke’s work is The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire by Neil Irwin, who examines the role three of the world’s most important bankers played in heading off a more serious global financial collapse.

The financial crisis had numerous causes and led to some spectacular flameouts of high-flying financial players. Taking a look at how the long wage stagnation in the U.S. contributed to problems in America is What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked America... and What Other Countries Got Right by George R. Tyler. Two casualties of the collapse are the subject of two different books. The Billionaire’s Apprentice: The Rise of the Indian-American Elite and the Fall of the Galleon Hedge Fund by Anita Raghavan describes how one of the country’s largest hedge funds was founded by Raj Rajaratnam, but then was forced to close after Rajaratnam and some of his top aides were arrested on various corruption charges. What led to the collapse of another once-mighty financial institution, Amaranth LLC, is the subject of Barbara Dreyfuss’s Hedge Hogs: The Cowboy Traders Behind Wall Street’s Largest Hedge Fund Disaster.

Not everything has fallen apart in financial and corporate America, and one of the most successful turnarounds in recent U.S. business history—that of General Motors—is highlighted by the man who led it, Edward Whitacre, in American Turnaround: Reinventing AT&T and GM and the Way We Do Business in the USA.

The importance of changing business practices and models in a truly worldwide economy is the focus of Ram Charan’s Global Tilt: Leading Your Business Through the Great Economic Power Shift.

Although their approach is different than Global Tilt, two other books look in detail at what companies need to do to take advantage of what new technologies have to offer—Mobile Influence: The New Power of the Consumer by Chuck Martin, and Everything That Follows Is Different: The Disruptive Power of Insight by Gary Klein.

And for corporate leaders who are looking for a new approach to business and to motivate their staffs, there is The Power of Negative Thinking: An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results by legendary, and controversial, former college basketball coach Bob Knight.

PW’s Top 10: Business & Economics

The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis. Ben S. Bernanke. Princeton Univ. Press, Feb. 24

The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire. Neil Irwin. Penguin Press, Apr. 4

What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked America... and What Other Countries Got Right. George R. Tyler. BenBella Books, June 25

The Billionaire’s Apprentice: The Rise of The Indian-American Elite and The Fall of The Galleon Hedge Fund. Anita Raghavan. Hachette/Business Plus, June 11

Hedge Hogs: The Cowboy Traders Behind Wall Street’s Largest Hedge Fund Disaster. Barbara T. Dreyfuss. Random House, June 11

American Turnaround: Reinventing AT&T and GM and the Way We Do Business in the USA. Edward Whitacre with Leslie Cauley. Hachette/Business Plus, Feb. 5

Global Tilt: Leading Your Business Through the Great Economic Power Shift. Ram Charan. Crown Business, Feb. 26

Mobile Influence: The New Power of the Consumer. Chuck Martin. Palgrave Macmillan, June 11

Everything That Follows Is Different: The Disruptive Power of Insight. Gary Klein. PublicAffairs, June 25

The Power of Negative Thinking: An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results. Bob Knight and Bob Hammel. HMH/New Harvest, Mar. 5

Business & Economics Listings

Allen & Unwin

(dist. by IPG)

Zombies, Bananas, and Why There Are No Economists in Heaven: The Economics of Real Life by Jessica Irvine (Apr. 1, trade paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1742379975). How can one spot a zombie bank? Why do boy bands make so much money? Part Economics 101, part quirky modern life observer, this collection of easily digestible facts gets into the heart of great economic debates.

Atria Books

Your Network Is Your Net Worth: Unlock the Hidden Power of Connections for Wealth, Success, and Happiness in the Digital Age by Porter Gale (June 4, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1451688757). An internationally known public speaker, entrepreneur, and marketing executive shares practical, up-to-date tips for mastering the skills of networking.

Basic Books

The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills by David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu (May 7, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0465063987). Politicians have talked endlessly about the economic devastation wrought by the recent financial crisis, but what about the damage it’s done to our bodies and minds? Pioneering public health researchers Stuckler and Basu mine data from around the globe.

BenBella Books

(dist. by Perseus)

What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked America... and What Other Countries Got Right by George R. Tyler (June 25, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1937856717). The international economist and former World Bank counselor shows how the 30-year stagnation of American wages could have been avoided and how the family capitalism countries—Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden—have dramatically outperformed the U.S.

Career Press

Frugal Isn’t Cheap: Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better by Clare Levison (July 22, trade paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1601632609) provides a fresh perspective on financial literacy and creates an easy-to-follow roadmap to help anyone avoid going into debt.

Columbia Univ. Press

(dist. by Perseus)

What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars by Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan, foreword by Jack Schwager (Apr. 23, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0231164689). Paul’s meteoric rise took him from a small town in Northern Kentucky to governor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, yet he lost it all in one fatal moment of excessive economic hubris. In this honest, frank analysis, Paul and Moynihan revisit what went wrong and the lessons to be learned.

Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity by August Turak (June 25, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0231160629). In addition to his work as an entrepreneur, corporate executive, and consultant, for the past 16 years, Turak has worked alongside the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey, watching as they undertook new enterprises and sustained a surprisingly successful business practice. Service and selflessness are at the heart of their success, and Turak describes how the monks’ approach can be relevant in modern capitalism.

Crown Business

China’s Silent Army: The Pioneers, Traders, Fixers, and Workers Who Are Remaking the World in Beijing’s Image by Juan Pablo Cardenal and Heriberto Araujo, trans. by Catherine Mansfield (Feb. 19, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0385346573). The first book to examine the unprecedented growth of China’s economic investment in the developing world, and a rare hands-on picture of the role of ordinary Chinese in the juggernaut that is China Inc.

Street Smarts: Adventures on the Road and in the Markets by Jim Rogers (Feb. 5, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0307986078). The bestselling author of Investment Biker, Adventure Capitalist, and A Bull in China, investment legend Rogers offers economic and investing insights from a lifetime of finance.

Global Tilt: Leading Your Business Through the Great Economic Power Shift by Ram Charan (Feb. 26, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0307889126). In the most rapidly changing environment ever, in which growth in mature economies has gone to zero while China, Brazil, and India are on the rise, Charan, coauthor of the classic Execution, is back with the essential playbook for how to run a business in an era in which the balance of power has changed.

The Buy Side: A Wall Street Trader’s Tale of Spectacular Excess by Turney Duff (June 4, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0770437152). By a former trader at the Galleon Group (the hedge fund at the center of history’s largest insider-trading scandal), The Buy Side is Duff’s high-adrenaline journey through the trading underworld, as well as a searing look at the after-hours Wall Street culture.

Brick by Brick: How Lego Reinvented the Seven Truths of Innovation to Conquer the Toy Industry by David Robertson and Bill Breen (June 25, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0307951601). The saga of how consultants and the “seven truths of innovation” pushed Lego to the brink of financial disaster, and how the company learned to adapt those seven truths, innovate profitably, and once again become one of the most successful toy makers in history.

Elliott & Thompson

(dist. by IPG)

The Mess We’re In: Why Politicians Can’t Fix Financial Crises by Guy Fraser-Sampson (May 1, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1908739063). In the aftermath of the banking crisis of 2007–2008, budget deficits, threats of ongoing recession, and the rising costs of pension provisions are spreading global doom and gloom. This insightful analysis argues why politicians have put the world into financial ruin and are making things worse.

Grove Press

How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World’s Most Dynamic Region by Joe Studwell (July 2, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0802119599). From a leading expert on Asia comes a fascinating, authoritative examination of the history and economies of the world’s most dynamic region.

Hachette/Business Plus

American Turnaround: Reinventing AT&T and GM and the Way We Do Business in the USA by Edward Whitacre with Leslie Cauley (Feb. 5, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-1455513017). Whitacre is credited with taking over the corporate reins at General Motors when the automotive manufacturer was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2009 and turning the company. In this business memoir, the native Texan explores his unique management style.

Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It by Mitch Joel (May 21, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1455523306). In today’s highly evolving world of e-commerce, what worked in business five years ago is fast becoming obsolete. Businesses and individuals desperately need to “reboot” their everyday assumptions on how to compete in the new landscape.

The Billionaire’s Apprentice: The Rise of the Indian-American Elite and the Fall of the Galleon Hedge Fund by Anita Raghavan (June 11, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-1455504022). In the vein of The Powers That Be comes a page-turning account about the inner workings of the Indian-American power elite and the scandal that brought down one of the world’s largest hedge funds.


Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity by Irene Etzkorn and Alan Siegel (Apr. 2, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1455509669) World-renowned advisers to both Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. government offer a groundbreaking exploration into achieving clarity, transparency, and empathy in business, government, and life.

Harper Perennial

End of the Good Life: How the Financial Crisis Threatens a Lost Generation—and What We Can Do About It by Riva Froymovich (Apr. 23, trade paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-0062217844). A richly reported examination of the effects of the financial crisis on Generation Y, and a portrait of a generation—and a nation—in crisis.


Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons by Lewis Schiff (Mar. 19, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-0062253507). From the author who introduced The Middle-Class Millionaire comes a book that explains the gap between the self-made and the rest of us—and what readers can do about it.

Do Cool Sh*t: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After by Miki Agrawal (June 18, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0062261533). A hip, young, and successful entrepreneur shows readers how to start their own businesses with limited time, a small budget, and no experience—and still have a life.

HMH/New Harvest

The Power of Negative Thinking: An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results by Bob Knight and Bob Hammel (Mar. 5, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0544027718). In this pragmatic and inspirational book, legendary firebrand basketball coach Bob Knight, turns conventional thinking on its head and challenges us to use negative thinking instead.

Why: Understand What Customers Really Want and Win Their Business by C. Richard Weylman (Apr. 23, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-0544026889). When customers are deciding to buy, they have one focus: they want to know WIIFM (What’s In It for Me). Weylman reveals to readers how to bring consumer-centric marketing to their own organization.

Interlink Books

Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It (2nd updated edition) by Richard D. Wolff (May 31, trade paper, $20, ISBN 978-1566569361) chronicles one economist’s growing alarm as he watched, from 2005 on, the economic crisis build, burst, and change the world; why the crisis persists, why bailouts and austerity policies fail, and why deepening economic inequality is worsening the ongoing crisis.


Reinventing Giants: How Chinese Global Competitor Haier Has Changed the Way Big Companies Transform by William A. Fischer, Umberto Lago, and Fang Liu (Apr. 15, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-1118602232) offers a profile of one of the most ambitious of emerging Chinese competitors, the Haier Corporation (the world’s largest manufacturer of home appliances), and shares insights on how one organization has repeatedly adapted its business model and corporate culture in an effort to sustain its success.


Debtors’ Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility by Robert Kuttner (Apr. 30, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0307959805). A timely, broadly revisionist, and essential book by one of our foremost economic observers critiques one of the most cherished tenets of contemporary financial thinking: that spending less, refusing to forgive debt, and shrinking government—”austerity”—is a solution to the current economic crisis.

Kogan Page

The Complete Marketer: 60 Essential Concepts for Marketing Excellence by Malcolm McDonald and Mike Meldrum (May 28, trade paper, $29.95, ISBN 978-0749466763) presents a thorough grounding in all aspects of marketing—from direct mail to online media—for nonmarketing professionals.

Linden Publishing

Start Your Own Home Business After 50: How to Survive, Thrive, and Earn the Income You Deserve by Robert W. Bly (May 1, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1610351317). Bly shows older entrepreneurs how to earn a profitable retirement by building their own home-based business: covers how to use one’s greater experience and skills to create opportunity, plus how to outperform younger people at Internet and social media marketing.


The Magic Question: A Simple Question Every Leader Dreams of Answering by David Cottrell (Mar. 8, hardcover, $22, ISBN 978-0071806169) presents the business leader’s toolbox for increasing morale, decreasing turnover, and contributing more than ever to the organization’s bottom line.

Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees by Doug Lipp (Apr. 19, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0071808071). Leadership lessons from the famous brand that leaders in any industry can use to drive Disney-style success.

12 Disciplines of Leadership Excellence: How Leaders Achieve Sustainable High Performance by Brian Tracy and Peter Chee (Apr. 19, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-0071809467). A best-selling author and leadership guru offer the 12 disciplines managers must master to lead their organizations to excellence.

Renaissance Society: How the Shift from Dream Society to the Age of Individual Control Will Change the Way You Do Business by Rolf Jensen and Mika Aaltonen (May 1, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0071806053). Legendary business futurist Jensen (The Dream Society) gives business leaders a prescient look into the future, revealing what companies must do to thrive in the next 20 years.

Midpoint Trade Books

The Gen Y Handbook: Applying Relationship Leadership to Engage Millennials by Diane Spiegel (Mar. 12, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1590799567) takes a close look into the workings of the Gen Y mind, how they operate, their strengths, their weaknesses, and how to effectively engage the wide range of abilities at their disposal.

Leading Firms: How Great Professional Service Firms Succeed and How Your Firm Can Too by David Kuhlman (Mar. 19, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1590799574). Leading a professional service firm is difficult enough in good times, but Kuhlman, a management consultant, gives insight on what works and what doesn’t.

MIT Press

Eco-Business: A Big-Brand Takeover of Sustainability by Peter Dauvergne and Jane Lister (Feb. 22, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0262018760) examines the new corporate embrace of sustainability, its actual accomplishments, and the consequences for the environment.

William Morrow

Trust Works! by Ken Blanchard, Cynthia Olmstead, and Martha Lawrence (Apr. 30, hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-0062205988). The #1 bestselling author brings you the tie-in guide to accompany his TrustWorks! training program.

Palgrave Macmillan

Mobile Influence: The New Power of the Consumer by Chuck Martin (June 11, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1137278500). Consumers have power in their palms like never before, and if businesses want to keep up with the mobile revolution, they need a model to compete.

Environmental Debt: The Hidden Costs of the Changing Global Economy by Amy Larkin (June 25; hard-cover; $27, ISBN 978-1137278555). An award-winning environmental activist and consultant argues that, far from being a roadblock to growth, conservation is imperative to economic success.

The Rise of the Naked Economy: How to Benefit from the Changing Workplace by Ryan Coonerty and Jeremy Neuner (July 9, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0230342194) explores the new era of work and how to not only survive but thrive in this changing economy.

Penguin Press

The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire by Neil Irwin (Apr. 4, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1594204623). The inside story of the work of the world’s most powerful central bankers, offering an unparalleled view from the cockpit of the global economy, as three men struggle to keep it from going down.

The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die by Niall Ferguson (June 13, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1594205453). An erudite and timely examination of human social organization based on the prestigious BBC Reith lectures of 2012.


The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Beat the Odds by Michael E. Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed (May 30, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1591846147). A data-driven look at the ultimate business question: what makes some companies outperform over the long term?

Icons and Idiots: Straight Talk on Leadership by Bob Lutz (June 4, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1591846048). A management manifesto from legendary GM chairman Lutz profiles the leaders who made the strongest impression on him throughout his career. Lutz creates an entertaining manual of dos and don’ts for the aspiring leader.

powerHouse Books

(dist. by Random House)

Loveworks: How the World’s Top Marketers Make Emotional Connections to Win in the Marketplace by Brian Sheehan and Kevin Roberts (May 28, hardcover, $27.50, ISBN 978-1576876404). Provides real-world business examples and outlines the roadmaps followed by several famous brands to achieve Lovemark status.

Princeton Univ. Press

The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do About It by Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig (Feb. 24, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0691156842). The authors outline why our banking system is broken and the reforms needed to fix it.

The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis by Ben S. Bernanke (Feb. 24, hardcover, $19.95, ISBN 978-0691158730). The chairman of the Fed provides an account of the institution from its beginnings and its response to the 2008 financial crisis.


Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank That Runs the World by Adam LeBor (May 28, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-1610392549). The secret history of the banking cabal at the heart of the global financial system, and the bank designed to evade public scrutiny.

Everything That Follows Is Different: The Disruptive Power of Insight by Gary Klein (June 25, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1610392518). A renowned research psychologist and consultant clarifies the conditions that help spark insights: those startling new understandings that break through the nonsense.

Random House

The Leader’s Code: Mission, Character, Service, and Getting the Job Done by Donovan Campbell (Apr. 9, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0812992939). From the bestselling author of Joker One comes a book on character and leadership inspired by the author’s training and experience in the United States Marine Corps.

Hedge Hogs: The Cowboy Traders Behind Wall Street’s Largest Hedge Fund Disaster by Barbara T. Dreyfuss (June 11, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1400068395). A blistering account of the biggest hedge fund collapse in history. Amaranth LLC was valued at more than $9 billion. but it all collapsed, due to the risky trading of a 32-year-old energy trader.

Rowman & Littlefield

Working Scared (or Not at All): The Lost Decade, Great Recession, and Restoring the Shattered American Dream by Carl E Van Horn (Mar. 1, hardcover; $45, ISBN 978-1442219656). Working Scared tells the story of the American workforce during a period of structural changes and economic recession. Based on an analysis of national surveys of more than 25,000 employed and unemployed Americans.

Simon & Schuster

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger (Mar. 5, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1451686579). Why do certain products and ideas go viral? Dynamic young Wharton professor Berger draws on his research to explain the six steps that make products or ideas contagious.

Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton (May 14, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1451665062). Two rising stars in behavioral science explain how money can buy happiness—if you follow five core principles of smarter spending.

S&S/Gallery Books

The Cold, Hard Truth on Men, Women, and Money by Kevin O’Leary (July 9, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1476734422). O’Leary provides foolproof financial advice to guide readers through life’s financial milestones for investing, spending, and saving the smart way.


The Small Business Start-Up Guide: A Surefire Blueprint to Successfully Launch Your Own Business by Michael Giabrone and Matthew Thompson (July 1, trade paper, $17.99, ISBN 978-1402281327). Newly edited text, worksheets, and exercises, and lists of additional resources give entrepreneurs the tools they need to start a successful small business.


Link Out: How to Turn Your Network into a Chain of Lasting Connections by Leslie Grossman (Feb. 6, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1118380581). In today’s market, the typical ways of communicating don’t serve the purpose of building strong, long-term connections. This work describes what is needed to build collaborative relationships that are memorable and lasting.

Secret Millionaires Club: Warren Buffett’s 25 Secrets to Success in the Business of Life by Andrew Heyward (Apr. 9, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1118494592). Written in conjunction with the television series, Secret Millionaire Club, this book makes Buffett’s financial philosophy and homespun life lessons available to everyone.

Broke America: How Business and Government Can Create Jobs and Grow the Economy by William Dunkelberg and John Mauldin (July 2, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1118335871). A guide to fixing the economy by helping small businesses prosper.

Yale Univ. Press

When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence by Stephen D. King (June 18, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0300190526). An esteemed economist warns that Western societies’ economic expectations for the future are about to collide with reality.