New ideas for closing the income gap between America’s überwealthy and the rest of society are presented in several of the spring’s most important business books.
The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions... and Created Plenty of Controversy
Leigh Gallagher. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Feb. 14
A Fortune editor presents the behind-the-scenes story of the creation and growth of, and controversy surrounding, the online lodging platform.
Basic Income: A Radical Proposal for a Free Society and a Sane Economy
Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght. Harvard Univ., Mar. 20
An idea that’s been long advocated is now one of the world’s most widely debated proposals. Parijs and Vanderborght present a comprehensive defense of this radical idea.
The CEO Pay Machine: How It Trashes America and How to Stop It
Steven Clifford. Blue Rider, May 16
A former CEO explains how the pay machine that permits CEOs to get paid 300–700 times more than the average employee works and how that pay gap causes harm to companies, shareholders, economic growth, and democracy.
Down and Out in the New Economy: How People Find (or Don’t Find) Work Today
Ilana Gershon. Univ. of Chicago, Apr. 10
What has changed in the job hunt and what has not is offered from interviews with a wide range of people in all parts of today’s employment process.
Economics for the Common Good
Jean Tirole, trans. by Steven Rendall. Princeton Univ., July 11
The winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics sets a new agenda for the role economics can play in facing the many challenges of society today.
A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
T.R. Reid. Penguin Press, Apr. 4
Reid travels around the world to solve the urgent problem of the U.S.’s failing tax code, unraveling a complex topic in plain English and telling a rollicking story along the way.
Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town
Brian Alexander. St. Martin’s, Feb. 14
Alexander examines how the purchase of the Anchor Hocking Glass Company by a private equity firm all but destroyed the company and the town of Lancaster, Ohio.
Making It: Why Manufacturing Still Matters
Louis Uchitelle. New Press, May 2
Based on reporting from cities where things are still “Made in the U.S.,” a New York Times correspondent argues for government support for domestic manufacturing.
The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy
Peter Temin. MIT, Mar. 3
Temin, an MIT economist, argues that American history and politics, particularly slavery and its aftermath, play an important part in the widening gap between rich and poor.
Wild Ride: Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination
Adam Lashinsky. Penguin/Portfolio, May 23
The author of Inside Apple traces the story of Uber’s growth from its origins to plans for expansion into radically different industries.
Business & Economics Listings
Rocket Man: Elon Musk in His Own Words, edited by Jessica Easto (Feb. 14, trade paper, $10.95, ISBN 978-1-57284-214-4), compiles hundreds of Musk’s best quotes— thoughts on business, clean energy, innovation, engineering, technology, space, electric vehicles, entrepreneurship, life lessons—providing an intimate and direct look into Silicon Valley’s most ambitious industrialist.
Allen & Unwin
On Time on Target: How Teams and Targets Can Cut Through Complexity and Get Things Done... the Fighter Pilot Way by James D. Murphy and Christian Boucousis (May 1, trade paper, $23.95, ISBN 978-1-76029-384-0). The authors, former fighter pilots, have built on the techniques learned in the Air Force to create a process called Flex, which enables people to make clear decisions and act with speed, precision, and safety to achieve success.
Becoming Facebook: The 10 Challenges That Defined the Company That’s Disrupting the World by Michael Hoefflinger (Apr. 18, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-8144-3796-4). A former Facebook insider tracks the company’s development from startup to giant, uncovering business lessons like how the company recovered from a “disastrous” IPO and what makes Zuckerberg, Sandberg, Cox, and other A-teamers tick.
Money Machine: The Surprisingly Simple Power of Value Investing by Gary Smith (June 23, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-8144-3856-5) shows how billionaire investors like Warren Buffett make their fortune and achieve 8% returns each year.
The Perfect Mix: Everything I Know About Leadership I Learned as a Bartender by Helen Rothberg, Ph.D. (June 20, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-1-5011-2782-3). A consultant to CEOs and entrepreneurs reveals insights about leadership developed while she worked as a bartender and restaurant manager.
Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust by Adam Kahane (June 5, trade paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-62656-822-8). International consultant Kahane explains how flexibility and improvisation can lead to what he calls “stretch collaboration.”
Pacing for Growth: Why Intelligent Restraint Drives Long-term Success by Alison Eyring (Feb. 6, trade paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-62656-817-4). A growth expert developed the concept Intelligent Pacing, a technique that teaches business leaders how to expand at the correct pace and avoid the boom-splat cycles of wild growth.
The Boomerang Principle: Inspire Lifetime Loyalty from Your Employees by Lee Caraher (Apr. 11, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-62956-168-4). With job hopping the new norm, here is a pragmatic answer to the outdated corporate mindset around employee turnover. Caraher shifts the focus to creating lifetime loyalty by inducing former employees to bring back business again and again.
50 Economics Classics: Your Shortcut to the Most Important Ideas on Capital, Finance and the Global Economy by Tom Butler-Bowdon (May 9, trade paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-1-85788-673-3). From Karl Marx to Naomi Klein, from The Wealth of Nations to Piketty’s Capital, Butler-Bowdon distills 50 of the most important volumes on finance and the world economy.
Loan Sharks: The Birth of Predatory Lending by Charles R. Geisst (Apr. 25, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8157-2900-6) provides a history of predatory lending in the United States, tracing the origins of modern consumer lending to such older practices as salary buying and hidden interest charges.
The Career Catapult: Shake-up the Status Quo and Boost Your Professional Trajectory by Roopa Unnikrishnan (Mar. 20, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-63265-084-9). With job security a thing of the past, career consultant Unnikrishnan offers five essential disciplines that will help people develop their own career fast track.
Shapeholders: Business Success in the Age of Activism by Mark Kennedy (May 9, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-231-18056-6). The former congressman, corporate executive, and university president argues that shapeholders—regulators, the media, and social and political activists—have enormous influence on a business’s fate, with significant power to determine a company’s risks and opportunities, if not its survival.
Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown (Apr. 18, hardcover, $29, ISBN 978-0-451-49721-5). Two pioneers of growth hacking describe how to attain, retain, engage, and monetize customers, with a comprehensive tool kit that any company in any industry can use to grow its customer base and increase market share.
There Are No Overachievers: Seizing Your Windows of Opportunity to Do More Than You Thought Possible by Brian D. Biro (Mar. 14, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-0-451-49762-8). Management consultant Biro outlines how anyone can seize and act upon the WOO, or Windows of Opportunity, that present themselves in both our personal and professional lives.
Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu (Feb. 14, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-250-07173-6). Dufu recounts how she learned to reevaluate expectations, shrink her to-do list, and meaningfully engage the assistance of others—freeing the space she needed to flourish at work and to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships at home. Foreword by Gloria Steinem.
Grand Central Life & Style
AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip by Jean Chatzky and Michael F. Roizen, with Ted Spiker (Feb. 28, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-4555-6730-0). The Today Show’s financial expert, Chatzky, and the Cleveland Clinic’s chief wellness officer, Roizen, explain the vital connection between health and wealth—giving readers the tactics, strategies, and know-how to live longer, healthier, more lucrative lives. Foreword by Mehmet Oz.
Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm by Christian Madsbjerg (Mar. 21, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-39324-9). Inspired by his work with companies like Ford and Coca-Cola, business consultant Madsbjerg makes a stand against big data with an argument that human intelligence, informed by the study of the humanities, remains essential to success.
Slam-Dunk Success: Leading from Every Position on Life’s Court by Byron Scott, Charlie Norris, with Jon Warech (Apr. 25, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-4789-2044-1). Longtime business executive Norris and three-time NBA champion and coach of the year Scott team up to share their leadership expertise and secrets to success; with a foreword by Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
Beyond the Label: Women, Leadership, and Success on Our Own Terms by Maureen Chiquet (Apr. 18, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-265570-7). The former global CEO of Chanel charts her unlikely path from literature major to global chief executive, guiding readers to move beyond the confines of staid expectations and discover their own true paths, strengths, and leadership values.
Gen Z @ Work: How the Next Generation Is Transforming the Workplace by David and Jonah Stillman (Mar. 21, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-247544-2). A generations expert and author of When Generations Collide, David Stillman teams up with his 17-year-old son to introduce the next influential demographic group to join the work force—Generation Z.
Weird in a World That’s Not: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ck Ups, and Failures by Jennifer Romolini (June 6, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-247272-4) makes the claim that being outside-the-norm and achieving real, high-level success are not mutually exclusive, even if the perception of the business world often seems otherwise.
Harvard Business Review
Built for Growth: How Builder Personality Shapes Your Business, Your Team, and Your Ability to Win by Chris Kuenne and John Danner (June 6, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-63369-276-3) is a guide for how to play to your strengths, complement and compensate for your gaps, and build successful businesses—from startup to scaleup.
Sense and Respond: How Successful Organizations Listen to Customers and Create New Products Continuously by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden (Feb. 7, hardcover, $32, ISBN 978-1-63369-188-9). In a world transformed by technology, companies need to have the capacity to sense and respond instantly to customer, employee, and other stakeholder behaviors. Gothelf and Seiden, leading tech experts and founders of the global Lean UX movement, point to companies that have developed the new mindset and skills needed to continuously innovate.
After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality, edited by Heather Boushey, J. Bradford DeLong, and Marshall Steinbaum (May 8, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-674-50477-6) features a group of economists and other social scientists examining the questions about income inequality raised in Thomas Piketty’s worldwide bestseller. Following the writers’ critiques, Piketty replies in a concluding chapter.
Basic Income: A Radical Proposal for a Free Society and a Sane Economy by Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght (Mar. 20, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-674-05228-4). Providing a basic income to everyone, rich or poor, active or inactive, has been advocated by Paine, Mill, and Galbraith, but never taken seriously. With the welfare state creaking, it is one of the world’s most widely debated proposals, and the authors present a comprehensive defense of this radical idea.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions... and Created Plenty of Controversy by Leigh Gallagher (Feb. 14, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-544-95266-9). A Fortune editor offers the behind-the-scenes story of the creation and growth of the online lodging platform that has become, in under a decade, the largest provider of accommodations in the world. Gallagher explores the success of Airbnb along with the more controversial side of its story.
Lincoln on Leadership for Today: Abraham Lincoln’s Approach to Twenty-First-Century Issues by Donald T. Phillips (Feb. 7, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-544-81464-6). Based on a lifelong study of Lincoln’s life, writings, and speeches, the author of the classic bestseller Lincoln on Leadership offers ideas on how Lincoln would use his exemplary leadership and executive style to handle the pressing crises of our modern world.
Johns Hopkins Univ.
Days of Slaughter: Inside the Fall of Freddie Mac and Why It Could Happen Again by Susan Wharton Gates (Apr. 2, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-4214-2193-3). A former 19-year Freddie Mac employee and vice president of public policy provides an eyewitness account of the competing economic and political forces that led the government to step in to prevent the collapse of the mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Freddie Mae.
Building the Agile Business Through Digital Transformation: How to Lead Digital Transformation in Your Workplace by Neil Perkin and Peter Abraham (Apr. 28, trade paper, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-7494-8039-4). Practical advice, case studies, examples, and real-life insights from organizational development professionals at the leading edge of digital transformation abound in this guide to building an agile business.
The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant (June 20, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-54616-4). A senior editor with Vice’s Motherboard presents a global exploration of the breakthroughs that made Apple’s iPhone—the most profitable product ever created—possible and in the process examines tech history.
The Bully-Proof Workplace: Essential Strategies, Tips, and Scripts for Dealing with the Office Sociopath by Peter J. Dean and Molly D. Shepard (Mar. 3, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-259-85966-3) provides tools and advice for dealing with bullies in the workplace and creating a productive, bully-free environment.
Fearless at Work: Trade Old Habits for a Power Mind-set by Molly Fletcher (Apr. 7, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-1-259-86298-4). A sports-agent-turned-entrepreneur zeroes in on the one common trait that drives individuals and teams to unparalleled success: a strong and fearless mindset. To help readers achieve that, she guides them to seize and shape the moments that will make the greatest difference.
The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy by Peter Temin (Mar. 3, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-262-03616-0). The MIT economist argues that American history and politics, particularly slavery and its aftermath, play an important part in the widening gap between rich and poor. He employs a well-known, simple model of a dual economy to examine the dynamics of the rich/poor divide in America, and outlines ways to work toward greater equality.
Making It: Why Manufacturing Still Matters by Louis Uchitelle (May 2, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-59558-897-5). Reporting from places where things were and sometimes still are “Made in the USA”—Albany; New York; Boston; Detroit; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; Philadelphia; St. Louis; and Washington, D.C.—the longtime New York Times economics correspondent argues that the government has a crucial role to play in making domestic manufacturing possible.
Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing the Digital Revolution by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson (June 27, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-393-25429-7). The authors of the best-selling The Second Machine Age deliver an analysis of a new world and a toolkit for thriving in a rapidly changing economy.
The CEO Pay Machine: How It Trashes America and How to Stop It by Steven Clifford (May 16, hardcover, $23, ISBN 978-0-7352-1239-8). Former CEO Clifford explains the pay machine that permits CEOs to get paid 300 to 700 times more than the average worker, and how that pay gap causes harm to companies, shareholders, economic growth, and democracy itself.
Wild Ride: Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination by Adam Lashinsky (May 23, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-7352-1139-1). The veteran Fortune writer and author of Inside Apple traces the story of Uber’s rapid growth from murky origins to plans for expansion into radically different industries.
A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System by T.R. Reid (Apr. 4, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-59420-551-4). The author travels around the world to solve the urgent problem of the U.S.’s failing tax code, unraveling a complex topic in plain English and telling a rollicking story along the way.
Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together by Erin Lowry (May 2, trade paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-14-313040-6). Based on her successful blog of the same name, the 26-year-old personal finance expert guides readers with wry humor and real-life examples to demystify the world of money for millennials.
Economics for the Common Good by Jean Tirole, trans. by Steven Rendall (July 11, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-691-17516-4). The winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics believes economists need to engage with the many challenges facing society, helping to identify key objectives and the tools needed to meet them. In this work, he aims to set a new agenda for the role of economics in society.
The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty by Jonathan Morduch and Rachel Schneider (Apr. 4, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-691-17298-9) draws on the groundbreaking U.S. Financial Diaries, which follow the lives of 235 low- and middle-income families as they navigate through a year to identify the true causes of distress and inequality for many working Americans.
Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street by Sheelah Kolhatkar (Feb. 7, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-8129-9580-0). Steven Cohen built SAC Capital into one of America’s largest hedge funds, which became the target of a seven-year investigation that resulted in SAC Capital pleading guilty to charges of securities and wire fraud, yet Cohen walked away a free man. This true-life thriller raises an urgent and troubling question: are Wall Street titans like Cohen above the law?
Random/Spiegel & Grau
The End of Advertising: Why It Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come by Andrew Essex (June 13, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-399-58851-8) poses a bold challenge to global marketers to innovate their way into a better, ad-free future by creating marketing campaigns that could provide utility, services, gifts, investment, and even patronage of the arts, as well as blockbuster entertainment.
The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen (Feb. 28, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-250-10869-2). The well-known blogger, economist, and author argues that by relying on algorithms that wall Americans off from anything that might be too new or different, we postpone necessary change, which will lead to major fiscal and budgetary crisis.
Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town by Brian Alexander (Feb. 14, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-08580-1) examines how the purchase of the Anchor Hocking Glass Company by a private equity firm has all but destroyed the company, and in turn led to the demise of Lancaster, Ohio, once viewed as the epitome of the all-American town.
Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age by Jeff Goins (June 6, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-7180-8626-8). Creativity expert Goins debunks the myth of the starving artist, replacing it with 14 rules for artists to thrive, including steal from your influences; collaborate with others; take strategic risks; make money in order to make more art; and apprentice under a master.
The Robots Are Coming: A Human’s Survival Guide to Profiting in the Age of Automation by John Pugliano (Apr. 11, trade paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-61243-669-2) is aimed at helping people understand, predict, and navigate the new smart economy and incorporates an action plan for becoming invaluable at work and avoiding being replaced.
Univ. of Chicago
Down and Out in the New Economy: How People Find (or Don’t Find) Work Today by Ilana Gershon (Apr. 10, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-226-45214-2). Using interviews with a wide range of people in all parts of today’s employment process, Gershon offers a snapshot of the quest for work today, describing what has changed and what has not.
Burn Out: The Endgame for Fossil Fuels by Dieter Helm (Apr. 25, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-300-22562-4). A longtime industry observer explains how low oil prices and other shifts are harbingers of a coming energy revolution and how the fossil fuel age will come to an end. He also suggests what governments and businesses can and should do now to prepare for a radically different energy future.
Grave New World: The End of Globalisation and the Return of Economic Conflict by Stephen D. King (May 16, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-300-21804-6) provides a provocative and engaging account of why globalization is being rejected, and argues that this rejection and a return to autarky, or economic nationalism, will risk economic and political conflict, and suggests ways to avoid the worst possible outcomes.