The impact of the pandemic and other headline-grabbing events are the topics of some of fall’s most compelling business titles.
The Antisocial Network: The GameStop Short Squeeze True Story and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees.
Ben Mezrich. Grand Central, Sept. 7 ($28, ISBN 978-1-5387-0755-5)
Mezrich examines how and why GameStop’s stock price soared in late 2020, shocking Wall Street.
The Car That Knew Too Much: Can a Machine Be Moral?
Jean-François Bonnefon. MIT, Oct. 12 ($22.95, ISBN 978-0-262-04579-7)
Psychologist Bonnefon details a moral experiment that weighs the outcomes of decisions driverless cars will need to make in accidents where not everyone can be saved.
Flying Blind: The 737 Max Tragedy and the Fall of Boeing
Peter Robison. Doubleday, Nov. 16 ($30, ISBN 978-0-385-54649-2)
Robison digs into how corporate dysfunction led Boeing to make a series of blunders in introducing the 737 Max 8 plane, which has been involved in two crashes that killed 346 people.
Foxconned: Imaginary Jobs, Bulldozed Homes, and the Sacking of Local Government
Lawrence Tabak. Univ. of Chicago, Oct. 28 ($27.50, ISBN 978-0-226-74065-2)
An agreement by Chinese electronics giant FoxConn to build a plant in Wisconsin was supposed to prove that overseas jobs were returning to the U.S., but the deal fell apart, and Tabak uses its collapse to illustrate how the U.S.’s economic incentive infrastructure is broken.
In Defense of Public Debt
Barry Eichengreen et al. Oxford Univ., Sept. 1 ($29.95, ISBN 978-0-19-757789-9)
Government debt has returned to the spotlight as countries launched massive spending programs to offset the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The authors defend those actions while also providing ideas on what to do as the financial impact of the pandemic eases.
Mother of Invention: How Good Ideas Get Ignored in an Economy Built for Men
Katrine Marçal. Abrams, Oct. 19 ($26, ISBN 978-1-4197-5804-1)
Swedish journalist Marçal argues that gender bias holds back economic innovation and that overcoming biases can lead to new ways for technology to be used to meet the needs of everyone.
My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future
Indra Nooyi. Portfolio, Sept. 28 ($28, ISBN 978-0-593-19179-8) PepsiCo CEO Nooyi offers insight and a call to action for how society can really blend work and family—and advance women—in the 21st century.
The Myth of Private Equity: An Inside Look at Wall Street’s Transformative Investments
Jeffrey Hooke. Columbia Business School, Oct. 5 ($35, ISBN 978-0-231-19882-0)
Hooke, a former private equity executive and investment banker, examines the many negative effects of deals done by private equity firms.
Prosperity in the Fossil-Free Economy: Cooperatives and the Design of Sustainable Businesses
Melissa K. Scanlan. Yale Univ., Sept. 28 ($40, ISBN 978-0-300-25399-3)
Scanlan provides a blueprint for creating alternate corporate business models that mitigate climate change, pay living wages, and act as responsible community members.
Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy
Adam Tooze. Viking, Sept. 7 ($28, ISBN 978-0-593-29755-1).
Tooze, director of the European Institute at Columbia University, weaves finance, politics, business, and the global human experience into this account of the impact the pandemic has had on business and personal life.
Business & Economics Listings
The Art of Fairness: The Power of Decency in a World Turned Mean by David Bodanis (Sept. 7, $26, ISBN 978-1-4197-5635-1) uses profiles of pilots, presidents, and other successful people to argue that the best way to accomplish tasks is for leaders to show integrity and use fairness.
The Mystic Hand: What Central Bankers Have Unlearned, Relearned, and Still Have to Learn by Johan Van Overtveldt (Jan. 11, $35, ISBN 978-1-57284-306-6) shines a light on how the power of central bankers has grown over the past few decades and makes a case that new avenues need to be explored to keep the global economy moving.
Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life by Adam Markel (Jan. 1, $16 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4767-7948-5). The CEO of Peak Potentials uses stories, prompts, exercises, and calls to action to guide people on how they can change themselves.
Rule of the Robots: How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Everything by Martin Ford (Sept. 14, $28, ISBN 978-1-5416-7473-8) predicts that AI will soon become an aspect of everyday life and suggests society should prepare for that eventuality by adopting a universal basic income and educational reform.
Wallet Activism: How to Use Every Dollar You Spend, Earn, and Save as a Force for Change by Tanja Hester (Nov. 16, $17.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-953295-59-0). Our Next Life blogger Hester shows how to create a personal spending philosophy based on one’s values.
The Cactus and Snowflake at Work: How the Logical and Sensitive Can Thrive Side by Side by Devora Zack (Nov. 16, $18.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5230-9336-6). A self-described snowflake, Zack lays out ways “Feelers” (who lead with their hearts) and “Thinkers” (who lead with their heads) can combine their strengths and work together.
Leading Remotely: Achieving Success in a Globally Connected World by Mike Parkes (Sept. 7, $25 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4729-9119-5). The pandemic has accelerated the move to more employees working outside the office, and consultant Parkes provides insights and examples of the most effective ways to manage a remote workforce.
Retail Recovery: How Creative Retailers Are Winning in Their Post-Apocalyptic World by Mark Pilkington (Oct. 19, $28, ISBN 978-1-4729-8717-4) draws on interviews with retail executives and other research to suggest ways companies can adapt to a physical retail world reshaped by the internet and the pandemic.
Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam by Vivek Ramaswamy (Aug. 17, $28, ISBN 978-1-5460-9078-6) argues that the “woke-industrial complex” is dividing Americans by offering promises of a better, more diverse, environmentally friendly world that can’t be fulfilled.
Columbia Business School
The Pivot: Addressing Global Problems Through Local Action by Steve Hamm (Dec. 7, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-231-20090-5) explores the efforts of a volunteer collaboration called Pivot Projects, which was formed during the pandemic with the mission of rethinking how the world works and engendering systemic change.
Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century by Tim Higgins (Aug. 3, $30, ISBN 978-0-385-54545-7). Wall Street Journal tech and auto reporter Higgins examines how Tesla founder Elon Musk overcame numerous challenges to get electric cars on the road.
Machiavelli for Women: Defend Your Worth, Grow Your Ambition, and Win the Workplace by Stacey Vanek Smith (Sept. 7, $26, ISBN 978-1-9821-2175-4). Using Machiavelli’s The Prince as a guide, Smith, host of the NPR podcast The Indicator, demonstrates how women can take and maintain power in their careers.
Disruption Proof: Empower People, Create Value, Drive Change by Brant Cooper (Oct. 26, $28, ISBN 978-1-5387-2019-6). Through case studies of corporations including Intuit and 3M, Cooper demonstrates how companies can cope with continuing change caused by new technology developments.
The Wake Up: Closing the Gap Between Good Intentions and Real Change by Michelle Mijung Kim (Sept. 28, $28, ISBN 978-0-306-84720-2). Kim—cofounder of Awaken, a diversity, equity, and inclusion education company—argues that achieving true equity requires hard, sometimes painful, work, rather than merely following best practices.
System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot by Rob Reich, Mehran Sahami, and Jeremy M. Weinstein (Sept. 21, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-306488-1). Three Stanford professors examine what can be done to counter big tech’s obsession with optimization and efficiency, which has reinforced discrimination, eroded privacy, and displaced workers.
Arriving Today: From Factory to Front Door—Why Everything Has Changed About How and What We Buy by Christopher Mims (Sept. 14, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-298795-2). The Wall Street Journal tech columnist charts how a single product finds its way from a factory in Asia to a doorstep in North America and explains the costs involved in achieving rapid delivery.
Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success by Gary Vaynerchuk (Nov. 16, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-267468-5). Vaynerchuk shares the 12 ingredients that have led to his success as an entrepreneur and reveals what the “half” is—an emotional ingredient of leadership he’s weakest at and makes the most effort to improve.
Harvard Business Review
The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It by Jennifer Moss (Sept. 28, $30, ISBN 978-1-64782-036-7) examines the causes of burnout and how organizations can stop the chronic stress cycle under which an increasing number of workers suffer.
Winning on Purpose: The Unbeatable Strategy of Loving Customers by Fred Reichheld (Nov. 30, $30, ISBN 978-1-64782-178-4). The creator of Net Promoter, the premise of which is that the primary purpose of a business should be to enrich the lives of its customers, describes how companies can enact its system.
The Raging 2020s: Companies, Countries, People—and the Fight for Our Future by Alec Ross (Sept. 14, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-250-77092-9). Through interviews with some of the world’s most influential thinkers, Ross proposes a new social contract that recalibrates the balance between corporations, the government, and the governed.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Let Them Lead: Unexpected Lessons in Leadership from America’s Worst High School Hockey Team by John Bacon (Sept. 7, $28, ISBN 978-0-358-53326-9). As coach of the Ann Arbor Huron High School River Rats hockey team, Bacon took the team from worst to first in three seasons. Here, he lays out the leadership skills he learned along the way.
Business Experimentation: A Practical Guide for Driving Innovation and Performance in Your Business by Rob James and Jules Goddard (Sept. 28, $32.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-3986-0167-3) guides readers through the six-stage business experiment process, from understanding a problem or opportunity to creating a hypothesis, planning the experiment, and analyzing the findings.
Neurodiversity at Work: Drive Innovation, Performance and Productivity with a Neurodiverse Workforce by Amanda Kirby and Theo Smith (Aug. 31, $39.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-3986-0024-9) explains what neurodiversity is and features case studies from organizations that are already seeing the productivity, performance, and financial benefits of having neurodiversity in the workplace.
Little, Brown Spark
Money Magic: An Economist’s Secrets to More Money, Less Risk, and a Better Life by Laurence Kotlikoff (Dec. 28, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-54195-4). Economics professor Kotlikoff offers readers a framework for making financial decisions that takes into account the impact those decisions will have in all areas of their lives.
Gold, Oil and Avocados: A Recent History of Latin America in Sixteen Commodities by Andy Robinson (Aug. 17, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-61219-935-1) examines how Latin American countries that not long ago appeared poised to offer positive change for their citizens faltered because of the exploitation by rich countries of their resources.
Sludge: What Stops Us from Getting Things Done and What to Do About It by Cass R. Sunstein (Sept. 7, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-262-04578-0). Defining sludge as excessive red tape that prevents people from getting the benefits they are entitled to, Sunstein, a former official in the Obama administration, presents ideas on how to reduce unnecessary paperwork.
The Power of Nothing to Lose: The Hail Mary Effect in Politics, War, and Business by William L. Silber (Aug. 17, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-301152-6). When faced with what looks like certain defeat, leaders from quarterbacks to generals often take actions that they know are a huge gamble. Economist Silber examines the pros and cons of making such moves.
Getting Good with Money: Pay Off Your Debt and Find a Life of Freedom—Without Losing Your Mind by Jessica Marie Fearon (Jan. 18, $18.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4002-2610-8). A certified financial coach offers advice for getting a handle on one’s finances and lays out the steps her family took to pay off their debt.
New World Library
Larger Than Yourself: The Quest to Reimagine Industries, Lead with Purpose and Grow Ideas into Movements by Thibault Manekin (Sept. 14, $17.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-60868-759-6) introduces ideas for young entrepreneurs and others seeking to incorporate social justice, economic equity, climate concerns, and communal health into their endeavors.
Get Different: Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored! by Mike Michalowicz (Sept. 21, $26, ISBN 978-0-593-33063-0) offers tips on how companies and their products can stand out in an overly crowded marketplace.
The Platform Delusion: Who Wins and Who Loses in the Age of Tech Titans by Jonathan A. Knee (Sept. 7, $28, ISBN 978-0-593-18943-6) argues that what really makes big tech companies work are structural advantages buttressed by shrewd acquisitions, strong management, lax regulation, and encouraging the myth that they are invincible.
Renewal: From Crisis to Transformation in Our Politics, Work, and Lives by Anne-Marie Slaughter (Aug. 24, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-691-21056-8) posits that renewal is possible for any individual or institution willing to embrace honesty, risk, resilience, interdependence, grace, and vision.
The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze by Laura Shin (Nov. 2, $28, ISBN 978-1-5417-6301-2). Journalist Shin explains the inner workings of cryptocurrency and highlights some of the field’s most important players.
The Next Supper: The End of Restaurants as We Knew Them, and What Comes After by Corey Mintz (Nov. 16, $28, ISBN 978-1-5417-5840-7). Covid-19 laid bare many of the problems of the restaurant business, and as restaurants begin to emerge from the pandemic, Mintz offers advice on making dining out a better experience for everyone.
Simon & Schuster
Made From Scratch: The Legendary Success Story of Texas Roadhouse (Where Crazy Works) by Kent Taylor (Aug. 10, $27, ISBN 978-1-9821-8570-1) explores how Texas Roadhouse became a national restaurant chain by employing some unusual business practices, such as barely investing in advertising and staying true to principles even when times became tough.
What We Eat by Paco Underhill (Jan. 1, $30, ISBN 978-1-9821-2709-1). Market researcher Underhill surveys the world’s food system to pinpoint its problems and find opportunities to change what and the way people eat.
The Happy Inbox: How to Have a Stress-Free Relationship with Your Email and Overcome Your Communication Clutter by Maura Thomas (Nov. 1, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-7282-3486-1) describes steps employees can take to rid themselves of the distractions and anxiety caused by too many emails.
Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Creatives, and Winners Around the World by Tyler Cowen and Daniel Gross (Oct. 12, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-250-27581-3). An economist and venture capitalist discuss strategies on how to spot, assess, and retain highly talented people.
Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways by Sarah Stein Greenberg (Sept. 21, $28 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-9848-5816-0). Greenberg, executive director of Stanford’s design school, offers a visual manual on the art of learning, discovery, and leading the way through unknown creative territory.
Diversity and Inclusion Matters: Tactics and Tools to Inspire Equity and Game-Changing Performance by Jason Thompson (Nov. 2, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-119-79953-5) aims to provide diversity officers with a blueprint, information, and tools to implement a successful diversity program.
Gorillas Can Dance: Lessons from Microsoft and Other Corporations on Partnering with Startups by Shameen Prashantham (Sept. 28, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-119-82358-2). Large corporations and start-ups can often benefit by collaborating, and Prashantham shares guidance on how they can build mutually beneficial partnerships.
Tumultuous Times: Central Banking in an Era of Crisis by Masaaki Shirakawa (Aug. 10, $40, ISBN 978-0-300-25897-4). As the governor of the Bank of Japan, Shirakawa provides an account of how the bank met the financial challenges Japan has faced over the past 20 years
This article has been updated with new bibliographic information for some titles.