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Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy : Economic and Political Origins

0521855268


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Review
'... brilliant in its parsimony of means and power of explanation.' Financial Times
'...there is much to admire. True to their title, Messrs Acemoglu and Robinson offer a unified theory of both democracy and its opposite. ... The authors are brutal wielders of Occam's razor, and the 27 factors have been chopped down to a coherent handful. ... According to two scholars cited in this book, even to look for a general theory of democratic reform requires great temerity. Happily, Messrs Acemoglu and Robinson have temerity in spades.' The Economist
'I expect Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy to be highly influential ... The thesis is compellingly inventive ... Acemoglu and Robinson will deservedly win an audience. Students of economics will study this text as much for its methodical exposition and academic proofs...


The World Is Flat [Updated and Expanded]: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century
Thomas L. Friedman
0374292795
April 2006
Hardcover
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Book Review
Updated Edition: Thomas L. Friedman is not so much a futurist, which he is sometimes called, as a presentist. His aim in The World Is Flat, as in his earlier, influential Lexus and the Olive Tree, is not to give you a speculative preview of the wonders that are sure to come in your lifetime, but rather to get you caught up on the wonders that are already here. The world isn't going to be flat, it is flat, which gives Friedman's breathless narrative much of its urgency, and which also saves it from the Epcot-style polyester sheen that futurists--the optimistic ones at least--are inevitably prey to.

What Friedman means by "flat" is "connected": the lowering of trade and political barriers and the exponential technical advances of the digital revolution that have made it possible to do business,...



Good to Great
James C. Collins
0066620996
Jan 2001
Hardcover
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Book Review's Best of 2001
Five years ago, Jim Collins asked the question, "Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?" In Good to Great Collins, the author of Built to Last, concludes that it is possible, but finds there are no silver bullets. Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11--including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo--and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success. Making the transition from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. At the heart of those rare and truly great companies was a...


Cities of Knowledge : Cold War Science and the Search for the Next Silicon Valley (Politics and Society in Twentieth Century America)

0691117160


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Heike Mayer, Journal of the American Planning Association
"I would recommend Cities of Knowledge to planners and urban scholars".

Review
Jane Marceau Australian Review : It is refreshing to read a book with the historical perspective that policymakers and analysts alike too often lack.
Daniel Lee Kleinman Journal of American History : Richly wrought. . . . [O'Mara's] emphasis on place adds an important new dimension to discussions of Cold War political economy.

See all Editorial Reviews


Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when Stakes Are High
Kerry Patterson
0071401946
January 2002
Paperback
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From AudioFile
Mainly about resolving conflicts and influencing people, this useful guide covers every conceivable aspect of talking with others. People hear facts and stories and turn them into shared knowledge when they're not attacked or overpowered--in other words, when they feel safe. No mushy mental health lesson, the program does a stellar job of explaining many types of communication errors and describing the best ways to achieve mutual purpose. The authors have exceptional ideas about moving toward healthy solutions in a variety of business and personal realms. Anna Fields gives a perfect reading--emotionally bright but still allowing the lesson to retain its practical, straight-talking nature. T.W. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the...


Good to Great and the Social Sectors
James C. Collins
0977326403
Nov 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
Jim Collins Answers the Social Sector with a Monograph to Accompany Good to Great. 30-50% of those who bought Good to Great work in the Social Sector. This monograph is a response to questions raised by readers in the social sector. It is not a new book. Jim Collins wants to avoid any confusion about the monograph being a book by limiting its distribution to online retailers. Based on interviews and workshops with over 100 social sector leaders. The difference between successful organizations is not between the business and the social sector, the difference is between good organizations and great ones.

About the Author
Jim Collins is a student and teacher of enduring great companies -- how they grow, how they attain superior performance, and how good...


American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century
Kevin Phillips
067003486X
March 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The title of political analyst Phillips's latest book may overstate his case (in the text, he prefers the term "theocratic direction"), but his analysis likely will strike chords among those troubled by our current political moment. Phillips (American Dynasty) expounds upon historical parallels for each of his three subjects. In his section on "Oil and American Supremacy," for example, he points to Britain's post-WWI involvement in the Middle East as an analogy to Iraq, and in his section on radicalized religion, he warns of "the pitfalls of imperial Christian overreach from Rome to Britain." The five major measures of U.S. debt—from national to household—keep setting records, he observes in his section on "Borrowed Prosperity," and the real estate boom spurred by the Federal Reserve, he argues,...


Corporate Power, American Democracy, and the Automobile Industry

0521023610


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Review
"A calm, analytic, probing, documented and riveting critique of Washington's kowtowing to Detroit, and the efforts of consumer and environmental groups, on behalf of motorists, safety and clean air, to stop the melding of this corporate state." Ralph Nader, Washington D.C.

"Stan Luger has written a first-rate study of corporate power in modern America. By dissecting the relationship of the automobile industry to government, he reveals the structural roots of business power, and also the conditions under which the grip of business on government is sometimes relaxed. Thus illuminating and nuanced study speaks directly to the political limits and possibilities of our time." Frances Fox Piven, City University of New York

"Stan Luger provides us with a rich and troubling account of the U.S. automobile industry's political...



Good to Great CD
Jim Collins
0694526088
Jan 2001
Audio Compact Disc - Abridged
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Book Review's Best of 2001
Five years ago, Jim Collins asked the question, "Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?" In Good to Great Collins, the author of Built to Last, concludes that it is possible, but finds there are no silver bullets. Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11--including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo--and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success. Making the transition from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. At the heart of those rare and truly great...


Nuts!
Kevin Freiberg
0767901843
Jan 1998
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Southwest Airlines began operating in 1971 with four planes serving three cities and with revenues of $2 million. In 1995, the company had 224 planes serving 45 cities and revenues of almost $3 billion. Moreover, the company has made a profit every year since 1973, one of the few airlines that can make that claim. The authors, a husband and wife who are partners in a San Diego consulting firm, attribute much of Southwest's success to the willingness of its management, led by chairman Herb Kelleher, to be innovative. Southwest's primary operating philosophy is low fares and lots of flights. To make this formula work, Southwest management has created a culture where employees are treated as the company's number one asset. The Freibergs list a number of things the airline management does to benefit its employees,...


How to Win Friends and Influence People
Dale Carnegie
0671027034
October 1998
Paperback
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Book Review
This grandfather of all people-skills books was first published in 1937. It was an overnight hit, eventually selling 15 million copies. How to Win Friends and Influence People is just as useful today as it was when it was first published, because Dale Carnegie had an understanding of human nature that will never be outdated. Financial success, Carnegie believed, is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to "the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people." He teaches these skills through underlying principles of dealing with people so that they feel important and appreciated. He also emphasizes fundamental techniques for handling people without making them feel manipulated. Carnegie says you can make someone want to do what you want them to by seeing the...


An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power, 1607-2001
John Steele Gordon
0060505125
October 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
The word "epic" in the subtitle is a tip-off that instead of a critical history of the American economy, this book is a celebration of it. Nothing wrong with that, especially when the tale's told breezily and accurately. In fact, Gordon (The Scarlet Woman of Wall Street) notes the many stumbles and the frequent foolishness and corruption that attended the nation's rise as an economic powerhouse. The larger story of success is, in fact, an extraordinary one. The trouble is that the American economy, like every other, bends much out of shape. It has always provided opportunity but always with too much inequality. A full history of the American economy would take this into consideration—in the past as well as the present, and Gordon's doesn't. Also, his book sometimes wanders off into irrelevant subjects, like...


Built to Last
James C. Collins
0060516402
Jan 2002
Paperback
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Book Review
This analysis of what makes great companies great has been hailed everywhere as an instant classic and one of the best business titles since In Search of Excellence. The authors, James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras, spent six years in research, and they freely admit that their own preconceptions about business success were devastated by their actual findings--along with the preconceptions of virtually everyone else.

Built to Last identifies 18 "visionary" companies and sets out to determine what's special about them. To get on the list, a company had to be world famous, have a stellar brand image, and be at least 50 years old. We're talking about companies that even a layperson knows to be, well, different: the Disneys, the Wal-Marts, the Mercks.

Whatever the key to the success of these companies, the key...



The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times And Ideas Of The Great Economic Thinkers
Robert L. Heilbroner
068486214X
August 1999
Paperback
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Review
John Kenneth GalbraithA brilliant achievement.
The New York TimesIf ever a book answered a crying need, this one does. Here is all the economic lore most general readers conceivably could want to know, served up with a flourish by a man who writes with immense vigor and skill, who has a rare gift for simplifying complexities.
Leonard SilkRobert Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers is a living classic, both because he makes us see that the ideas of the great economists remain fresh and important for our times and because his own brilliant writing forces us to reach out into the future.
Lester ThurowThe Worldly Philosophers, quite simply put, is a classic....None of us can know where we are coming from unless we know the sources of the great ideas that permeate our thinking. The Worldly Philosophers gives us a...


Think Big, ACT Small
Jason Jennings
1591840767
May 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The latest insightful and inspirational title from Jennings (Less Is More; ...It's the Fast That Eat the Slow) again demonstrates potential profitability in contrary concepts. Offering engaging case studies of nine of the country's best performing (if unfamiliar) businesses, Jennings identifies 10 practices they all have in common, which, he argues, catapulted them into the rarefied category of increasing profits and revenue by 10% or more for at least 10 consecutive years. They cut across a wide spectrum of enterprises, but all, according to Jennings, have "nailed the fundamentals." Ten bullet-pointed and chart-summarized chapters with prescriptive titles present the basics that these prosperous business have mastered and asserts that others who apply the principles will also fatten their bottom lines. In breezy...


On Classical Economics
Thomas Sowell
0300113161
March 2006
Hardcover
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From Booklist
Sowell sets forth a series of essays on one of the stages through which economics developed before emerging into today's discipline. He considers classical economics as the period between the 1770s and the 1870s, beginning with Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations. We learn about the continuum of thought extending through classical macroeconomics, microeconomics, and methodology. His essay, "Sismondi" (J. C. L. Simonde de Sismondi), highlights the economic concepts and theories of a little-known figure whose historian's approach and lack of intellectual training and rigor relegated him unknown status. Sowell explores the ideas and contributions of John Stuart Mill as well as Karl Marx's systems of thought, which must be studied within the context of his time, those who influenced him, and economic theory in general....


The Toyota Way
Jeffrey K. Liker
0071392319
Dec 2003
Hardcover
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Book Description
How to speed up business processes, improve quality, and cut costs in any industry In factories around the world, Toyota consistently makes the highest-quality cars with the fewest defects of any competing manufacturer, while using fewer man-hours, less on-hand inventory, and half the floor space of its competitors. The Toyota Way is the first book for a general audience that explains the management principles and business philosophy behind Toyota's worldwide reputation for quality and reliability. Complete with profiles of organizations that have successfully adopted Toyota's principles, this book shows managers in every industry how to improve business processes by: Eliminating wasted time and resources Building quality into workplace systems Finding low-cost but reliable alternatives to expensive new...


America Back on Track
Edward Kennedy
0670037648
April 18, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
As the title implies, Senator Kennedy's book of political history, criticism and advice is an effort to reawaken the belief in progress that underlay politics in the 1960s, often lauding his brother's presidency and Johnson's just after. Kennedy presents some of his most important points in bulleted lists, giving the appearance of simplicity and clarity on complex topics like ways to adjust to globalization and "the shrinking world," steps to achieve "a sound energy conservation policy" and how to provide health care for all. Although Kennedy isn't often as clear as his bulleted points make it appear, his straightforward solutions—like equal federal, state and local government funding for education and an increase in the minimum wage to $7.25—are refreshing. Not unexpectedly, Kennedy's proposals also...


Fast Food Nation
Eric Schlosser
0060938455
Jan 2002
Paperback
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Book Review's Best of 2001
On any given day, one out of four Americans opts for a quick and cheap meal at a fast-food restaurant, without giving either its speed or its thriftiness a second thought. Fast food is so ubiquitous that it now seems as American, and harmless, as apple pie. But the industry's drive for consolidation, homogenization, and speed has radically transformed America's diet, landscape, economy, and workforce, often in insidiously destructive ways. Eric Schlosser, an award-winning journalist, opens his ambitious and ultimately devastating exposé with an introduction to the iconoclasts and high school dropouts, such as Harlan Sanders and the McDonald brothers, who first applied the principles of a factory assembly line to a commercial kitchen. Quickly, however, he moves behind the counter with the overworked and...


The Wisdom of Crowds
James Surowiecki
0385721706
August 16, 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
While our culture generally trusts experts and distrusts the wisdom of the masses, New Yorker business columnist Surowiecki argues that "under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them." To support this almost counterintuitive proposition, Surowiecki explores problems involving cognition (we're all trying to identify a correct answer), coordination (we need to synchronize our individual activities with others) and cooperation (we have to act together despite our self-interest). His rubric, then, covers a range of problems, including driving in traffic, competing on TV game shows, maximizing stock market performance, voting for political candidates, navigating busy sidewalks, tracking SARS and designing Internet search engines like Google. If...


The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
Thomas L. Friedman
0374292884
April 2005
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
Thomas L. Friedman is not so much a futurist, which he is sometimes called, as a presentist. His aim, in his new book, The World Is Flat, as in his earlier, influential Lexus and the Olive Tree, is not to give you a speculative preview of the wonders that are sure to come in your lifetime, but rather to get you caught up on the wonders that are already here. The world isn't going to be flat, it is flat, which gives Friedman's breathless narrative much of its urgency, and which also saves it from the Epcot-style polyester sheen that futurists--the optimistic ones at least--are inevitably prey to.

What Friedman means by "flat" is "connected": the lowering of trade and political barriers and the exponential technical advances of the digital revolution have made it possible to do business, or almost anything else, instantaneously with...



The Communist Manifesto and Other Writings (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Karl Marx
1593083750
November 2005
Hardcover
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The Box : How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger
Marc Levinson
0691123241
March 20, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
A book about the history of the shipping container? At first, one has to wonder why. (An eventuality not lost on the author, who muses "What is it about the container that is so important? Surely not the thing itself...the standard container has all the romance of a tin can.") The catch, though, is that Levinson, an economist, "treats containerization not as shipping news, but as a development that has sweeping consequences for workers and consumers all around the globe." That latter statement drives this book, which is about the economic ramifications of the shipping container-from the closing of traditional (and antiquated) ports to the rise of Asia as the world's preeminent provider of inexpensive consumer goods (distributed, naturally, using mammoth shipping containers). Levinson maintains his focus on the...


Greenspan's Fraud
Ravi Batra
1403968594
May 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
In 1987, Alan Greenspan was appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Batra had a bestseller predicting a depression deeper than the Great Depression, lasting from 1990 to 1996. Batra's second book, two years later, predicting the crash of 1990 did less well, and his books predicting disaster in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 found fewer readers, lucid as they were. Batra did correctly predict a stock market downturn in 2000, but erred by blaming the Y2K computer bug and forecasting high inflation and deep, long lasting negative growth. Now Batra has switched from predicting the future to criticizing the past. Readers expecting sensational charges will be disappointed. "This is not fraud in the legal sense," the author reassures us. Instead, Greenspan has "seriously afflicted the finances of millions of...


Fast Food Nation
Eric Schlosser
0060838582
Jan 2002
Paperback
·
 
Book Review's Best of 2001
On any given day, one out of four Americans opts for a quick and cheap meal at a fast-food restaurant, without giving either its speed or its thriftiness a second thought. Fast food is so ubiquitous that it now seems as American, and harmless, as apple pie. But the industry's drive for consolidation, homogenization, and speed has radically transformed America's diet, landscape, economy, and workforce, often in insidiously destructive ways. Eric Schlosser, an award-winning journalist, opens his ambitious and ultimately devastating exposé with an introduction to the iconoclasts and high school dropouts, such as Harlan Sanders and the McDonald brothers, who first applied the principles of a factory assembly line to a commercial kitchen. Quickly, however, he moves behind the counter with the overworked and...


How to Win Friends and Influence People
Dale Carnegie
0671723650
January 1981
Mass Market Paperback
·
 
Book Review
This grandfather of all people-skills books was first published in 1937. It was an overnight hit, eventually selling 15 million copies. How to Win Friends and Influence People is just as useful today as it was when it was first published, because Dale Carnegie had an understanding of human nature that will never be outdated. Financial success, Carnegie believed, is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to "the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people." He teaches these skills through underlying principles of dealing with people so that they feel important and appreciated. He also emphasizes fundamental techniques for handling people without making them feel manipulated. Carnegie says you can make someone want to do what you want them to by seeing the situation from the...


The Wal-Mart Effect : How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works--and How It's Transforming the American Economy
Charles Fishman
1594200769
January 19, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Fishman shops at Wal-Mart and has obvious affection for its price-cutting, hard-nosed ethos. He also understands that the story of Wal-Mart is really the story of the transformation of the American economy over the past 20 years. He's careful to present the consumer benefits of Wal-Mart's staggering growth and to place Wal-Mart in the larger context of globalization and the rise of mega-corporations. But he also presents the case against Wal-Mart in arresting detail, and his carefully balanced approach only makes the downside of Wal-Mart's market dominance more vivid. Through interviews with former Wal-Mart insiders and current suppliers, Fishman puts readers inside the company's penny-pinching mindset and shows how Wal-Mart's mania to reduce prices has driven suppliers into bankruptcy and sent factory jobs...


Product Development for the Lean Enterprise: Why Toyota's System Is Four Times More Productive and How You Can Implement It
Michael N. Kennedy
1892538091
April 2003
Hardcover
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Dain M. Hancock, President, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
"A must-read for leaders that demands excellence in the development of new products."

John H. Weber, President and Chief Executive Officer, Eagle-Picher Industries, Inc.
"...product development is a key to winning...a great roadmap and some tools to speed you on your way."

See all Editorial Reviews


Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy
Matthew R. Simmons
047173876X
June 10, 2005
Hardcover
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From Booklist
Investment banker Simmons offers a detailed description of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the U.S and our long-standing dependence upon Saudi oil. With a field-by-field assessment of its key oilfields, he highlights many discrepancies between Saudi Arabia's actual production potential and its seemingly extravagant resource claims. Parts 1 and 2 of the book offer background and context for understanding the technical discussion of Saudi oil fields and the world's energy supplies. Parts 3 and 4 contain analysis of Saudi Arabia's oil and gas industry based on the technical papers published by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Simmons suggests that when Saudi Arabia and other Middle East producers can no longer meet the world's enormous demand, world leaders and energy specialists must be prepared for the...


The Art of Innovation : Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm
Tom Kelley, et al
0385499841
January 16, 2001
Hardcover
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Book Review
IDEO, the world's leading design firm, is the brain trust that's behind some of the more brilliant innovations of the past 20 years--from the Apple mouse, the Polaroid i-Zone instant camera, and the Palm V to the "fat" toothbrush for kids and a self-sealing water bottle for dirt bikers. Not surprisingly, companies all over the world have long wondered what they could learn from IDEO, to come up with better ideas for their own products, services, and operations. In this terrific book from IDEO general manager Tom Kelley (brother of founder David Kelley), IDEO finally delivers--but thankfully not in the step-by-step, flow-chart-filled "process speak" of most how-you-can-do-what-we-do business books. Sure, there are some good bulleted lists to be found here--such as the secrets of successful brainstorming, the...

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