Power is the theme in U.S. business books this season. There are power authors such as Alan Greenspan and books about firms like McKinsey & Co. and Amazon.com. Here are some of the highlights:
“The Age of Oversupply: Overcoming the Greatest Challenge to the Global Economy” by Daniel Alpert (Portfolio, Sept. 26). Alpert tries to diagnose why the world economy remains in a rut five years after the crisis, saying that excess labor and capital and consistently cheap money are at the root of our problems.
“By All Means Necessary: How China’s Resource Quest Is Changing the World” by Elizabeth Economy and Michael Levi (Oxford, Feb. 6). China’s rapid expansion forces it to look abroad for resources. How will this insatiable maw affect the planet?
“David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants” by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, Oct. 1). The best-selling author of “The Tipping Point” returns, and no one would accuse him of being an underdog at the bookstore.
“The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” by Brad Stone (Little, Brown, Oct. 15). Stone, a senior writer for Bloomberg BusinessWeek, traces Amazon’s growth from an online bookstore to a company that continues to transform retail -- just as Bezos becomes a media mogul by buying the Washington Post.
McKinsey & Co.
“The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business” by Duff McDonald (Simon & Schuster, Sept. 10). A look at the secretive consulting firm’s success -- and failures.
“Forty Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World” by Howard G. Buffett (Simon & Schuster, Oct. 22). Warren Buffett’s son recounts his $3 billion effort to help people around the world who lack basic food security.
“Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal” by Nick Bilton (Portfolio, Nov. 5). The New York Times tech reporter goes behind the scenes at the explosive social-media company.
“The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty” by Nina Munk (Doubleday, Sept. 10). Columbia University economist Sachs has been putting his theories about ending poverty to the test in Africa.
“In My Shoes: A Memoir” by Tamara Mellon and William Patrick (Portfolio, Oct. 1). And those shoes would be Jimmy Choo, where Mellon was the co-founder and chief executive.
“The Map and the Territory: Risk, Human Nature and the Future of Forecasting” by Alan Greenspan (Penguin Press, Oct. 22). Inspired by the financial crisis, the former Federal Reserve chairman looks for better ways to make financial predictions.
“The Mortgage Wars: Inside Fannie Mae, Big-Money Politics and the Collapse of the American Dream” by Timothy Howard (McGraw-Hill, Nov. 29). Howard worked at Fannie Mae for more than 20 years, until 2004, rising to vice chairman and chief financial officer.
“Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires” by David Folkenflik (PublicAffairs, Oct. 22). NPR’s media reporter examines News Corp.’s corruption scandal and Rupert Murdoch’s decision to split the company in two.
“Wrong: Nine Economic Policy Disasters and What We Can Learn From Them” by Richard S. Grossman (Oxford, Oct. 24). A Wesleyan University economist looks at nine economic crises of the past 200 years -- including the 19th-century Irish famine and Japan’s lost decade of the 1990s -- and concludes that they were all caused by putting ideology above economics.
(Laurie Muchnick is the book editor for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)
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