A business-economics book recommendation: The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite by Duff McDonald

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2ixt3dJ.
McDonald bookends his long and impressively researched account with a portrait of Casey Gerald, an African-American who delivered a 2014 Class Day speech that’s been viewed online over 200,000 times, and is featured on the school’s “Making a Difference” website.
Book description from Google Books:
A riveting and timely intellectual history of one of our most important capitalist institutions, Harvard Business School, from the bestselling author of The Firm.With The Firm, financial journalist Duff McDonald pulled back the curtain on consulting giant McKinsey & Company. In The Golden Passport, he reveals the inner workings of a singular nexus of power, ambition, and influence: Harvard Business School. Harvard University occupies a unique place in the public’s imagination, but HBS has arguably eclipsed its parent in terms of its influence on modern society. A Harvard degree guarantees respect. An HBS degree is, as the New York Times proclaimed in 1978, “the golden passport to life in the upper class.” Those holding Harvard MBAs are near-guaranteed entrance into Western capitalism’s most powerful realm—the corner office.Most people have a vague knowledge of the power of the HBS network, but few understand the dynamics that have made HBS an indestructible and powerful force for almost a century. As McDonald explores these dynamics, he also reveals how, despite HBS’s enormous success, it has failed with respect to the stated goal of its founders: “the multiplication of men who will handle their current business problems in socially constructive ways.” While HBS graduates tend to be very good at whatever they do, that is rarely the doing of good.In addition to teasing out the essence of this exclusive, if not necessarily “secret” club, McDonald explores two important questions: Has the school failed at reaching the goals it set for itself? And is HBS therefore complicit in the moral failings of Western capitalism? At a time of pronounced economic disparity and political unrest, this hard-hitting yet fair portrait offers a much-needed look at an institution that has a profound influence on the shape of our society and all our lives.
The book is rated 3.25/5 at goodreads.com, from 105 ratings. See 24 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2izwpgn.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2izwxMT.

A business-economics book recommendation: The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite by Duff McDonald

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2ixt3dJ.
McDonald bookends his long and impressively researched account with a portrait of Casey Gerald, an African-American who delivered a 2014 Class Day speech that’s been viewed online over 200,000 times, and is featured on the school’s “Making a Difference” website.
Book description from Google Books:
A riveting and timely intellectual history of one of our most important capitalist institutions, Harvard Business School, from the bestselling author of The Firm.With The Firm, financial journalist Duff McDonald pulled back the curtain on consulting giant McKinsey & Company. In The Golden Passport, he reveals the inner workings of a singular nexus of power, ambition, and influence: Harvard Business School. Harvard University occupies a unique place in the public’s imagination, but HBS has arguably eclipsed its parent in terms of its influence on modern society. A Harvard degree guarantees respect. An HBS degree is, as the New York Times proclaimed in 1978, “the golden passport to life in the upper class.” Those holding Harvard MBAs are near-guaranteed entrance into Western capitalism’s most powerful realm—the corner office.Most people have a vague knowledge of the power of the HBS network, but few understand the dynamics that have made HBS an indestructible and powerful force for almost a century. As McDonald explores these dynamics, he also reveals how, despite HBS’s enormous success, it has failed with respect to the stated goal of its founders: “the multiplication of men who will handle their current business problems in socially constructive ways.” While HBS graduates tend to be very good at whatever they do, that is rarely the doing of good.In addition to teasing out the essence of this exclusive, if not necessarily “secret” club, McDonald explores two important questions: Has the school failed at reaching the goals it set for itself? And is HBS therefore complicit in the moral failings of Western capitalism? At a time of pronounced economic disparity and political unrest, this hard-hitting yet fair portrait offers a much-needed look at an institution that has a profound influence on the shape of our society and all our lives.
The book is rated 3.25/5 at goodreads.com, from 105 ratings. See 24 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2izwpgn.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2izwxMT.

A business-economics book recommendation: Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2xTdQZV.
The stars of the book are the less famous folks. When authors try to juggle so many major characters in one book, the narrative drive often suffers, and the characters never come to life. Goldstein avoids those pitfalls, and the mostly chronological saga never loses its zip.
Book description from Google Books:
“Moving and magnificently well-researched…Janesville joins a growing family of books about the evisceration of the working class in the United States. What sets it apart is the sophistication of its storytelling and analysis.” —The New York Times A Washington Post reporter’s intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors’ assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin—Paul Ryan’s hometown—and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class.This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its factory stills—but it’s not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next, when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up. Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Goldstein has spent years immersed in Janesville, Wisconsin where the nation’s oldest operating General Motors plant shut down in the midst of the Great Recession, two days before Christmas of 2008. Now, with intelligence, sympathy, and insight into what connects and divides people in an era of economic upheaval, she makes one of America’s biggest political issues human. Her reporting takes the reader deep into the lives of autoworkers, educators, bankers, politicians, and job re-trainers to show why it’s so hard in the twenty-first century to recreate a healthy, prosperous working class. For this is not just a Janesville story or a Midwestern story. It’s an American story.
The book is rated 4.28/5 at goodreads.com, from 719 ratings. See 144 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2xT4H3t.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2yCqhx7.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A business-economics book recommendation: Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew W. Lo

A critic review (source The Economist) can be read at: http://econ.st/2yASHr4.
The adaptive-markets theory does not really produce any testable propositions, or market-beating strategies. And regulators might benefit from his suggestions on monitoring financial risk but might still struggle to know what to do in response.
Book description from Google Books:
A new, evolutionary explanation of markets and investor behavior Half of all Americans have money in the stock market, yet economists can’t agree on whether investors and markets are rational and efficient, as modern financial theory assumes, or irrational and inefficient, as behavioral economists believe–and as financial bubbles, crashes, and crises suggest. This is one of the biggest debates in economics and the value or futility of investment management and financial regulation hang on the outcome. In this groundbreaking book, Andrew Lo cuts through this debate with a new framework, the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, in which rationality and irrationality coexist. Drawing on psychology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and other fields, Adaptive Markets shows that the theory of market efficiency isn’t wrong but merely incomplete. When markets are unstable, investors react instinctively, creating inefficiencies for others to exploit. Lo’s new paradigm explains how financial evolution shapes behavior and markets at the speed of thought–a fact revealed by swings between stability and crisis, profit and loss, and innovation and regulation. A fascinating intellectual journey filled with compelling stories, Adaptive Markets starts with the origins of market efficiency and its failures, turns to the foundations of investor behavior, and concludes with practical implications–including how hedge funds have become the Gal�pagos Islands of finance, what really happened in the 2008 meltdown, and how we might avoid future crises. An ambitious new answer to fundamental questions in economics, Adaptive Markets is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how markets really work.
The book is rated 4.13/5 at goodreads.com, from 101 ratings. See 10 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2xRpZyH.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: .

A business-economics book recommendation: Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2xTdQZV.
The stars of the book are the less famous folks. When authors try to juggle so many major characters in one book, the narrative drive often suffers, and the characters never come to life. Goldstein avoids those pitfalls, and the mostly chronological saga never loses its zip.
Book description from Google Books:
“Moving and magnificently well-researched…Janesville joins a growing family of books about the evisceration of the working class in the United States. What sets it apart is the sophistication of its storytelling and analysis.” —The New York Times A Washington Post reporter’s intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors’ assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin—Paul Ryan’s hometown—and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class.This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its factory stills—but it’s not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next, when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up. Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Goldstein has spent years immersed in Janesville, Wisconsin where the nation’s oldest operating General Motors plant shut down in the midst of the Great Recession, two days before Christmas of 2008. Now, with intelligence, sympathy, and insight into what connects and divides people in an era of economic upheaval, she makes one of America’s biggest political issues human. Her reporting takes the reader deep into the lives of autoworkers, educators, bankers, politicians, and job re-trainers to show why it’s so hard in the twenty-first century to recreate a healthy, prosperous working class. For this is not just a Janesville story or a Midwestern story. It’s an American story.
The book is rated 4.27/5 at goodreads.com, from 713 ratings. See 144 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2xT4H3t.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2yCqhx7.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A business-economics book recommendation: Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew W. Lo

A critic review (source The Economist) can be read at: http://econ.st/2yASHr4.
The adaptive-markets theory does not really produce any testable propositions, or market-beating strategies. And regulators might benefit from his suggestions on monitoring financial risk but might still struggle to know what to do in response.
Book description from Google Books:
A new, evolutionary explanation of markets and investor behavior Half of all Americans have money in the stock market, yet economists can’t agree on whether investors and markets are rational and efficient, as modern financial theory assumes, or irrational and inefficient, as behavioral economists believe–and as financial bubbles, crashes, and crises suggest. This is one of the biggest debates in economics and the value or futility of investment management and financial regulation hang on the outcome. In this groundbreaking book, Andrew Lo cuts through this debate with a new framework, the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, in which rationality and irrationality coexist. Drawing on psychology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and other fields, Adaptive Markets shows that the theory of market efficiency isn’t wrong but merely incomplete. When markets are unstable, investors react instinctively, creating inefficiencies for others to exploit. Lo’s new paradigm explains how financial evolution shapes behavior and markets at the speed of thought–a fact revealed by swings between stability and crisis, profit and loss, and innovation and regulation. A fascinating intellectual journey filled with compelling stories, Adaptive Markets starts with the origins of market efficiency and its failures, turns to the foundations of investor behavior, and concludes with practical implications–including how hedge funds have become the Gal�pagos Islands of finance, what really happened in the 2008 meltdown, and how we might avoid future crises. An ambitious new answer to fundamental questions in economics, Adaptive Markets is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how markets really work.
The book is rated 4.13/5 at goodreads.com, from 101 ratings. See 10 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2xRpZyH.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2xS216h.

A business-economics book recommendation: Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing by Josh Ryan-Collins

A critic review (source Financial Times) can be read at: http://on.ft.com/2fDmmWp.
…it would sell many more copies if it were titled This Is Why You Can’t Afford To Buy A House. As it is, Rethinking The Economics Of Land And Housing is not an appealing title but this is a very appealing book.
Book description from Google Books:
Why are house prices in many advanced economies rising faster than incomes? What is the relationship between the financial system and the price of land? In this accessible but provocative guide to the economics of land and housing, the authors reveal how many of the key challenges facing modern economies, including housing crises, financial instability, and growing inequalities, are intimately tied to the land economy.   Looking at the ways in which discussions of land have been routinely excluded from both housing policy and economic theory, Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing argues that in order to tackle these increasingly pressing issues a major re-thinking by both politicians and economists is required. This is the first comprehensive guide to the role of land in the economy, making this an essential reference for students, scholars, policymakers, activists, and NGOs working on land issues.  
The book is rated 4.75/5 at goodreads.com, from 4 ratings. See 1 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2xSfU7Z.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2fDA1N7.

A business-economics book recommendation: First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His–and the Nation’s–Prosperity by Edward Lengel

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2abpBSX.
In this nicely written and authoritatively researched story, George Washington was an innovative chief executive officer of a thriving and diversified business operation…Author Edward G. Lengel is probably our leading Washington authority these days.
Book description from Google Books:
The United States was conceived in business, founded on business, and operated as a business-all because of the entrepreneurial mind of the greatest American businessman of any generation: George Washington.Using Washington’s extensive but often overlooked financial papers, Edward G. Lengel chronicles the fascinating and inspiring story of how this self-educated man built the Mount Vernon estate into a vast multilayered enterprise and prudently managed meager resources to win the war of independence. Later, as president, he helped establish the national economy on a solid footing and favorably positioned the nation for the Industrial Revolution. Washington’s steadfast commitment to the core economic principles of probity, transparency, careful management, and calculated boldness are timeless lessons that should inspire and instruct investors even today.First Entrepreneur will transform how ordinary Americans think about George Washington and how his success in commercial enterprise influenced and guided the emerging nation.
The book is rated 4.03/5 at goodreads.com, from 31 ratings. See 8 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2acJDg1.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sgInPw.

A business-economics book recommendation: Building the Skyline: The Birth and Growth of Manhattan’s Skyscrapers by Jason M. Barr

A critic review (source The Economist) can be read at: http://econ.st/2cVgBjz.
Economists will appreciate Mr Barr’s careful use of wonky concepts; architects and historians will enjoy his keen eye for detail. But whatever your persuasion, after reading this book you will never look up at a skyscraper the same way again.
Book description from Google Books:
The Manhattan skyline is one of the great wonders of the modern world. But how and why did it form? Much has been written about the city’s architecture and its general history, but little work has explored the economic forces that created the skyline. In Building the Skyline, Jason Barr chronicles the economic history of the Manhattan skyline. In the process, he debunks some widely held misconceptions about the city’s history. Starting with Manhattan’s natural and geological history, Barr moves on to how these formations influenced early land use and the development of neighborhoods, including the dense tenement neighborhoods of Five Points and the Lower East Side, and how these early decisions eventually impacted the location of skyscrapers built during the Skyscraper Revolution at the end of the 19th century. Barr then explores the economic history of skyscrapers and the skyline, investigating the reasons for their heights, frequencies, locations, and shapes. He discusses why skyscrapers emerged downtown and why they appeared three miles to the north in midtown-but not in between the two areas. Contrary to popular belief, this was not due to the depths of Manhattan’s bedrock, nor the presence of Grand Central Station. Rather, midtown’s emergence was a response to the economic and demographic forces that were taking place north of 14th Street after the Civil War. Building the Skyline also presents the first rigorous investigation of the causes of the building boom during the Roaring Twenties. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the boom was largely a rational response to the economic growth of the nation and city. The last chapter investigates the value of Manhattan Island and the relationship between skyscrapers and land prices. Finally, an Epilogue offers policy recommendations for a resilient and robust future skyline.
The book is rated 4.00/5 at goodreads.com, from 10 ratings.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tHfoIJ.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A business-economics book recommendation: A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression by Jane Ziegelman

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2eA3DIG.
It is not always entirely clear what Ziegelman and Coe mean for us to take away from their eloquent work of historical summation. Then again, that may be a good thing. The larger question of America’s shifting attitudes toward federal aid is a prodigious topic to digest.
Book description from Google Books:
James Beard Foundation Book Award WinnerFrom the author of the acclaimed 97 Orchard and her husband, a culinary historian, an in-depth exploration of the greatest food crisis the nation has ever faced—the Great Depression—and how it transformed America’s culinary culture.The decade-long Great Depression, a period of shifts in the country’s political and social landscape, forever changed the way America eats. Before 1929, America’s relationship with food was defined by abundance. But the collapse of the economy, in both urban and rural America, left a quarter of all Americans out of work and undernourished—shattering long-held assumptions about the limitlessness of the national larder.In 1933, as women struggled to feed their families, President Roosevelt reversed long-standing biases toward government-sponsored “food charity.” For the first time in American history, the federal government assumed, for a while, responsibility for feeding its citizens. The effects were widespread. Championed by Eleanor Roosevelt, “home economists” who had long fought to bring science into the kitchen rose to national stature.Tapping into America’s long-standing ambivalence toward culinary enjoyment, they imposed their vision of a sturdy, utilitarian cuisine on the American dinner table. Through the Bureau of Home Economics, these women led a sweeping campaign to instill dietary recommendations, the forerunners of today’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.At the same time, rising food conglomerates introduced packaged and processed foods that gave rise to a new American cuisine based on speed and convenience. This movement toward a homogenized national cuisine sparked a revival of American regional cooking. In the ensuing decades, the tension between local traditions and culinary science has defined our national cuisine—a battle that continues today. A Square Meal examines the impact of economic contraction and environmental disaster on how Americans ate then—and the lessons and insights those experiences may hold for us today.A Square Meal features 25 black-and-white photographs.
The book is rated 3.68/5 at goodreads.com, from 791 ratings. See 181 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2eA3vZS.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2vYVt5A.