Tag Archives: Business

Free Reader Copies of The Full Catastrophe: Travels Among the New Greek Ruins by James Angelos Available

9780385346481Over the last three years, tiny Greece, normally associated with ancient philosophers and marble ruins, whitewashed island villages and cerulean seas, has repeatedly brought world financial markets into panic and has cast the 60-year project of cultivating European unity into question. In The Full Catastrophe, journalist James Angelos makes sense of these two images of Greece and explains how and why Greece became the corrupt, socially fractious and bankrupt nation it is today. With vivid narratives and engaging reporting, he brings to life some of the causes of the country’s financial collapse, and examines the changes emerging in its aftermath.

The Full Catastrophe was published on June 6th, 2015. Please email rhacademic@penguinrandomhouse with your name, college and course information to request a complimentary copy.

Click here to read to about the book in The New York Times Book Review

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A Debt Crisis…5,000 Years in the Making

 

DEBT by David Graeber

by David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years (Melville House, 2011)

Debt is all around us. Modern economies run on consumer debt; modern nation-states, on deficit financing; international relations turn on debt.  What’s more, for the last three years, we’ve faced a global debt crisis that’s hobbled the world economy and still threatens to send it crashing into ruins.  Yet no one ever stops to ask: how did this happen? What is debt, anyway? What does it even mean to say we “owe” someone something? How did it happen that, in almost all times and places in human history, “paying your debts” has been a synonym for morality, but money-lenders have been seen as the embodiment of evil? I first began asking myself these questions as an activist, during the “drop the debt” campaigns in the early 2000s. But it was only after the financial meltdown of September 2008

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How to Run the World

HOW TO RUN THE WORLD by Parag Khanna

by Parag Khanna, author of How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (Random House, 2011)

The past decade—from the 9/11 terrorist attacks to the global financial meltdown—has taught us the dangers of interdependence and that outsourcing leadership is a recipe for disaster. Some now fear a breakdown of our global order, but isn’t it scarier to realize that the present order has already been broken for years? It’s the kind of moment the philosopher Karl Popper had in mind when he argued that tearing down our existing order and constructing a new one from scratch might lead to a more workable system.

How bad is it? Well, today the powers that are expected to keep the peace sell the most weapons, the banks that are supposed to encourage saving promote living beyond one’s means, and food arrives to hungry people after they’ve died. We are hurtling toward a perfect storm of energy consumption, population growth, and food and water scarcity that will spare no one, rich or poor. Our ever- growing list of crises includes financial instability, HIV/AIDS, terrorism, failed states, and more. Any one of these can magnify another, creating a downward spiral for individual nations and regions. Within just twenty years we could see proxy skirmishes escalate into major war between America and China, more weak states crumbling, conflicts over submerged oil and gas resources at sea, drought- starved refugees streaming out of central Africa, and sinking Pacific islands.

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Using Carrots and Sticks

CARROTS AND STICKS by Ian Ayres

by Ian Ayres, author of Carrots and Sticks: Unlock the Power of Incentives to Get Things Done (Bantam, 2010)

Rob Harrison is one of the most beloved teachers at Yale Law School. He has improved the writing and emotional outlook of generations of our students.  He is the kind of guy who unabashedly ends his emails “Love, Rob.” He is staggeringly kind. So it came as a bit of a shock when Rob told me that he had used unforgiving commitment contracts to help students overcome writer’s block. For more than a decade, students have given him checks of up to $10,000, signed and made out to charity, and authorized Rob to mail the checks if they failed to turn in a paper to the course professor by a specified date.

To date, his check-holding commitments have never failed. Rob has never had to mail one of these commitment checks. This is a spectacular result—particularly because Rob only offers the contracts to students who are hard-core procrastinators, kids who have already demonstrated a deep psychological inability of putting pen to paper (or nowadays, finger to keyboard).

I wrote Carrots and Sticks in part to understand why Rob has been so successful. Continue reading

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Third World America

As a young girl growing up in Greece, I remember walking to school in the city of Athens past a statue of President Truman. The statue was a daily reminder of the magnificent nation responsible for, among other things, the Marshall Plan. Everyone in Greece either had a family member, or, like my family, a friend who’d left to find a better life in America. That was the phrase everyone associated with America: “a better life.” America was a place you could go to work really hard, make a good living. When I came to America in 1980, I knew that there was no other place I’d rather live. Thirty years later, I still feel that way.

But there is no denying that decisions we have made as a country have put us on a very dangerous road, one that threatens to turn America into a Third World nation. It’s a jarring concept, I know, but the evidence is all around us. Continue reading

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Ecoliteracy 2.0

ECOLOGICAL INTELLIGENCE by Daniel Goleman

by Daniel Goleman, author of  Ecological Intelligence: The Hidden Impacts of What We Buy (Broadway Business, 2010), a book selected by Virginia Tech for its 2009 and 2010 Common Book Project.

Near the start of the 20th century William James wrote that “an education in attention would be the education par excellence.” That was then.

Today, a century after James, I argue that the most crucial education would be in ecological intelligence—and that this demands rethinking and updating curricula in ecoliteracy in fields ranging from physics and chemistry to business and psychology.

Let me explain what I mean by ‘ecological intelligence’. Continue reading

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Can We Really Flip the Switch?

SWITCH by Chip & Dan Heath

Brothers Chip Heath, professor of Organizational Behaviour at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and Dan Heath, a consultant to the Aspen Institute, have followed up their bestselling and course-adopted book Made to Stick with a groundbreaking book that addresses one of the greatest challenges of our personal and professional lives—how to change things when change is hard.

In Switch, the Heaths have written a thoroughly engaging narrative about the difficulty in bringing about genuine, lasting change—in ourselves and in others—especially when we have few resources and no title or authority.  The Wall Street Journal recently published an interesting review that discusses the book’s message within the context of one reviewer’s personal life challenge, and in a recent video review social and new media  maven Chris Brogan called the book “a must read”.

Check out their reviews by clicking on the links above, and start reading the book here; then post a comment: what do you think of the authors’ message?  Do you see applications in the classroom, among faculty/administration, or within your larger discipline?  Can we really flip the switch?

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