Books of the year 2006（Dec 7th 2006） From The Economist print edition
Economics and business
The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World’s Most Powerful Company Really Works-and How It’s Transforming the American Economy By Charles Fishman. Penguin Press; 304 pages; $25.95. Allen Lane; ?12.99
The store that everyone, except shoppers, loves to hate. This is the best account of one of the most extraordinary business phenomena of our time.
- 作者: Charles Fishman
- 出版社/メーカー: Penguin Books
- 発売日: 2006/12/26
- メディア: ペーパーバック
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Myself and Other More Important Matters By Charles Handy. William Heinemann; 213 pages; ?18.99
Author of a string of books about organisations and their organisers, Britain’s closest equivalent to Peter Drucker turns autobiographical in this charming opportunity for his usual audience of top executives to think not so much “outside the box” as way beyond it.
Joe Wilson and the Creation of Xerox By Charles D. Ellis. John Wiley; 396 pages; $27.95 and ?18.99
Chester Carlson’s invention of xerography would never have become the hugely profitable Xerox photocopying business were it not for what Charles Ellis calls the “extreme entrepreneurship” of Joe Wilson. A fine analysis of what Wilson brought to their partnership.
Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win By William C. Taylor and Polly LaBarre. William Morrow; 336 pages; $26.95
The authors ask five questions of would-be mavericks, each of which focuses on winning the increasingly fierce war for talent. Why should great people join your organisation? Do you know a great person when you see one? Can you find great people who aren’t looking for you? Are you adept at teaching great people how your organisation works and wins? Does your organisation work as distinctively as it competes? Food for thought. >> id:editech:20060928#p2
Science and technology
The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate Crisis and the Fate of Humanity By James Lovelock. Basic Books; 176 pages; $25. Allen Lane; ?16.99
In his fourth book about the Gaia theory, James Lovelock, a British scientist, dismisses biomass fuels, wind farms, solar energy and fuel-cell innovations as technologies unlikely to mitigate greenhouse-gas emissions in time to save the planet. An ardent environmentalist takes an unexpected yet well-reasoned stance in favour of nuclear energy as the only energy source capable of meeting our needs in time to prevent catastrophe.
The God Delusion By Richard Dawkins. Houghton Mifflin; 416 pages; $27. Bantam; ?20
Atheists will love Richard Dawkins’s incisive logic and rapier wit and theists will find few better tests of the robustness of their faith. Even agnostics, who claim to have no opinion on God, may be persuaded that their position is untenable waffle.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals By Michael Pollan. Penguin Press; 464 pages; $26.95. Bloomsbury; ?12.99
The best of a new crop of books that look at the politics, ethics and business of food production.
The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next By Lee Smolin. Houghton Mifflin; 416 pages; $26. Allen Lane; ?20
String theory has dominated theoretical physics for the past 20 years. Unfortunately its promise remains unfulfilled, leading Lee Smolin to conclude that string theory is unscientific; not only that, he regards it as mere conjecture and unworthy of being called a theory at all.
The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History and Culture of Clouds By Gavin Pretor-Pinney. Perigee; 304 pages; $19.95. Sceptre; ?12.99 >> http://www.economist.com/books/displaystory.cfm?story_id=6970982
Usually a metaphor for sadness and confusion, clouds are often seen as spoiling the weather, rather than being one of its most lovable and interesting aspects. An endearing and surprising bestseller.