Living in More Than One World,

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

Changing the World the Jane Jacobs Way

If you’d like to make your mark on the world during your lifetime, with the hope that your influence extends beyond your death, a perfect role model is Jane Jacobs. Perhaps best known for her classic 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, she was a major urban activist over a long period of time (she died in 2006, at 89). Her influence reached beyond urban affairs to economics and more, and continues to grow. Last week, in my post about Tom Butler-Bowdon’s new book 50 Economics Classics, I noted that Jacobs was included, even though she was not an economist, for her book The Economy of Cities.

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50 Economics Classics: Tom Butler-Bowdon

Tom Butler-Bowdon has recently added another title, 50 Economics Classics, to his long-running and super-effective 50 Classics series.

Part of the genius of this book is broadening the content beyond the people we normally associate with Economics as a discipline and field of study (Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Joseph Schumpeter and so on), to those from other disciplines who have had impact on the field, such as Michael Lewis, Eric Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee, Jane Jacobs and John C. Bogle. The centrality of people, as well as institutions and disciplines, shines throughout, especially in the entries on such titles as Gary Becker’s Human Capital and Elinor Ostrom’s Governing the Commons.

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Celebrating 25 Years of Berrett-Koehler Publishers

This summer marks the 25th birthday of Berrett-Koehler, the extraordinary company that published my first book, Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life, in 2009.

BK is unique, for many reasons. Publishers Weekly recently ran a feature story that captures some of the magic, while outlining some of BK’s new releases and initiatives. Steve Piersanti, the founder/President/Publisher, has posted an informative “Letter from the Publisher: On Berrett-Koehler’s 25th Anniversary.” On Steve’s BK site page, the company is described as a “leading independent publisher of progressive books on current affairs, personal growth, and business and management.” For an idea of just how progressive and unique BK is, read the new  Berrett-Koehler Constitution.

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15 Years After: Reflections on my 2002 Drucker USAT Los Angeles Interview

On July 5, 2002, USA TODAY published my interview/feature story on Peter Drucker, “Scandals Nothing New to Business Guru.” He and I were both in Los Angeles for the SLA/Special Libraries Association annual conference; I was an attendee and he was one of the keynote speakers. (Last week I wrote about the 2017 SLA annual conference in Phoenix.)  It was the first time I had interviewed him in person; I’d interviewed him on earlier occasions for USA TODAY, by trading faxes.

The success of that interview, conducted over four hours the night before his keynote, and the subsequent article, emboldened me a couple of months later to finally start on an idea I’d had for quite some time, to write a book about Drucker and the individual, as opposed to Drucker and the organization.

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17 Eclectic Book Lists For Summer 2017

It’s time for one of my favorite yearly rituals, curating a list of some of the best summer reading lists from a wide variety of sources. Although this compilation has considerable coverage of business/leadership/management books, there are also many other nonfiction and fiction titles. One of the things I like about some of the lists is that they include older titles along with newer ones. There is also a good mixture of books from both major and independent  presses.

 

Business InsiderJPMorgan says everyone should read these 11 books this summer

Chicago Tribune: The Ultimate Summer Reading List

Forbes.com: Recommended Creative Leadership Reading List For Summer 2017

gatesnotes: 5 Good Summer Reads, by Bill Gates

Heleo.com: 7 Must-Read Books to Change Your Life This Summer, by Emma Seppälä

Huffington Post: 24 Incredible Books You Should Read This Summer

Inc.com: Need Some Summer Reading?

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Robert M. Pirsig: The Road Goes on Forever

The world is a much different place than in 1974, the year of publication for Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, Robert M. Pirsig’s surprise hit philosophical novel. But the outpouring and variety of articles and posts in the wake of Pirsig’s death in April, at 88, show how relevant the quirky and unusual book remains, and will remain for years to come.


Examples:

Life Advice From the Late Robert M. Pirsig, by Emily Temple, Literary Hub
Putting off the important things? It’s not for the reasons you think; by Oliver Burkeman, theguardian.com
Remembering Robert M.

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Richard Nelson Bolles: A Job Well Done

Few people can match the productive, inspiring and extremely useful life of Richard Nelson Bolles, who died March 31 at 90. He was the source of countless careers, via the wise counsel in his annual job-seeking bible, What Color is Your Parachute? What began in 1970 as a self-published text, not long after he had been an out-of-work Episcopal minister, grew into a publishing behemoth that has sold more than 10 million copies in its various editions, with a number of spinoff titles. After Bolles’ initial do-it-yourself approach, the book was picked up in 1972 by Ten Speed Press, then a tiny operation that eventually was sold to the publishers now known as Penguin Random House, in 2009.

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The Life Story of Amy Krouse Rosenthal Continues

Like millions of readers, I was in awe of author Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s extraordinarily powerful New York Times Valentine’s Day column this year, “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” and taken aback with its revelation that she had ovarian cancer and only days to live. Even though I had only read one of her many books, and had only met her once, I was deeply saddened to learn that she died at 51 on March 3.

Yet what I read, and that brief conversation, followed up by one email exchange, was enough to know that her death was a loss for humanity, beyond her family.

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The World According to Peter Drucker (And Michael Lewis)

Michael Lewis has long been one of the top-selling and most recognized nonfiction authors of our era, with such culture-defining books as Liar’s Poker, Moneyball and The Big Short. His recently published The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds tells the story of the friendship and collaboration decades ago of two Israeli psychologists, the late Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Laureate. (Kahneman, who achieved further fame with his book Thinking, Fast and Slow; writes about his life and work with Tversky in his Nobel biography.)


Lewis is clearly adept at writing about great minds.

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Peter Drucker and the 50th Anniversary Edition of The Effective Executive

Although Peter Drucker wrote a number of books that could justifiably be called classics, perhaps his most beloved is The Effective Executive, newly reissued as a commemorative 50th Anniversary Edition by HarperCollins, his longtime publisher. We are living in a much different world than the one of 1967, but Drucker’s relatively short guide to getting the right things done, and done well, still packs considerable power.

Cover image courtesy HarperCollinsPublishers

There is also significant added value with a seven-and-a-half-page foreword (“Ten Lessons I Learned from Peter Drucker”) by Good to Great author Jim Collins, who also wrote the forewords to The Daily Drucker and Management: Revised Edition; and an afterword by Zachary First, Executive Director of the Drucker Institute, which also published First’s contribution on its website.

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