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The Best Book I Read in 2011

Hear from Kogod's distinguished faculty members and senior staff about the top business-related tome they read in 2011. Feel free to share your own recommendation on our Facebook page.

Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle

By Dan Senor, 2011

The book describes why Israel has been so successful in establishing a culture of entrepreneurship. There are wonderful lessons about how national culture has a real impact on what one does in other fields, and how young people learn decision-making responsibilities through their military service. 

Find it in our library.

Looking for a book to read?

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Also out in 2011

Time Zone book

A new book by professors Erran Carmel and J. Alberto Espinosa.

Learn More

H. Kent Baker
University Professor, Finance and Real Estate

Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness

by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, 2009

This book provides how key concepts of in behavioral finance can be used in our daily lives, in business, and in government. Using these principles can help "nudge" others towards specific outcomes.

Find it in our library.

Wendy Boland

Assistant Professor, Marketing

Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule Our Minds

by Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, 1996

This is a fascinating book about how our mind processes information and how reasoned mistakes play a vital role in our decisions. The book holds special importance to me because Massimo was one of my advisors on my dissertation committee.  My interest in cognitive illusions and consumer decision making stemmed from taking several of his courses.

Find it in our library.

Michael Carberry
Executive-in-Residence, Marketing

An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power

by John Steele Gordon, 2005

It tells the story of how America grew to be the economic leader of the world and is full of interesting facts that illustrate the twists, failures, successes, and lucky breaks that resulted in the economic powerhouse we are today.

Erran Carmel
Professor, Information Technology

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

by Ray Kurzweil, 2006

I reread the book this year when I taught the Kogod futurist class course: Future And Foresight. Kurzweil is our era’s greatest futurist. He is a brilliant inventor and musician who has become our era’s philosopher techno-futurist. He inspires many such as this. Singularity will convince you that within your lifetime your body (and brain) will begin to morph to some kind of advanced being. After you read the book watch the new docu-movie on Kurzweil:  Transcendent Man.

Find it in our library.

Andrea Carpenter
Career Management Advisor, KCCD

Split-Second Persuasion: The Ancient Art & New Science of Changing Minds

by Kevin Dutton, 2011

This book explores persuasion in several different settings including nature, politics, business, and life in general. I always enjoy books that intersect aspects of psychology and business, and it was surprising to learn what psychopaths, hostage negotiators, and infants have in common. It provided a unique perspective on the role of persuasion in our lives.

Peter Chinloy
Professor, Finance and Real Estate

Steve Jobs

by Walter Isaacson, 2011

Jobs remained always accessible at his home in Palo Alto, California.  He remained creative, and understood the mission of using that to develop products and prosperity.

Find it in our library.

Robert Edgell
Assistant Professor, Management

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

by Mary Roach, 2011

While it may not seem appropriate for business at first glance, I liked this title since it helps readers to understand the implication of massive-scale change at both the individual and organizational levels. With humor and depth, Roach scrutinizes the various challenges and constraints that arise when designing complex systems composed of human actors and technological actants.

Phil English
Assistant Professor, Finance

Value Investing: Tools and Techniques for Intelligent Investment 

by James Montier, 2009

Excellent treatment of the difference in how we view modern portfolio management from a theoretic view versus the practical application of what we know about investing. Montier does a good job of covering how behavioral finance appears in portfolio management. It’s worth it for the chapter titles alone, which include: "Why Everything You Learned in Business School Is Wrong," "Tears Before Bedtime," and "Keep It Simple, Stupid". The students will particularly enjoy the chapter "CAPM is Crap."

Heather Elms
Associate Professor, International Business

Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters

by Richard Rumelt, 2011

Dick Rumelt was one of my professors as a doctoral student at UCLA, so the approach was familiar to me--and students who have already completed KSB 610 (Strategic Thinking) may appreciate his influence on my thinking.  I particularly like his emphasis on the need to identify and address critical issues, and since this fall, the book is on the recommended reading list for 610.

Alberto Espinosa
Associate Professor, Information Technology

The Last Lecture 

by Randy Pausch, 2008

The "Last Lecture" is a talk series at Carnegie Mellon in which accomplished professors come to share their wisdom with their faculty colleagues. The idea is: If this is the last lecture you would ever give, what would you tell us about what you have learned over years of research? At the author’s last lecture, he revealed he had pancreatic cancer to an audience in disbelief and that he only had a few months to live. Both the lecture and his follow-up book "The Last Lecture" is about achieving one's childhood dreams and how it is OK to pursue your dreams, no matter how unusual they may be. This is one of the most inspirational books I have ever read and it should be required reading for all professors. 

Find it in our library.

Bruce Hartman
Professor, Information Technology


The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

by Michael Lewis, 2011

For me it shows the hubris of business folk and loss of the ability to examine things rationally. Even the successful ones (for a while) developed huge blind spots that prevented them from making good decisions.

Arlene Hill
Director, KCCD

The Coming Jobs War 

by Jim Clifton, 2011

I had the opportunity to see Clifton speak recently and the ideas he put forward (supported by years of Gallup research) were incredibly thought-provoking. His question to the group of business school career services staff was, "Which is more important: innovation or entre/intra-preneurship?" It turns out the research shows a clear winner: people able to take ideas (even bad ones) and develop business models to make them successful. Also, that the biggest contributors to the jobs market are no longer the largest businesses.

Jill Klein
Executive-in-Residence, Information Technology

Hamlet’s BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age

by William Powers, 2011

We live in a connected world. Can we disconnect?  This book explores how humans seek to connect from the time of Plato to the 21st century.  Technology makes the world feel smaller but does it get too small? An engaging read. Perhaps it will guide your New Year's resolutions.

Kashef Majid
Instructor, Marketing

Illicit: How Smugglers and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy

by Moises Naim, 2005

It's a great read. It talks about the dark side of international business. Everything from human trafficking to counterfeit drugs is covered in this book. Apart from that book, I don't get to read many books that don't have Elmo in them...

Find it in our library.


Alexandra Mislin
Assistant Professor, Management

Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator

by Gary Noesner, 2010

Gary Noesner spent 23 years as an FBI hostage negotiator and he tells compelling stories about not only the art of hostage and crisis negotiation, but also about how the FBI shifted as an institution to eventually accept the value of bargaining to resolve crises. The book illustrates how core concepts of influence and effective communication can lead to bargaining success even in the most extreme circumstances - when the odds are truly stacked against you.  It is packed with exciting stories and tips to improve anyone's bargaining skills.