07 August, 2010

Richard Florida's "The Great Reset" And Other Books Briefly Reviewed

My friends and blog readers expect me to tell them what I’m reading so here’s another in my occasional series of brief book reviews.

Books I Just Finished:

Let me start with a book I hope leaders everywhere are reading, The Great Reset by Richard Florida. Florida explains why this “recession” is not really a recession at all, but a “reset” – a fundamental change in the basic elements or components of our economy. Certain industries are vanishing. Certain jobs are going away and never coming back. Jobs with familiar-sounding titles aren’t what they used to be. According to Florida, this “reset” should be compared to “The Long Depression of 1873”, not the “Great Depression” of the 1930s. Elected officials, educators, executives and other leaders who are going to have to spearhead the appropriate responses to this economic and social reset would be wise to read and recommend The Great Reset. I said “spearhead the appropriate responses” to this great reset because Reset is not all doom and gloom and low-wage jobs, reduced home values and spent retirement accounts. According to Florida, such resets have occurred before and are followed by periods of great innovation. Florida has advice for mayors, city planners, educators, lenders, financiers, investors and others who will be part of the changes that are coming.

Game Change by John Heilemann & Mark Halperin and The Politician by Andrew Young. When I read these two books I violated my rule against reading books about political campaigns but I’m so glad I did. I couldn’t put them down. Game Change is an insightful account of the 2008 race for the presidency and the nomination races that preceded it. The Politician is top John Edwards aid, Andrew Young’s account of the rise and fall of his former boss who infamously carried on a reckless affair with Reille Hunter during his 2007-2008 quest for the Democratic nomination for the presidency.

Those of you who are Elizabeth Edwards admirers may dislike her more than you dislike John Edwards after you read Politician and Game Change. Neither John nor Elizabeth Edwards were ever what they appeared to be, it seems.

I also recently read Peter Singer’s One World, Susan Jacoby’s Freethinkers, Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion and Sam Harris’ Letter To A Christian Nation and may comment on them in a future post if readers ask me to.

Books I’m Still Reading:

T. R Reid’s The Healing of America, David Kirkpatrick’s The Facebook Effect, Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail, Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s Switch and Rahm Emanuel’s The Plan.

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