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Walden written by Henry David Thoreau and first published in 1854, is the consumate book about real estate. Although few people, if any, think of it that way, which may account for its continuing popularity. Most people see this book as a tome about frugal living and appreciation of nature. This is true on the surface. IN REALITY it is a book about economics, construction, site selection and intelligent land use. Thoreau's experiment in living was the precursor to urban sprawl. In spite of my slanted take on this book, Thoreau's lessons in economy, frugal living, building, getting along with people, appreciating what you have and protecting nature are as valid today as when they were written.

Against the Gods : The Remarkable Story of Risk Bernstein's lively history chronicles a profound transformation in attitudes about the future. How one's fate changed from depending less on capricious outcomes and more on predictable ones forms the backbone of the narrative. His central characters are mathematicians who began pondering the statistics of gambling, or gamblers pondering the risks of gambling: about one sixteenth-century polymath, Girolamo Cardano, Bernstein writes that his "credentials as a gambling addict alone would justify his appearance in the history of risk," and that comment is typical of Bernstein's engaging presentation. Amid his recounting of the insights into probability from Pascal to Keynes, he touches on an array of modern fields in which risk analysis is crucial--insurance, commodities futures, stock markets, and that old standard, gambling. This cornucopia of biographical sketches, mathematical examples, and reflections on the nature of human expectations about the future faces little risk of idling in libraries; patrons of the business section might be keenest to read it. - Gilbert Taylor, Booklist.

Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life Most books on game theory either focus on specialized applications (cardplaying, business, nuclear war) or bore with mathematics and jargon. Free of formulas and argot, this refreshing exception distills the principles, concepts, tools and techniques--brinkmanship, bargaining, unconditional moves, vicious circles, etc.--with an astonishing diversity of illustrative examples drawn from political campaigns, baseball, neighborhood dynamics of segregation, the military draft, speed limits, childrearing and so forth. In helping strategists anticipate rivals' responses and win the game, economics professors Dixit and Nalebuff (who teach game theory at Princeton and Yale, respectively) provide managers, negotiators, athletes, parents and other game-players with a formidable weapon. Drawings. - Publishers Weekly Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance Chernow vividly portrays the influence that the Morgan banks have had on the history of the Western economy since the late 18th century. The epic story of the development of the American industrial experience is inextricably related to the history of the Morgan banks. Though this fascinating story is virtually the same as that told by Kathleen Bunk in Morgan Grenfell 1838-1988 ( LJ 12/89), Chernow adds color and personality with an emphasis on the 20th-century development of the bank. Working with recently discovered Morgan archives, he reveals institutional details long hidden by the protective secrecy of the family. This superb history will be an important book. BOMC, Fortune, and History Book Club featured alternates. -Library Journal, Joseph Barth, U.S. Military Acad. Lib., West Point, N.Y. Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

The PRIZE : THE EPIC QUEST FOR OIL, MONEY & POWER Daniel Yergin joined the energy project of the Harvard Business School and wrote the best-seller Energy Future. Following on from there, The Prize, winner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, is a comprehensive history of one of the commodities that powers the world--oil. Founded in the 19th century, the oil industry began producing kerosene for lamps and progressed to gasoline. Huge personal fortunes arose from it, and whole nations sprung out of the power politics of the oil wells. Yergin's fascinating account sweeps from early robber barons like John D. Rockefeller, to the oil crisis of the 1970s, through to the Gulf War. - Amazon.

Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds Why do otherwise intelligent individuals form seething masses of idiocy when they engage in collective action? Why do financially sensible people jump lemming-like into hare-brained speculative frenzies--only to jump broker-like out of windows when their fantasies dissolve? We may think that the Great Crash of 1929, junk bonds of the '80s, and over-valued high-tech stocks of the '90s are peculiarly 20th century aberrations, but Mackay's classic--first published in 1841--shows that the madness and confusion of crowds knows no limits, and has no temporal bounds. These are extraordinarily illuminating,and, unfortunately, entertaining tales of chicanery, greed and naivete. Essential reading for any student of human nature or the transmission of ideas. -

Liar's Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage of Wall Street As described by Lewis, liar's poker is a game played in idle moments by workers on Wall Street, the objective of which is to reward trickery and deceit. With this as a metaphor, Lewis describes his four years with the Wall Street firm Salomon Brothers, from his bizarre hiring through the training program to his years as a successful bond trader. Lewis illustrates how economic decisions made at the national level changed securities markets and made bonds the most lucrative game on the Street. His description of the firm's personalities and of the events from 1984 through the crash of October 1987 are vivid and memorable. - Library Journal, Joseph Barth, U.S. Military Acad . Lib., West Point, N.Y. Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water In this stunning work of history and investigative journalism, Reisner tells the story of conflicts over water policy in the West and the resulting damage to the land, wildlife and Indians. PW stated that this "timely and important book should be required reading for all citizens." - Publishers Weekly Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc


The 48 Laws of Power Greene is a screenwriter, playwright, and professional researcher. Elffers "packages" books; among his "products" are a book on fruit carving called Play with Your Food (1997) and a book of "personology" profiles called The Secret Language of Birthdays (1994). Greene spent two years compiling and synthesizing this collection of prescriptions for obtaining and wielding power. Besides the obvious inclusion of Machiavelli, Sun-Tzu, and von Clausewitz, there are observations from P. T. Barnum, "Swifty" Lazar, and Clifton Fadiman. In all, hundreds of quotes from 3,000 years of history and lore are included. Each "law" is summarized and a demonstration of its application is provided, supported by the quotes Greene unearthed. The index and bibliography that will come with final publication will make this a usable reference work in addition to one that provides fascinating entertainment. - David Rouse, Booklist .




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