SAIS: Board Reads
Use the links below to browse the books that our Board of Trustees has recommended. To purchase, just click on the link.
The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone -- Especially Ourselves
By: Dan Ariley
Most of us think of ourselves as honest, but, in fact, we all cheat. From Washington to Wall Street, the classroom to the workplace, unethical behavior is everywhere. None of us is immune, whether it's the white lie to head off trouble or padding our expense reports. In The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, award-winning, bestselling author Dan Ariely turns his unique insight and innovative research to the question of dishonesty. Buy The Book
Soulprint: Discovering Your Divine Destiny
By: Mark Batterson
There never has been and never will be anyone like you. But that isn’t a testament to you. It’s a testament to the God who created you. The problem? Few people discover the God-given identity that makes them unlike anyone else. Mark Batterson calls this divine distinction our soulprint. Buy The Book
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
By: Susan Cain
Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts. Buy The Book
The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson
By: Robert Caro
The Passage of Power follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career—1958 to1964. It is a time that would see him trade the extraordinary power he had created for himself as Senate Majority Leader for what became the wretched powerlessness of a Vice President in an administration that disdained and distrusted him. Yet it was, as well, the time in which the presidency, the goal he had always pursued, would be thrust upon him in the moment it took an assassin’s bullet to reach its mark. Buy The Book
By: Lorene Cary
In 1972 Lorene Cary, a bright, ambitious black teenager from Philadelphia, was transplanted into the formerly all-white, all-male environs of the elite St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, where she became a scholarship student in a "boot camp" for future American leaders. Like any good student, she was determined to succeed. But Cary was also determined to succeed without selling out. This wonderfully frank and perceptive memoir describes the perils and ambiguities of that double role, in which failing calculus and winning a student election could both be interpreted as betrayals of one's skin. Black Ice is also a universally recognizable document of a woman's adolescence; it is, as Houston Baker says, "a journey into selfhood that resonates with sober reflection, intellignet passion, and joyous love." Buy The Book
Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
By: Ron Chernow
John D. Rockefeller, Sr.--history's first billionaire and the patriarch of America's most famous dynasty--is an icon whose true nature has eluded three generations of historians. Now Ron Chernow, the National Book Award-winning biographer of the Morgan and Warburg banking families, gives us a history of the mogul "etched with uncommon objectivity and literary grace . . . as detailed, balanced, and psychologically insightful a portrait of the tycoon as we may ever have" (Kirkus Reviews). Titan is the first full-length biography based on unrestricted access to Rockefeller's exceptionally rich trove of papers. A landmark publication full of startling revelations, the book will indelibly alter our image of this most enigmatic capitalist. Buy The Book
The Coming Jobs War
By: Jim Clifton
Drawing on 75 years of Gallup studies and his own perspective as the company’s chairman and CEO, Jim Clifton explains why jobs are the new global currency for leaders. More than peace or money or any other good, the business, government, military, city, and village leaders who can create good jobs will own the future.
The problem is that leaders don’t know how to create jobs – especially in America. What they should do is recognize that the world is in a war for jobs. It seems that leadership has lost the will to win, especially in America, but this is a competition for our lives.
To win, leaders need to compete. Everyone does. The public school system needs to inculcate kids with the knowledge they’ll need to compete in the jobs war. The business community needs to double the psychological engagement of workers so that it can compete with cheaper labor. The healthcare system must stop wasting the resources that we need to spend on job competition. Society needs to realize that entrepreneurs, not government, are the source of new jobs and put all its energy behind them. Perhaps most importantly, leaders need to recognize universities, mentors, and especially cities as a supercollider for job creation. Buy The Book
The Hunger Games
By: Suzanne Collins
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games," a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. Buy The Book
Museum: Behind the Scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
By: Danny Danziger
Using more than fifty interviews, award-winning writer Danny Danziger creates a fascinating mosaic of the people behind New York?s magnificent Metropolitan Museum of Art. From the aristocratic, acerbic director of the museum, Philippe de Montebello, to the curators who have a deep knowledge and passionate appreciation of their collections, from the security guards to the philanthropists who keep the museum?s financial life blood flowing, Danziger brings to life this extraordinary world through the words of those who are devoted to making the Met the American institution it surely is. Buy The Book
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
By: Joshua Foer
An instant bestseller that is poised to become a classic, Moonwalking with Einstein recounts Joshua Foer's yearlong quest to improve his memory under the tutelage of top "mental athletes." He draws on cutting-edge research, a surprising cultural history of remembering, and venerable tricks of the mentalist's trade to transform our understanding of human memory. From the United States Memory Championship to deep within the author's own mind, this is an electrifying work of journalism that reminds us that, in every way that matters, we are the sum of our memories. Buy The Book
The President's Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity
By: Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy
The inside story of the world's most exclusive fraternity; how presidents from Hoover through Obama worked with--and sometimes, against--each other when they were in and out of power. Buy The Book
Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best of Your People
By: Edward Hallowell
Your job as a manager is getting harder all the time. But your most critical responsibility—especially in today’s world of intensifying competition—is how to help your people shine their brightest.
In Shine, bestselling author, psychiatrist, and ADD expert Edward Hallowell draws on brain science, performance research, and his own experience helping people maximize their potential to present a proven process for getting the best from your people: Buy The Book
The Dovekeepers: A Novel
By: Alice Hoffman
Nearly two thousand years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power. Buy The Book
Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World (BK Business)
By: Bob Johansen and John Ryan
In this second edition Johansen is joined by the prestigious Center for Creative Leadership. CCL’s contributions help readers understand the new leadership skills by linking them to existing skills, and they provide analytics and exercises to help readers develop them. This edition has been updated throughout, with a new ten-year forecast and new examples, and incorporates the lessons Johansen has leaned about applying the new leadership skills in the three years since the first edition appeared. In addition, Johansen deals wtih two new forces that are shaping the future. The first is the “digital natives,” or people 15 years and younger who have grown up in a completely digital world. The second is cloud-based computing, which will enable new forms of connection, collaboration and commerce and will greatly facilitate reciprocity-based innovation—giving away to get more—which Johansen sees as the biggest innovation opportunity in history. Buy The Book
The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation
By: Frans Johansson
Why do so many world-changing insights come from people with little or no related experience? Charles Darwin was a geologist when he proposed the theory of evolution. And it was an astronomer who finally explained what happened to the dinosaurs.
Frans Johansson’s The Medici Effect shows how breakthrough ideas most often occur when we bring concepts from one field into a new, unfamiliar territory, and offers examples how we can turn the ideas we discover into path-breaking innovations. Buy The Book
Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly
By: John Kay
In this revolutionary book, economist John Kay proves a notion that feels at once paradoxical and deeply commonsensical: the best way to achieve any complex or broadly defined goal, from happiness to preventing forest fires, is the indirect way. We can learn how to achieve our objectives only through a gradual process of risk taking and discovery-what Kay calls obliquity. The author traces this seemingly counterintuitive path to success as it manifests itself in nearly every aspect of life, including business, politics, sports, and more. Buy The Book
How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living
By: Rush Kidder
Should you take a much-needed vacation or save money for your children's education? Should you protect the endangered owl or maintain jobs for loggers?
How do you handle questions such as these? We frequently face ethical dilemmas in our daily lives, and few have trouble with the "right vs. wrong" choices. However, the "right vs. right" dilemmas, in which neither choice is clearly or widely accepted as wrong, many times present obstacles that call for value-based decisions, and that's where we often need help.
Kidder -- the founder of the Institute for Global Ethics -- teaches us how to think for ourselves in order to resolve any ethical dilemma, from the personal to the philosophical. Unique in its approach and full of illustrative anecdotes, How Good People Make Tough Choices is an indispensable resource for arriving at sound conclusions when facing tough choices. Buy The Book
Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning On the Tuned-Out Child
By: Richard Lavoie
Motivation is the key to learning. But very few parents and teachers have an effective arsenal of techniques at their disposal. Enter educator and acclaimed author Rick Lavoie, who arms all those who deal with children with proven, effective tools and strategies they can use to encourage any child to learn and achieve success. Buy The Book
Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devistation
By: Jonathan Lear
Shortly before he died, Plenty Coups, the last great Chief of the Crow Nation, told his story—up to a certain point. “When the buffalo went away the hearts of my people fell to the ground,” he said, “and they could not lift them up again. After this nothing happened.” It is precisely this point—that of a people faced with the end of their way of life—that prompts the philosophical and ethical inquiry pursued in Radical Hope. In Jonathan Lear’s view, Plenty Coups’ story raises a profound ethical question that transcends his time and challenges us all: how should one face the possibility that one’s culture might collapse?
This is a vulnerability that affects us all—insofar as we are all inhabitants of a civilization, and civilizations are themselves vulnerable to historical forces. How should we live with this vulnerability? Can we make any sense of facing up to such a challenge courageously? Using the available anthropology and history of the Indian tribes during their confinement to reservations, and drawing on philosophy and psychoanalytic theory, Lear explores the story of the Crow Nation at an impasse as it bears upon these questions—and these questions as they bear upon our own place in the world. His book is a deeply revealing, and deeply moving, philosophical inquiry into a peculiar vulnerability that goes to the heart of the human condition. Buy The Book
The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business
By: Patrick Lencioni
There is a competitive advantage out there, arguably more powerful than any other. Is it superior strategy? Faster innovation? Smarter employees? No, New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, argues that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healthy they are. In this book, Lencioni brings together his vast experience and many of the themes cultivated in his other best-selling books and delivers a first: a cohesive and comprehensive exploration of the unique advantage organizational health provides. Buy The Book
Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy
By: Joan Magretta
Competitive advantage. The value chain. Five forces. Industry structure. Differentiation. Relative cost. If you want to understand how companies achieve and sustain competitive success, Michael Porter’s frameworks are the foundation. But while everyone in business may know Porter’s name, many managers misunderstand and misuse his concepts.
Understanding Michael Porter sets the record straight, providing the first concise, accessible summary of Porter’s revolutionary thinking. Written with Porter’s full cooperation by Joan Magretta, his former editor at Harvard Business Review, this new book delivers fresh, clear examples to illustrate and update Porter’s ideas. Buy The Book
The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914
By: David McCullough
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Truman, here is the national bestselling epic chronicle of the creation of the Panama Canal. In The Path Between the Seas, acclaimed historian David McCullough delivers a first-rate drama of the sweeping human undertaking that led to the creation of this grand enterprise.
The Path Between the Seas tells the story of the men and women who fought against all odds to fulfill the 400-year-old dream of constructing an aquatic passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is a story of astonishing engineering feats, tremendous medical accomplishments, political power plays, heroic successes, and tragic failures. Applying his remarkable gift for writing lucid, lively exposition, McCullough weaves the many strands of the momentous event into a comprehensive and captivating tale. Buy The Book
What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media
By: Scott McLeod and Chris Lehmann
Facebook, Twitter, Google . . . today's tech-savvy students are always plugged in. However, all too often their teachers and administrators aren't experienced in the use of these familiar digital tools. If schools are to prepare students for the future, administrators and educators must harness the power of digital technologies and social media.
With contributions from authorities on the topic of educational technology, What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media is a compendium of the most useful tools for any education setting. Throughout the book, experts including Will Richardson, Vicki Davis, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Richard Byrne, Joyce Valenza, and many others explain how administrators and teachers can best integrate technology into schools, helping to make sense of the often-confusing world of social media and digital tools. They offer the most current information for the educational use of blogs, wikis and podcasts, online learning, open-source courseware, educational gaming, social networking, online mind mapping, mobile phones, and more, and include examples of these methods currently at work in schools. As the book clearly illustrates, when these tools are combined with thoughtful and deliberate pedagogical practice, it can create a transformative experience for students, educators, and administrators alike.
What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media reveals the power of information technology and social networks in the classroom and throughout the education community. Buy The Book
Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving And Thriving at Work, Home and School
By: John Medina
In Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist, shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might influence the way we teach our children and the way we work. In each chapter, he describes a brain rule - what scientists know for sure about how our brains work - and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives.
Medina's fascinating stories and sense of humour breathe life into brain science. You'll learn why Michael Jordan was no good at baseball. You'll peer over a surgeon's shoulder as he proves that we have a Jennifer Aniston neuron. You'll meet a boy who has an amazing memory for music but can't tie his own shoes. Buy The Book
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
By: Michael Pollan
A national bestseller that has changed the way readers view the ecology of eating, this revolutionary book by award winner Michael Pollan asks the seemingly simple question: What should we have for dinner? Tracing from source to table each of the food chains that sustain us--whether industrial or organic, alternative or processed--he develops a portrait of the American way of eating. Buy The Book
What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets
By: Michael Sandel
In What Money Can’t Buy, Michael J. Sandel takes on one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: Is there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? If so, how can we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don’t belong? What are the moral limits of markets? Buy The Book
Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries
By: Peter Sims
What do Apple CEO Steve Jobs, comedian Chris Rock, prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, the story developers at Pixar films, and the Army Chief of Strategic Plans all have in common? Bestselling author Peter Sims found that all of them have achieved breakthrough results by methodically taking small, experimental steps in order to discover and develop new ideas. Rather than believing they have to start with a big idea or plan a whole project out in advance, trying to foresee the final outcome, they make a series of little bets about what might be a good direction, learning from lots of little failures and from small but highly significant wins that allow them to happen upon unexpected avenues and arrive at extraordinary outcomes. Buy The Book
War and Peace
By: Leo Tolstoy
"War and Peace" is one of the richest novels ever written. Tolstoy's enthralling epic combines history and fiction in his depiction of Russia's lengthy war with the French armies of Napoleon and its effects on the domestic lives of those caught up in the conflict. He creates some of the most vital and involving characters in literature as he follows the rise and fall of families in St Petersburg and Moscow who are linked by their personal and political relationships. His heroes are the thoughtful yet impulsive Pierre Bezukhov, his intelligentand ambitious friend, Prince Andrei, and the woman who becomes indispensable to both of them, the enchanting Natasha Rostova. Stunningly translated with remarkable fidelity to the all-important tone of Tolstoy's original, and including an introduction, notes, a chapter summary and an index of historical figures, this edition of "War and Peace" is destined to become the definitive English translation for our time. Buy The Book
Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World
By: Tony Wagner
IN THIS GROUNDBREAKING BOOK, education expert Tony Wagner provides a powerful rationale for developing an innovation-driven economy. He explores what parents, teachers, and employers must do to develop the capacities of young people to become innovators. In profiling compelling young American innovators such as Kirk Phelps, product manager for Apple’s first iPhone, and Jodie Wu, who founded a company that builds bicycle-powered maize shellers in Tanzania, Wagner reveals how the adults in their lives nurtured their creativity and sparked their imaginations, while teaching them to learn from failures and persevere. Wagner identifies a pattern—a childhood of creative play leads to deep-seated interests, which in adolescence and adulthood blossom into a deeper purpose for career and life goals. Play, passion, and purpose: These are the forces that drive young innovators. Buy The Book
White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privleged White Son
By: Tim Wise
Using stories from his own life, Tim Wise demonstrates the ways in which racism not only burdens people of color, but also benefits, in relative terms, those who are “white like him.” He discusses how racial privilege can harm whites in the long run and make progressive social change less likely. He explores the ways in which whites can challenge their unjust privileges, and explains in clear and convincing language why it is in the best interest of whites themselves to do so. Using anecdotes instead of stale statistics, Wise weaves a narrative that is at once readable and yet scholarly, analytical and yet accessible. Buy The Book
By: Margaret Wise Brown
In this classic of children's literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day. Buy The Book