Bookshelf: September 27, 2013

High Price

By Dr. Carl Hart (September 27, 2013) - "High Price is the harrowing and inspiring memoir of neuroscientist Carl Hart, a man who grew up in one of Miami's toughest neighborhoods and, determined to make a difference as an adult, tirelessly applies his scientific training to help save real lives. Young Carl didn't see the value of school, studying just enough to keep him on the basketball team. Today, he is a cutting-edge neuroscientist--Columbia University’s first tenured African American professor in the sciences--whose landmark, controversial research is redefining our understanding of addiction. In this provocative and eye-opening memoir, Dr. Carl Hart recalls his journey of self-discovery, how he escaped a life of crime and drugs and avoided becoming one of the crack addicts he now studies. Interweaving past and present, Hart goes beyond the hype as he examines the relationship between drugs and pleasure, choice, and motivation, both in the brain and in society. His findings shed new light on common ideas about race, poverty, and drugs, and explain why current policies are failing." (Harper Collins)


'Inequality for All'

With Robert Reich (September 27, 2013) - "We're in the biggest economic slump since the Great Depression, and we can't seem to get out of it. Why? Because, exactly as in the 1920s, so much of the nation's income and wealth are going to the top, that the vast middle class doesn't have the purchasing power to keep the economy going. I've spent most of my working life concerned about what's happening to American workers -- their jobs, their wages, their hopes and fears. My father sold clothing to the wives of factory workers in the late 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. I watched as the factories began to close, and as those families struggled with a new economy. Households kept their living standards by sending those wives and mothers into paid work -- a strategy that did the trick for a time. But when it no longer generated enough income, American families went deeper and deeper into debt -- and that's been the vicious cycle most middle class Americans have been in ever since. People are stressed. They're angry and frustrated, and the tide is only rising on that front. Their debt obligations are staggering, yet (if lucky enough to have a job), they're working harder and longer than ever before. People need to understand what's happening to them -- because from their perspective, the picture looks pretty bleak. Until we can take a step back and understand the big picture, we can't do anything to get ourselves out of this mess. Our democracy as we know it depends on it. I'm an educator. I love the classroom. But I also write books, appear on television and on the radio, and do everything else I can do to help people understand the economic truth. It's my life's work and it's more important than ever. One of the best ways to help people understand the challenges we face, is with a movie that can grab an audience and move them to action. And this movie will do exactly that."


The Entrepreneurial Instinct

By Monica Mehta (September 27, 2013) - "The dropout that makes billions seems to have caught lightning in a bottle--a triumph relying more on luck than skill and never to be repeated. In real life, successful entrepreneurs take classes, write business plans, and map out responses to every contingency. But if the story is such a fluke, why do we keep hearing ones like it over and over again?

The Entrepreneurial Instinct looks past the rags to riches stories of self-made entrepreneurs to explore how our mind, behavior, and brain chemistry impact our ability to be enterprising in the absence of formal training. Interviews with dozens of entrepreneurs reveal the traits and habits that allow them to take rewarding risks, overcome fear and failure, and thrive in the face of ambiguity. Conversations with experts in the fields of neuroscience and behavioral psychology expose the scientific explanation behind their seemingly innate knack and shed light on how the rest of us who may not be naturally gifted entrepreneurs can use brain chemistry to find success. The Entrepreneurial Instinct weaves together stories from entrepreneurs, pop culture figures and thought leaders (including the founders of CLIF Bar, Carol's Daughter, Marquis Jet, Skip Hop, Dogfish Head Beer, KIPP Charter School, J Brand Jeans, writers of Grey's Anatomy, rock journalist Neil Strauss, Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill) to reveal cutting edge insight on using brain chemistry to work in ways to create a cycle of productivity, take risks that pay and tap into our creative mind to realize professional success.

In a time where millions of Americans are unemployed, underemployed or aspire for better opportunities, The Entrepreneurial Instinct offers much needed techniques for using our innate capabilities to make more with less." (McGraw-Hill)