Next book



An intriguing business/sociological chronicle with wider implications for modern corporate practices.

An investigation into the social experiments at the corporate headquarters of Zappos that raises some important questions about entrepreneurship, business management methods, and human values.

In 2013, journalist Groth, a freelancer who writes often for global business news publication Quartz, triggered a firestorm of publicity when she reported that the company’s CEO, Tony Hsieh, had decided to completely reorganize the company as a holocracy, which “eliminates job titles and abandons traditional hierarchy. The ultimate goal is self-organization.” Working as a senior editor at Business Insider, the author was on the scene as the adoption and implementation of the holocracy occurred, resulting in a management shakedown, employee discontent, and numerous layoffs. Groth traces the prehistory of a company that, from the beginning, prided itself on a quirky insistence that culture and fun ruled over mere profit. Hsieh adopted holocracy expecting to develop a common language that would unite the different components of his empire. However, it was much rockier than he expected, and Groth explores the shortcomings of the attempt. The culture of Zappos was organized around the slogan, “Delivering Happiness.” Similar concepts have been adopted by countless digital-age tech companies and have resulted in corporations beginning “to take on the task of managing the emotional well-being of [their] employees.” In the case of Zappos, the author identifies a group therapy–like tendency to psychologize, even at the company’s mass meetings. She writes that the practice sharply contrasts with that of some of Silicon Valley’s best investors, who are “investing in someone’s career…over the span of decades.” Consequently, there is “a subtle backlash emerging around the cult of the entrepreneur.” Groth’s investigation led to the conclusion that the Zappos organization has become quite cultlike; whether that was caused by holacracy or Hsieh’s personal foibles remains undetermined.

An intriguing business/sociological chronicle with wider implications for modern corporate practices.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2990-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

Next book


The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Next book



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

Close Quickview