Beneath the conservative-versus-liberal parrot-speak is a coherent, timely conversation about the power and relevancy of...

READ REVIEW

THE DEVIL AT OUR DOORSTEP

EXPOSING THE REAL AGENDA OF BIG LABOR

An entrepreneur’s account of building a nationwide cleaning business and undergoing an attempt by Service Employees International Union to unionize his workers.

If readers skip the prologue—which compares union organizing tactics with Nazi Germany—they can start with the many issues that merit discussion. Bego (Devil at My Doorstep, 2009) launched a commercial cleaning services company, Executive Management Services, in 1989. Based in Indianapolis, the company grew to more than 5,000 employees in locations throughout the country. Its increasing visibility attracted the attention of Service Employees International Union, and thus began a five-year battle for the hearts and minds of Executive Management Services’ workers. Labor unions’ historical efforts to protect workers from unsafe working conditions as well as ensuring fair wages and job security account for positive changes in many American industries, and that’s not disputed here. The core questions Bego raises, however, are: What should the unions’ role be in this era of global economy; what are American workers’ rights regarding unionization; and what are the rights of entrepreneurs pursuing the American dream of business ownership? Bego posits that modern unions aim to increase their dues-paying memberships in order to sustain their own viability and influence legislation, regardless of workers’ genuine needs. The author also emphasizes a push to pass the Employee Free Choice Act—legislation that eliminates secret ballot elections used by workers to choose union representation—in light of the tactics used by SEIU to unionize employees who had not necessarily even invited SEIU to represent them. He asks excellent and valid questions, which elsewhere can often be obscured by partisan labeling. Bego notes in a statement to Congress, “Americans need to demand more nonpartisan openness, research, dialogue, and civility from their elected officials on both sides of the aisle.” Why wait to be elected?

Beneath the conservative-versus-liberal parrot-speak is a coherent, timely conversation about the power and relevancy of today’s labor unions.

Pub Date: April 4, 2012

ISBN: 978-1439285220

Page Count: 332

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Smart, engaging sportswriting—good reading for organization builders as well as Pats fans.

THE DYNASTY

Action-packed tale of the building of the New England Patriots over the course of seven decades.

Prolific writer Benedict has long blended two interests—sports and business—and the Patriots are emblematic of both. Founded in 1959 as the Boston Patriots, the team built a strategic home field between that city and Providence. When original owner Billy Sullivan sold the flailing team in 1988, it was $126 million in the hole, a condition so dire that “Sullivan had to beg the NFL to release emergency funds so he could pay his players.” Victor Kiam, the razor magnate, bought the long since renamed New England Patriots, but rival Robert Kraft bought first the parking lots and then the stadium—and “it rankled Kiam that he bore all the risk as the owner of the team but virtually all of the revenue that the team generated went to Kraft.” Check and mate. Kraft finally took over the team in 1994. Kraft inherited coach Bill Parcells, who in turn brought in star quarterback Drew Bledsoe, “the Patriots’ most prized player.” However, as the book’s nimbly constructed opening recounts, in 2001, Bledsoe got smeared in a hit “so violent that players along the Patriots sideline compared the sound of the collision to a car crash.” After that, it was backup Tom Brady’s team. Gridiron nerds will debate whether Brady is the greatest QB and Bill Belichick the greatest coach the game has ever known, but certainly they’ve had their share of controversy. The infamous “Deflategate” incident of 2015 takes up plenty of space in the late pages of the narrative, and depending on how you read between the lines, Brady was either an accomplice or an unwitting beneficiary. Still, as the author writes, by that point Brady “had started in 223 straight regular-season games,” an enviable record on a team that itself has racked up impressive stats.

Smart, engaging sportswriting—good reading for organization builders as well as Pats fans.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982134-10-5

Page Count: 592

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

more