Full of object lessons, this is a valuable overview for students of international commerce.

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FORTUNE MAKERS

THE LEADERS CREATING CHINA'S GREAT GLOBAL COMPANIES

There are new markets to share out there, and the old capitalist way of doing things won’t be the one that captures them.

In this collaboration between researchers at the Wharton School and the China Europe International Business School, there are the usual tables depicting, say, the value of mergers and acquisitions over the last decade, and the usual nostrums about how Chinese society is governed, for all its communist veneer, by Confucian ideals. Beyond these to-be-expected features, though, lie some surprising insights into how the biggest players in the Chinese economy—beyond the state and military themselves—worked their ways into their positions and, more important, what makes them different from their counterparts in the West. Take Zhang Ruimin, for instance, CEO of the Haier Group, the world’s largest appliance company. As a Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution, he was “charged with bringing down bourgeois elements within society, especially anybody associated with capitalism.” He then rose through the ranks in construction and manufacturing, returning from a trip to Germany ashamed at the shoddiness of Chinese goods—so much so that, in the factory he now headed, he ordered that defective units be smashed to pieces. His experience in the Maoist era, the authors write, made him cautious and perhaps even fearful but also unusually committed to an economic experiment that is still playing out, based on the traditional guanxi (“personal networks of relations that give an executive access and influence”) but also on some notable precepts—e.g., the idea that economic success should benefit all members of society and not just a few players. Examining several business leaders and their strategies, from “resetting the game” to eliminate weak positions to growing business partners and suppliers in concert with growing one’s own business, the authors ably demonstrate how the once-countercultural practice of capitalism in China remains unlike the variety practiced in the West.

Full of object lessons, this is a valuable overview for students of international commerce.

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61039-658-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Dec. 27, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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

NIGHT

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

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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

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