Synopses & Reviews
Launched at a time of major economic change and an uncommon era in business, this new annual series presents the most intriguing and rigorous coverage of the year's well-known and crucial-to-know developments in business and finance. Divided into thematic sections, such as bad business behavior; the financial system and its discontents; trends in global markets; the relationship between politics and money; big-picture practices; and news from the corporate world, the anthology fills a longstanding gap for those seeking diverse, enriching, yet entertaining perspectives on the business of business.
This year's selections include Rolling Stone's profile of Don Blankenship and his corrupt tenure as CEO of Massey Energy; the London Guardian's original, unprecedented investigation into the News of the World phone-hacking scandal and its indictment of the Rupert Murdoch media empire; and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's poignant account of the fatal consequences of federal deregulation in health and medicine. Two searing pieces on the ongoing mortgage scandal, one a hard look at the role of hedge fund Magnetar in perpetuating the housing bubble for financial gain, and the other a detailed breakdown of Countrywide's malfeasance, provide critical context and background; while articles on recoveries in Ireland, Germany, and elsewhere suggest a way foreword from recession. Additional articles tackle bank fees and bailouts, the Buffet Rule, the corporate lobby's reach, the Greenspan legacy, the rise of a global business elite, the future of the American auto industry, and the meaning of recent shakeups at Pfizer, Gucci, IKEA, and other corporate institutions.
"The current economic environment has been characterized by extreme financial turmoil, rapid change, and severe violations of public trust, all of which have created a heyday for the global press. In what will become an annual exercise to showcase the most insightful coverage from this fertile era, the editors of the Columbia Journalism Review have selected those pieces deemed the most compelling or rigorous business writings of the year. Drawing from newspapers as varied as the New York Times and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, magazines ranging from Fortune to Rolling Stone, and blogs such as the Huffington Post and Motley Fool, this compendium represents a riveting cross-section of hard-hitting investigative journalism, press criticism, and even a hilarious piece on phone hacking by English actor Hugh Grant. While many pieces focus on the financial meltdown including Michael Hudson's damning account of how Countrywide protected fraudsters others present poignant examinations of the intersection of business failure and humanity, like Raquel Rutledge and Rick Barrett's award-winning piece, 'A Case of Shattered Trust,' which describes a child's preventable death caused by bacteria-laden products from a firm under investigation by the FDA. The breadth, depth, and quality of writing are sure to engage a diversity of readers regardless of their affiliations with economics or finance. Agent: Deirdre Mullane, Mullane Literary. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
An anthology Malcolm Gladwell has called -riveting and indispensable, - The Best Business Writing is a far-ranging survey of business's dynamic relationship with politics, culture, and life. This year's selections include John Markoff (New York Times) on innovations in robot technology and the decline of the factory worker; Evgeny Morozov (New Republic) on the questionable value of the popular TED conference series and the idea industry behind it; Paul Kiel (ProPublica) on the ripple effects of the ongoing foreclosure crisis; and the infamous op-ed by Greg Smith, published in the New York Times, announcing his break with Goldman Sachs over its trading practices and corrupt corporate ethos.
Jessica Pressler (New York) delves into the personal and professional rivalry between former spouses and fashion competitors Tory and Christopher Burch. Peter Whoriskey (Washington Post) exposes the human cost of promoting pharmaceuticals for off-label uses. Charles Duhigg and David Barboza (New York Times) investigate Apple's unethical labor practices in China. Max Abelson (Bloomberg) reports on Wall Street's amusing reaction to the diminishing annual bonus. Mina Kimes (Fortune) recounts the grisly story of a company's illegal testing--and misuse--of a medical device for profit, and Jeff Tietz (Rolling Stone) composes one of the most poignant and comprehensive portraits of the financial crisis's dissolution of the American middle class.