Booked

 

The Pirate OrganizationRandolphe Durand and Jean-Philippe Vergne. Harvard Business Review Press. €18.99

This book was first published in French as LOrganisation Pirate and according to its publishers, it attained both critical acclaim and commercial success. It provides an interesting and thought-provoking read. The book debunks popular myths about piracy being random and suggests instead that it is predictable, cannot be separated from capitalism and will be the source of capitalism’s continuing evolution.

The book works on a number of levels providing a history of piracy, it also looks at the dynamics between pirates and the establishment and how the lines blur over time. The authors suggest that rather than trying to stamp out piracy, managers should instead try to take a leaf out of their book.The pirate phenomenon began at the advert of sovereign state and continues with the rise of globalism. The pirate organisation breaks the existing codes and creates new ones, which are later reappropriated by legitimate governments and organisations.

This explains why the Pentagon and Microsoft track hackers in cyberspace to offer them jobs and why the pirate Francis Drake became a corsair before being knighted.

Making the European Monetary Union

Harold James. Harvard University Press, €30

Author Harold James is professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Here, he looks at the origins of the European monetary union and looks at how the process was designed, by whom and whether the risks associated with the project were properly evaluated.

The quest for European monetary coordination and then union, James says, was a response to genuine – and still existing – problems of currency instability and misalignment at international level.

Contrary to well-expressed views, it was not simply a political project intended to create a United States of Europe. There was a clear economic logic behind the creation of the union.

Europe’s financial crisis was caused not by the original plan itself but by the politics, with fudges on key aspects of the monetary union. The result was an imperfect union with deficiencies in key areas such as fiscal rules and banking supervision and regulation

Exhaustively researched , this is a scholarly book that will appeal to economic historians and economists interested in the formation of Europe’s monetary union, more than the general business reader.

Eco Literate

Daniel Goleman, Lisa Bennett and Zenobia Barlow.Wiley €24.99

While written for a wider audience than the business community, this book will be of interest to managers concerned about sustainability and changing consumer attitudes to environmental issues. It looks at how educators, artists and activists are working to educate others about some of the most critical issues of our time including scarcities of food, water, and energy. The book sets the scene in terms of the stark choices facing humanity if we continue to strain the nine life-support systems essential for human survival. It does stress the positive, however, in terms of the capacity for reversal if we recognise the problems in time.

The book focuses on the key role teachers have in educating young people and notes the explosion in the information and resources available to students to visualise the relationships between human actions and living systems.

It stresses the importance of ecological intelligence, aligned to emotional and social intelligence. Schools are the ideal places to guide a breakthrough to a new and much needed ecological sensibilit – and how this will have profound implications for business and government.