• Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
    by William McDonough, Michael Braungart

    Paper or plastic? Neither, say William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Why settle for the least harmful alternative when we could have something that is better--say, edible grocery bags! In Cradle to Cradle, the 7591.jpgauthors present a manifesto calling for a new industrial revolution, one that would render both traditional manufacturing and traditional environmentalism obsolete. Recycling, for instance, is actually "downcycling," creating hybrids of biological and technical "nutrients" which are then unrecoverable and unusable. -Amazon

  • Z.B.A.: Zen of Business Administration - How Zen Practice Can Transform Your Work And Your Life
    by Marc Lesser

    In the great Zen tradition of teaching stories, Marc Lesser relates his own personal and professionalMarc-photo-1-small2.jpg trials as he navigates the delicate path of managing a successful business while staying true to his spiritual roots. Struggling through a difficult economic climate, he also faces the usual challenges of running a growing company - meeting payroll, balancing cash flow, hiring and firing employees, and maintaining relationships with vendors and customers. Guiding him through these difficulties while providing strength and insight is the practice of Zen. -Amazon

    Free mp3 download of Marc Lesser on fearlessness.

  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
    by Jared Diamond

    Guns, Germs & Steel, which won the Pulitzer Prize, is instrumental in helping understand human history and in answering one of its key questions: why is there such inequality between different people of the world?   Diamond's answer: geography, demography, and ecological happenstance.  While that may sound obvious, I found Diamond's presentation of the evidence to be overwhelming, exciting, and ultimately empowering.  This book is the science-based answer to every ignorant racist argument you've ever met.  After reading this book, your reaction to racists will not be anger (a sure sign of your own frustration), but of pity, a sign of your knowing. -Leo Gold

  • The Essays of Warren Buffett : Lessons for Corporate America
    by Warren E. Buffett

    Each year, Warren Buffett, one of history's greatest investors (and also one of its most progressive in his thinking), writes a letterto the shareholders of his Berkshire Hathaway corporation (his own holdings of BRK stock make him one of the world's wealthiest people).  And each year, the letter contains wisdom and humor far beyond the standard annual CEO letter.  If you want one of the world's best and cheapest business educations, this is the book - a compilation of nuggets from Buffett's annual letters. -Leo Gold

  • Postwar : A History of Europe Since 1945
    by Tony Judt

    World War II may have ended in 1945, but according to historian Tony Judt, the conflict's epilogue lasted for nearly the rest of the century. Calling 1945-1989 "an interim age," Judt examines what happened on each side of the Iron Curtain, with the West nervously inching forward while the East endured the "peace of the prison yard" until the fall of Communism in 1989 signaled their chance to progress. Though he proposes no grand, overarching theory of the postwar period, Judt's massive work covers the broad strokes as well as the fine details of the years 1945 to 2005. No one book (even at nearly a thousand pages) could fully encompass this complex period, but Postwar comes close, and is impressive for its scope, synthesis, clarity, and narrative cohesion. -Amazon

  • Overthrow : America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq
    by Stephen Kinzer

    The recent ouster of Saddam Hussein may have turned "regime change" into a contemporary buzzword, but it's been a tactic of American foreign policy for more than 110 years. Beginning with the ouster of Hawaii's monarchy in 1893, Kinzer runs through the foreign governments the U.S. has had a hand in toppling, some of which he has written about at length before (in All the Shah's Men, etc.). Recent invasions of countries such as Grenada and Panama may be more familiar to readers than earlier interventions in Iran and Nicaragua, but Kinzer, a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, brings a rich narrative immediacy to all of his stories.

  • Investing in Nature : Case Studies in Land Conservation in Collaboration with Business
    by William J. Ginn

    In 2004, U.S. consumers spent $5.2 billion purchasing bottled water while the government only invested 5 percent of that amount to purchase critical watersheds, parks, and wildlife refuges-systems vital to clean water and healthy environments. How can we reverse the direction of such powerful economic forces?

    A group of dedicated business-people-turned-environmental-entrepreneurs is pioneering a new set of tools for land conservation deals and other market-based strategies. These pragmatic visionaries have already used these methods to protect millions of acres of land and to transform the practices of entire industries.

    Drawing on his vast experience in both business and land conservation at The Nature Conservancy (TNC), William Ginn offers a practical guide, from conservation investment banking, to emerging markets for nature's goods and services, to new tax incentives that encourage companies to do the "right" thing.

  • Last Child in the Woods : Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
    by Richard Louv

    Today's kids are increasingly disconnected from the natural world, even as research shows that "thoughtful exposure of youngsters to nature can... be a powerful form of therapy for attention-deficit disorder and other maladies." Instead of passing summer months hiking, swimming and telling stories around the campfire, children these days are more likely to attend computer camps or weight-loss camps: as a result, Louv says, they've come to think of nature as more of an abstraction than a reality. Gathering thoughts from parents, teachers, researchers, environmentalists and other concerned parties, Louv argues for a return to an awareness of and appreciation for the natural world. Not only can nature teach kids science and nurture their creativity, he says, nature needs its children: where else will its future stewards come from? Louv's book is a call to action, full of warnings—but also full of ideas for change.

  • The Great Work: Our Way into the Future
    by Thomas Berry

    The future can exist only if humans understand how to commune with the natural world rather than exploit it, explains author and renowned ecologist Thomas Berry (The Dream of the Earth, The Universe Story). "Already the planet is so damaged and the future is so challenged by its rising human population that the terms of survival will be severe beyond anything we have known in the past."

    This may make him sound like a scolding, doomsday prophet, but Berry is an optimistic soul, hopeful that humans will rise to the challenge of cherishing the natural world in the third millennium. "Our future destiny rests even more decisively on our capacity for intimacy in our human-Earth relations." Berry predicts. From this premise, Berry reveals why we need to adore our blessed planet, while also examining why we are culturally driven toward exploiting nature.

  • Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya
    by Caroline Elkins

    Forty years after Kenyan independence from Britain, the words "Mau Mau" still conjure images of crazed savages hacking up hapless white settlers with machetes. The British Colonial Office, struggling to preserve its far-flung empire of dependencies after World War II, spread hysteria about Kenya's Mau Mau independence movement by depicting its supporters among the Kikuyu people as irrational terrorists and monsters. Caroline Elkins, a historian at Harvard University, concludes that the war, one of the bloodiest and most protracted decolonization struggles of the past century, was anything but the "civilizing mission" portrayed by British propagandists and settlers.  Instead, Britain engaged in an amazingly brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing that seemed to border on outright genocide.  While only 32 white settlers were killed by Mau Mau insurgents, Elkins reports that tens of thousands of Kenyans were slaughtered, perhaps up to 300,000.  The British also interned the entire 1.5 million population of Kikuyu, the colony's largest ethnic group, in barbed-wire villages, forced-labour reserves where famine and disease ran rampant, and prison camps that Elkins describes as the Kenyan "Gulag." The Kikuyu were subjected to unimaginable torture, or "screening," as British officials called it, which included being whipped, beaten, sodomized, castrated, burned, and forced to eat feces and drink urine. British officials later destroyed almost all official records of the campaign. This is a stunning narrative that finally sheds light on a misunderstood war for which no one has yet been held officially accountable. --Alex Roslin