Ivanka Trump‘s new book, torched its way to the very top of the Wall Street Journal business best-seller list (May 13-14, 2017, p. C12). It is the first time that I ever remember a book debuting on the list at #1.
The book is entitled Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success (New York: Portfolio). It was released on May 2.
As of this writing, it is # 253 on the Amazon.com all-books sold list, and in the top 20 in three sub-categories. Of interest is that it is also # 9 on the Wall Street Journal non-fiction best-seller list.
The book is receiving scathing critical reviews. You can read a summary of these from the Huffington Post, written by Katherine Brooks, whose by-line reads, “It’s been described as “witless,” “insufferable,” “vapid,” and “very vapid.””
Click here to read the entire article referred to above.
Even though this is a best-seller, you can be assured that we will not present it at the First Friday Book Synopsis. My prediction is that it will be off the list, from # 1 to beyond # 10, within two weeks.
A new book about gender has created controversy, but perhaps for all the wrong reasons. How would you like to know that women are the superior gender, and that we actually don’t need men at all?
I don’t think that’s what Sheryl Sandberg had in mind when she wrote Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Knopf, 2013). That’s a best-seller by the Facebook COO that I am familiar with, having read and presented a synopsis of that book at a Creative Communication Network (CCN) client site. Note: I can no longer do that under contractual agreement with Randy Mayeux, who presented it at the First Friday Book Synopsis and other CCN sites. and who has exclusive presentation privileges for the book. Regardless, there’s no way that Sandberg wanted women to eliminate men – but rather, to figure out how to co-exist with them, and how to get their “fair share.”
That’s not what Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy (Norton, 2015) by Dr. Melvin Konner says. His book provides evidence that men are more likely to commit crimes, die in accidents, and incite violence. To your great surprise, he also points out that men cannot reproduce without women. But, did you know that there is evidence that females can reproduce without males? You’ll have to get the book to learn how. (Hint: it’s not by humans.)
And the critics on Amazon.com are not happy. One consumer review, after giving it one star out of a possible five, remarks: “Konner practically salivates when considering a future without men.” That is in spite of a glowing quoted editorial review which says, “Women After All describes what future historians will surely recognize as one of the momentous transformations in the human saga: the decline of men’s political dominance, and with it many deplorable practices and belief systems. Engagingly written and persuasively argued, it shows how an acknowledgment of human nature combined with a long view of history can advance the human condition.” (Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, & author of The Better Angels of Our Nature.)”
Dr. Konner is a professor of anthropology at Emory University. He is actually one of the rare “Doctor-Doctor’s,” holding both an M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard. He has written many books, perhaps the most famous of which was published in 2011, entitled The Evolution of Childhood: Relationships, Emotion, Mind (Belknap Press). You can see a list of the titles and publication dates by clicking here.
From his own website, he describes why and what he does: “I apply science to human nature and experience, exploring the links between biology and behavior, medicine and society, nature and culture. Why do we do what we do, think what we think, feel what we feel? I find answers in anthropology, biology, medicine, evolution, the brain, childhood, history, and culture. I’ve often commented on medical ethics, health care reform, child care, and other issues, and I do that here too.” You can read some of his blogs on the site by clicking here.
This book contains great outrage at the historical indignities suffered by women. Sandberg may appreciate his call that treating women better will help men as well. But, it appears that there is not a great place at the table for men. And, the thesis that society will be better off without them may be difficult to swallow.
By the way, this is no best-seller. It is nowhere close to that on Amazon.com, and it does not appear on any list that I can find.
You can’t say the book is biased. It’s full of scientific data, trends analyses, and logical interpretations. It’s just that a book which exposes problems without giving much in terms of solutions is not going to appeal to very many readers.
You can expect to see more about this author and book very soon. It is an obvious choice for the “Good Morning America“s of the world, the Huffington Post, radio talk shows, and even some of the tabloids. If nothing else, Konner will make a lot of money and get famous.
I say we are just insecure. Or uninformed. Or panicky. Or lots of things.
As a elixir, book readers are buying Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security (Simon & Schuster, 2015) by Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Philip Moeller, and Paul Solman.
Here is where the book stands on Amazon.com as I write this today:
- #3 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1 in Books > Business & Money > Taxation > Personal
- #1 in Books > Business & Money > Accounting
- #1 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Public Affairs & Policy > Social Security
Laurence J. Kotlikoff is William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor and a professor of economics at Boston University. He is also president of Economic Security Planning, Inc., a company specializing in financial planning software. His company websites are ESPlanner.com and MaximizeMySocialSecurity.com. He is author or co-author of sixteen books, including Spend ‘Til the End and The Coming Generational Storm (both with Scott Burns). His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Bloomberg, Forbes, The Economist, Huffington Post, and other major publications. He has served as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, governments around the world, and major U.S. corporations including Merrill Lynch, Fidelity Investments, and AON. In addition, he has provided expert testimony on numerous occasions to committees of Congress. He lives in Boston.
Philip Moeller writes about retirement for Money magazine, the PBS website Making Sen$e, and other media outlets. He is also a research fellow at the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College, and the founder of Insure.com, a site for insurance information that has provided original insurance content to the Web’s leading business portals, including Microsoft, Yahoo, America Online, and MarketWatch. Formerly a contributing editor at U. S. News & World Report, he has spent forty years as an award-winning financial journalist, Internet entrepreneur, and corporate communications executive for a Fortune 500 financial services firm. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.
Paul Solman is the longtime business and economics correspondent for The PBS NewsHour. His many awards for work in business journalism include Emmys, Peabodys, and a Loeb award. He is also a Brady-Johnson Distinguished Practitioner at Yale University, where he teaches in the Grand Strategy course, as well as teaching at New Haven’s Gateway Community College. He has been a member of the Harvard Business School faculty and a visiting professor at his alma mater, Brandeis. Solman has written for numerous publications, from Forbes to Mother Jones, co-authored (with Thomas Friedman) Life and Death on the Corporate Battlefield, and wrote the introduction to Morrie: In His Own Words, created entirely from interviews with his former Brandeis sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz (of “Tuesdays with Morrie” fame). He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.
We won’t have this book at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas, as we don’t include individual-based finance books in our monthly coverage.
But that doesn’t mean that plenty of our attendees will find this important to read. While they won’t identify themselves, I am sure we get some people who are insecure, uninformed, and panicky about their retirement years. Maybe they. and many others will find this book a great relief to that anxiety.
I won’t spoil the presentation next week at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas, but if you attend, you will certainly find Rory Vaden‘s approach to time management very different from every traditional approach you have ever seen.
His premise is different, yet realistic. We all have the same amount of time. His idea is to ignore methods and tools you have heard about for years. These include prioritizing daily tasks, segmenting parts of your day into specific focused activities, and so forth. Rather, his focus is on understanding and coming to grips with the emotions that get in our way and preventing us from maximizing our time. To Vaden, time is not something you spend, but something you invest.
You will remember his previous blockbuster best-seller, Take the Stairs. Over time, Vaden has become one of the most popular and influential speakers and authors of our time.
As an award-winning entrepreneur and business leader, Rory Co-Founded Southwestern Consulting™, a multi-million dollar global consulting practice that helps clients in more than 14 countries drive educated decisions with relevant data. He’s also the Founder of The Center for the Study of Self-Discipline (CSSD). Rory is the world’s leader on defining the psychology around modern day procrastination, called Priority Dilution™ – in fact, he coined the term. He speaks and consults on how to say no to the things that don’t matter, and yes to the things that do. His client list includes companies and groups such as: Cargill, The Million Dollar Roundtable, P&G, True Value, YPO, Wells Fargo Advisors, Land O’Lakes, Novartis, and hundreds more. His insights have recently been featured on/in: Fox News, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Inc, Fortune, and the New York Times. He is a regular contributor for American Express Open Forum, Huffington Post, and The Tennessean and his articles and insights average more than 4 million views every day.
For more, you need to attend the presentation on Friday. You will hear all about the five permissions.
I can promise you it will be a very different approach to managing time, from someone who is very different himself.
I will see you then!
I thought it was interesting when Warren Buffett made a major turnaround and chose to invest in a traditional newspaper. On November 30, Berkshire Hathaway, where Buffett is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, purchased the Omaha World-Herald Company, publisher of six daily papers in Nebraska and Iowa. Such a deal is counter to the flow of his investment history, and represents a shift from his position about traditional papers. In 2009, he stated that “we would not buy them at any price.” You can read a summary of this transaction from the Wall Street Journal by clicking here, and view expert analysis in a video by clicking here.
There is something that Warren Buffett knows that Steve Jobs did not. Buffett is one of the richest and most successful investors in business history.
In the Wall Street Journal, L. Gordon Crovitz recalled what Jobs said about the future of newspapers in his column entitled “Steve Jobs and the Future of Newspapers” (October 9, 2011). Jobs said, “The only problem is that the [Wall Street] Journal is a newspaper and so is printed on newsprint.” Further, he recalled Jobs saying “Whenever I have the time to pick up the printed version of the newspaper (sic), I wish I could do this all the time, but our lives are not like that any more.” Crovitz summarized Jobs’ position by writing “he predicted that in five years there would be no more printed newspapers.”
That conversation was in 2006, so Jobs’ deadline has passed. Sorry – there are still newspapers printed, delivered, purchased, and read in the traditional manner. Since then, many newspapers have disappeared and many others are in financial trouble. Some have pushed their emphasis to online editions, and now charge for access.
One of the great supporters of the traditional newspaper remains Donald Graham, the Chairman of the Washington Post Company, who said in a corporate news column in the Wall Street Journal, published on December 3-4, 2011 (p. B3), that he would neither sell nor spinoff the flagship newspaper or any of his company’s core businesses.
There is no question that reading online content from newspaper sites, such as the Huffington Post, is trendy, popular, and convenient.
To be sure, however, there are enough advertisers and enough subscribers to keep many printed versions going. There are still plenty of people who want to get their paper from the front lawn, get their coffee, get back under the covers, and fold the pages to explore the content. There are still enough people who spend enough time using digital devices who refuse to carry this mode into their treasured leisure time. They want to sit in their easy chair, hold a paper, turn it, and even clip out articles of interest to them. I subscribe to the Dallas Morning News and Wall Street Journal print versions, as well as the Wall Street Journal online edition. The amount of time I spend with the online edition is about 2% compared with the traditional version.
I don’t think that Warren Buffett throws money away. Something hit him to invest money in a paper whose weekday circulation has fallen 24% since 2006. Maybe he wanted a challenge. Maybe it links to his childhood occupation of delivering the Washington Post to homes in weathly neighborhoods. I don’t know. But, I do believe that he knew something about traditional newspapers that Steve Jobs didn’t. And, for me, I will be under the covers reading my paper and sipping my coffee. I’ll be digital during the day soon enough.
What do you think? Let’s talk about it really soon!
This is interesting. We have all read about Newsweek’s money woes. They have a new owner, their future seems uncertain, and Fareed Zakaria, a long-time Newsweek contributor/international editor, is now with Time.
But Howard Fineman, who has written for Newsweek for thirty years, is now a new Senior Editor at Huffington Post. I write about this here for one purpose only – you can’t buy Huffington Post at any magazine counter, in any book store or any grocery store. In fact, you can’t buy Huffington Post at all (once you have internet access). It is free.
So, yes, the world keeps changing. When an accomplished writer leaves a “physical” magazine for an on-line magazine; when the on-line magazine is now no longer dependent on writers who are “young bloggers” – the world is different.
Mr. Fineman’s move from a print medium to online news is a sign that The Huffington Post, which has until now heavily relied on young bloggers, is maturing. And it signals that the site, which has become one of the largest news destinations on the Web since it started in 2005, is investing significantly in its growth.
“From the day we launched, it was our belief that the mission of The Huffington Post should be to bring together the best of the old and the best of the new,” said Arianna Huffington, the site’s co-founder. “Bringing in the best of the old involved more money than we had when we launched. But now that our Web site is growing, we’re able to bring in the best of the old.”
Mr. Fineman said that an online platform afforded him new opportunities. “It really wasn’t a difficult decision at all once I really began to think about it because this is where the action is,” he said. “The chance to dive headlong into the future is one that I don’t think anyone could pass up.”