97 Books and no perspective, ro_G goes about restocking the bookshelf.
With our Daev off to devote a couple of months of his life to blogging the oceans with Greenpeace, I have been forced (thanks Daev!) to put my recent two and a half year stint in Business School in perspective. I have just counted the books I have acquired during the course and was astonished to find that my business books total 97 distinct titles! While 23 of these are about psychology or organisational characteristics (i.e. some form of human interaction), another 19 are on the murky subject of corporate finance, while a further 11 are concerned with how to successfully ply your business across national borders.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not turning into a leftie, I do own 25% of a business in the US supplying cheap Mexican labour (who I’ll never meet), and I do give lectures to SME’s on the best ways to embrace both global sourcing and global distribution. I shall make a living for the next few years from aiding companies in shifting their businesses to ‘low-cost countries’, and I make no apologies for it, I honestly believe and am committed to the opinion that market mechanisms are the best way for the world to go about it’s business. In many ways I am the anti-blather! But Jesus, I don’t want to make a mission of it. What I need is some balance, some countervailing influence to keep it real, to keep it in perspective, to keep myself from turning into Gordon Gecko. I’ve decided: I need a new reading list.
This morning I came across a good piece on Dervala.net who by her own account, at the ripe old age of 30 and after a life of high living in New York, got hit with a similar brick, so dipped into a few books and got this; “They told me, over and over, that bloodbaths and famines are rarely unexpected or inevitable; that wars are usually caused by a very tiny number of influential people; that genocide can often be prevented by a very tiny number of influential people, but rarely is; that the law of unintended consequences leads to catastrophe in geopolitics. It was fresh news.”
So first on the list, and with a nod to Dervala’s own recent readings, is “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power.* Perspective, if found, shall be reported directly!
* Blurb on amazon.com » or amazon.co.uk »
All other recommendations shall be gratefully received