Reading Books on Food Politics

Food Politics (What Everyone Needs to Know)

by Robert Paarlberg

Food Politics (What Everyone Needs to Know) Cover

Publisher Comments:
The politics of food is changing fast. In rich countries, obesity is now a more serious problem than hunger. Consumers once satisfied with cheap and convenient food now want food that is also safe, nutritious, fresh, and grown by local farmers using fewer chemicals. Heavily subsidized and underregulated commercial farmers are facing stronger push back from environmentalists and consumer activists, and food companies are under the microscope. Meanwhile, agricultural success in Asia has spurred income growth and dietary enrichment, but agricultural failure in Africa has left one-third of all citizens undernourished – and the international markets that link these diverse regions together are subject to sudden disruption.
Food Politics carefully examines and explains the most important issues on today’s global food landscape, including international food prices, famines, chronic hunger, the Malthusian race between food production and population growth, international food aid, “green revolution” farming, obesity, farm subsidies and trade, agriculture and the environment, agribusiness, supermarkets, food safety, fast food, slow food, organic food, local food, and genetically engineered food.

Politics in each of these areas has become polarized over the past decade by conflicting claims and accusations from advocates on all sides. Paarlberg’s book maps this contested terrain, challenging myths and critiquing more than a few of today’s fashionable beliefs about farming and food. For those ready to have their thinking about food politics informed and also challenged, this is the book to read.


The struggle over how the losses and gains from state action are allocated in the food and farming sector is what we shall call food politics.
Thinking globally is generally good advice in sectors like finance or when working on problems such as climate change, but for the politics of food and agriculture, it is often more useful to think nationally or even locally.

livestock are now responsible for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, a bigger share than for transport.

The best approach is usually to combine agroecological insights with green revolution seeds and off-farm inputs.

Africa is failing to keep up with population growth not because it has exhausted its potential but instead because too little has been invested in developing that potential.

Typically in Africa today, governments spend only about 5 percent of their budget on any kind of agricultural investments, even though 60 percent of their citizens depend on the farming sector for income and employment.

roughly 65 percent of America’s food aid spending is eaten up by administrative and transport costs.

If biofuels demand had been the leading driver in the 2008 food price spike, corn prices would have risen more sharply than wheat or rice, yet corn rose less sharply than either.

Increasing the productivity of farm labor typically requires the introduction of new technologies such as improved seeds, fertilizers, and machinery. It also requires government investment in basic rural public goods such as roads and electricity.

The world does face a serious food crisis, but the best way to judge the magnitude of the crisis is to measure actual hunger rather than price fluctuations on the world market. This is because most of the world’s genuinely hungry people do not get their food from the world market.

Paradoxically and perversely, a majority of all these poor and hungry people in the developing world are farmers or pastoralists—people engaged in producing food. It is the low productivity of farming and animal grazing among the rural poor that is the chief cause of their chronic poverty, and it is their poverty that is the chief cause of their undernutrition.
About the Author
Robert Paarlberg is the B.F. Johnson Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College and Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. A leading authority on food policy, his books include Starved for Science, Policy Reform in American Agriculture, and Fixing Farm Trade.

Table of Contents:

Chapter One: An Overview of Food Politics
Chapter Two: Food Production and Population Growth

Chapter Three: The Politics of High Food Prices

Chapter Four: The Politics of Chronic Hunger

Chapter Five: The Politics of Famine

Chapter Six: The Green Revolution Controversy

Chapter Seven: Food Aid and Food Power

Chapter Eight: The Politics of Obesity

Chapter Nine: The Politics of Farm Subsidies and Trade

Chapter Ten: Agriculture, the Environment, and Farm Animals

Chapter Eleven: Agribusiness, Supermarkets, and Fast Food
Chapter Twelve: Organic and Local Food
Chapter Thirteen: Food Safety and Genetically Engineered Food
Chapter Fourteen: Who Governs the World Food System?


List of Acronyms Used in Book

Suggestions for Further Reading


More good books and authors:

Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health
Plastic: A Toxic Love Story
Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food
The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements
The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption, and the Control of the World's Food Supply
Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World
The Trees
Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It
Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly
Weeds: How Vagabond Plants Gatecrashed Civilisation and Changed the Way We Think About Nature
Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment
Swindled: From Poison Sweets To Counterfeit Coffee   The Dark History Of The Food Cheats

Swindled: From Poison Sweets To Counterfeit Coffee The Dark History Of The Food Cheats Wilson, Bee

How Everyday Products Make People Sick: Toxins at Home and in the Workplace, Updated and Expanded
Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense
Diet for a Small Planet
Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate (New in Paper) (Princeton Science Library)
Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy
The Republican War on Science
Science, Money, and Politics: Political Triumph and Ethical Erosion
Pandora’s Poison: Chlorine, Health, and a New Environmental Strategy
Debt and Death in Rural India: The Punjab Story

More authors:
The industry players via Foodinfonet

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
Almond Board of California
American Assoc. of Candy Technologists
American Assoc. of Cereal Chemists
American Assoc. of Meat Processors
American Bakers Assoc.
American Cheese Society
American Chemical Society
American Correctional Food Service Assoc.
American Dairy Products Institute, 312/782-4888
American Dairy Science Assoc.
American Dietetic Assoc.
American Egg Board
American Frozen Food Institute
American Institute of Baking
American Institute of Wine & Food, 415/255-3000
American Meat Institute
American Meat Science Assoc.
American Mushroom Institute
American Oil Chemists Society
American Peanut Council, 703/838-9500
American School Foodservice Assoc.
American Shrimp Processors Assoc., 504/368-1571
American Society of Baking
American Society of Brewing Chemists
American Soybean Assoc.
American Spice Trade Assoc.
American Sugar Alliance
American Sugar Beet Growers Assoc.
American Wholesale Marketers Assoc.
AOAC International
Apple Processors Assoc.
Apricot Producers of California
Aseptic Packaging Council
Assoc. for Dressings & Sauces
Assoc. of Food & Drug Officials
Assoc. of Sales & Marketing Companies
Bakery Industry Sanitation Standards Committee, 773/274-3242
Beer Institute
Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturers Assoc.

California Avocado Commission
California Date Administrative Committee
California Egg Commission
California Fig Advisory Board
California Pistachio Commission
California Prune Board
California Strawberry Commission
Cheese Importers Assoc. of America,212/753-7500
Cherry Marketing Institute Inc.
Chilled Foods Assoc., 404/252-3663
Chocolate Manufacturers Assoc. of the U.S.A.
Closure Manufacturers Assoc.
Composite Can & Tube Institute
Cookie & Snack Bakers Assoc., 423/472-1561
Corn Refiners Assoc. Inc.
Council for Responsible Nutrition
Cranberry Institute, 508/295-4132

Eastern Perishable Products Assoc.

Flavor & Extract Manufacturing Assoc., 202/293-5800
Flexible Packaging Assoc.
Florida Fruit & Vegetable Assoc.
Florida Tomato Committee
The Food & Drug Law Institute
Food Distributors International
Food Executives International Foundation, 301/469-8716
Food Ingredient Distributors Assoc., 219/432-3033
Food Institute
Food Marketing Institute
Food Processing Machinery & Supplies Assoc.
Food Processors Institute
Foodservice and Packaging Institute

Glass Packaging Institute
The Glutamate Assoc.
Grocery Manufacturers of America

The Hazelnut Council
Hazelnut Marketing Board

Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onions
Idaho Potato Commission
Independent Bakers Assoc.
Institute of Food Technologists
Institute of Packaging Professionals
Institute of Shortening & Edible Oils Inc.
International Assoc. of Food Industry Suppliers
International Assoc. for Food Protection
International Bottled Water Assoc.
International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Assoc.
International Dairy Foods Assoc.
International Food Additives Council
International Food Information Council
International Foodservice Manufacturers Assoc.
International Ice Cream Assoc.
International Jelly & Preserve Assoc.
International Society of Beverage Technologists

Kosher Foods Distributors Assoc.

Meat Industry Suppliers Assoc.
Mid-America Food Processors Assoc., 614/889-0882
Midwest Food Processors Assoc.
Milk Industry Foundation

National Assoc. for the Specialty Food Trade
National Assoc. of Beverage Importers
National Assoc. of Fruits, Flavors & Syrups
National Assoc. of Margarine Manufacturers
National Assoc. of Wholesaler-Distributors, 202/872-0885
National Beer Wholesalers Assoc., 703/683-4300
National Beverage Packaging Assoc.
National Chicken Council
National Cattlemen’s Beef Assoc.
National Cheese Institute
National Coffee Assoc.
National Confectioners Assoc.
National Corn Growers Assoc.
National Cottonseed Products Assoc.
National Fisheries Institute
National Food Distributors Assoc.
National Food Processors Assoc.
National Frozen Food Assoc.
National Frozen Pizza Institute, 703/821-0770
National Grocers Assoc., 703/437-5300
National Honey Board
National Ice Cream & Yogurt Retailers Assoc. Inc.
National Institute of Oilseed Products
National Juice Products Assoc.
National Meat Assoc.
National Meat Canners Assoc., 703/841-3680
National Milk Producers Federation
National Nutritional Foods Assoc.
National Oilseed Processors Assoc.
National Paperbox Assoc.
National Pasta Assoc.
National Pecan Shellers Assoc.
National Pork Producers Council
National Potato Council
National Prepared Food Assoc.
National Restaurant Assoc.
National Soft Drink Assoc.
National Sunflower Assoc.
National Turkey Federation
National Watermelon Assoc., 912/775-2130
National Yogurt Assoc.
North American Blueberry Council
North American Meat Processors Assoc.
North American Millers’ Assoc., 202/484-2200
Northeast Fresh Foods Alliance, 617/963-9726
Northwest Food Processors Assoc.

Organic Trade Assoc.

Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI)
Paperboard Packaging Council
Peanut & Tree Nut Processors Assoc.
Peanut Advisory Board
The Peanut Institute Inc.
Pear Bureau Northwest
Pet Food Institute
Plastics Institute of America Inc.
Private Label Manufacturers Assoc.
Processed Apples Institute
Produce Marketing Assoc.

Refrigerated Foods Assoc., 770/452-0660
Research Chefs Association
R&D Associates
Retailer’s Bakery Association

Salt Institute
Scale Manufacturers Assoc. Inc.
Snack Food Assoc.
Society for Foodservice Management
Southeastern Food Processors Association
Soy Protein Council
The Sugar Assoc.

Tea Assoc. of the USA Inc.
Tortilla Industry Assoc.

United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Assoc.
United Soybean Board
U.S. Dairy Export Council
U.S. Meat Export Federation
U.S. Poultry & Egg Assoc.
USA Rice Federation

Walnut Marketing Board
Washington State Apple Commission
Wheat Foods Council

Food and Beverage Industry Associations via Careers in Food
AACC International
International organization whose members are specialists in the…
American Cheese Society
The American Cheese Society (ACS) was founded in 1982 and has grown to include approximately 1,200 members. The Society’s membership …
Farmers’ Rice Cooperative
Grower-owned rice marketing cooperative.
Agriculture Council of America
Dedicated to increasing the public awareness of agriculture’s vital role in our society.
Almond Board of California
Promotes the best quality almonds, tracks almond industry statistics…
American Association of Candy Technologists
Professional group dedicated to the advancement of the confectionery industry.
American Association of Meat Processors
North America’s largest meat trade organization.
American Bakers Association
National trade organization for baking industry since 1897.
American Dairy Products Institute
National trade organization of the processed dairy products industry.
American Dairy Science Association
Organization of people who are committed to advancing the dairy industry…
American Egg Board
The American Egg Board (AEB) is the U.S. egg producer’s link to consumers in communicating the value of the incredible egg…
American Farm Bureau
Farm Bureau is an independent, non-governmental, voluntary organization governed by and representing farm and ranch families….
American Feed Industry Association
Works for the Feed and Pet Food Industry.AFIA closely monitors and influences…
American Frozen Food Institute
The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) is the national trade association that promotes the interests of all segments…
American Institute of Baking
AIB provides Food Safety Inspections, Audits, and Certifications, Food Safety Education…
American Malting Barley Association, Inc
The American Malting Barley Association, Inc. (AMBA) Mission is to encourage and support production…
American Meat Institute
The American Meat Institute (AMI) is the nation’s oldest and largest meat and poultry trade association…
American Meat Science Association
Professional society that provides a forum for all interests in the meat industry.
American Mushroom Institute
The American Mushroom Institute (AMI) is a national voluntary trade association representing the growers, processors…
American Peanut Shellers Association
The primary purpose of the American Peanut Shellers Association is to promote the common interests of those engaged in the peanut shelling…
American Pie Council
The American Pie Council® (APC) is the only organization committed to preserving America’s pie heritage…
American Protein Producers Industry
The Animal Protein Producers Industry (APPI) is a non-profit industry corporation…
American Seed Trade Association
From alfalfa to zucchini and all the agronomic crops in between, the American Seed Trade Association…
American Society of Agricultural Engineers
Dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food, and biological systems.
American Society of Bakery Engineers
The American Society of Baking is a professional organization that brings together individuals in the grain-based food…
American Society of Brewing Chemists
The American Society of Brewing Chemists was founded in 1934 to improve and bring uniformity to the brewing industry…
American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF SUGAR CANE TECHNOLOGISTS (ASSCT) is a society interested in the general study of the cane sugar…
American Soybean Association
For the past 90 years, the American Soybean Association has met the demands of a growing world…
American Spice Trade Association
The American Spice Trade Association is a trade association that represents the U.S. spice industry…
American Sugar Alliance
The American Sugar Alliance is a national coalition of sugarcane and sugarbeet farmers, processors, refiners, suppliers…
American Sugar Cane League
Representing Louisiana’s sugar cane growers and processors.
American Sugarbeet Growers Association
Trade association in representing domestic sugarbeet growers in 13 states.
American Wholesale Marketers Association
The American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA) is the only international trade organization…
Apricot Producers of California
Dedicated to California’s apricot industry.
Association for Dressings and Sauces
Since 1926, ADS has made this their creed by working together with members on government and technical issues and consumer awareness…
Association of Food Industries
Trade association serving the food import trade.
Association of Fruit and Vegetable Inspection
Comprised of inspection programs responsible for the shipping point inspection…
Baking Industry Sanitation Standards Committee
Formed to develop voluntary sanitation standards for the design & construction of bakery equipment.
Beer Institute
Beer Institute was organized in 1986 to represent the industry before Congress, state legislatures…
Beer Institute Online
Beer Institute was organized in 1986 to represent the industry before Congress, state legislatures…
Beet Sugar Development Foundation
Supplying Research & Development and Educational Programs to the Beet Sugar Industry.
Beverage Marketing Corporation
Provides market research, publishing, mergers and acquisition consulting to beverage industry.
Biscuits & Crackers Manufacturing Association
The B&CMA is a 109 year old international trade organization representing the entire spectrum of companies…
Bread Bakers Guild of America
Promotes interaction & exchange of information between artisan bakers…
Brewers’ Association
The Brewers Association is an organization of brewers, for brewers and by brewers. More than 1,000 US brewery members…
California Avocado Commission
Resource for the California Avocado industry.
Can Manufacturers Institute
Represents the industry before Congress, the Administration, and state governments.
Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology
Members are scientists & technologists in industry, government & academia who are committed to advancing food science & technology.
Cherry Marketing Institute
National promotion organization for tart cherries.
Corn Refiners Association
Based in Washington, D.C., the Corn Refiners Association is the national trade association representing the corn refining…
Council for Responsible Nutrition
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973 and based in Washington, D.C…
Cranberry Institute
The Cranberry Institute is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1951 to further the success of cranberry growers…
Dairy Management
Helps build demand for dairy and is dedicated to the success of the dairy industry.
Our web-based dairy supply chain collaboration, dairy transportation, and dairy commodity trading solutions…
Distilled Spirits Council of the USA
The Distilled Spirits Council is the national trade association representing America’s leading distillers…
Eastern Perishable Products Association
Serves the perishable products industry.
Fats and Protein Research Foundation
The Fats and Proteins Research Foundation was organized in 1962 to serve…
Food & Drug Law Institute
Dedicated to improving the understanding of the laws, regulations, and policies affecting healthcare technologies, food and cosmetics.
Food Industry Suppliers Association
Distributor-led trade association representing food industry suppliers.
Food Ingredient Distribution Association
Association to increase the value of food ingredient distribution services.
Food Institute
Provides specialized services for companies or trade organizations.
Food Processors of Canada
Food Processors of Canada (FPC) is an internationally respected business association serving food industry…
Grain Net
Information for the Grain, Milling, Feed & Seed Industries.
Grocery Manufacturers of America
Association of grocery manufacturers, retailers, distributors, clubs, etc.
Grocery Manufacturers of America
GMA represents the world’s leading branded food, beverage and consumer products companies. GMA member companies…
Hop Growers of America
Hop Growers of America is a non-profit association that represents and promotes the interests of U.S…
Independent Professional Seedsmen Association
Promoting opportunities appropriate to family-owned seed companies.
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Promotes family farms, rural communities and ecosystems around the world through research, education, science, technology, and advocacy.
Institute of Food Technologists
Clearing house of info for scientific applications related to foods and food products.
Institute of Packaging Professionals
National organization of packaging professionals.
Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils
Resources relating to the edible fats and oils industry.
Interbev Ltd.
Allows access to all the new products & technologies (for all beverages) to help…
International Association for Food Protection
Association of food safety professionals.
International Bottled Water Association
Trade association representing the bottled water industry.
International Dairy Foods Association
Represents more than 500 dairy food manufacturers, marketers, distributors…
International Dairy·Deli·Bakery Association
Reflects the changing scope of member needs in the dairy, deli, bakery and related industries.
International Food Information Council
IFIC’s mission is to communicate science-based information on food safety and nutrition.
International Society of Beverage Technologists
Organization whose interest is the technical and scientific aspects of soft drinks and beverages.
Master Brewers Association of the Americas
Leading technical organization in the brewing industry.
Meat Marketing & Technology
Magazine dedicated solely to the U.S./Canadian meat processing industry.
Midwest Food Processors Association
Foremost legislative voice of the food processing industry in the Midwest.
Milk Industry Foundation
Represent processors’ and manufacturers’ concerns facing the milk industry.
Mushroom Council
Created to serve the Mushroom Industry.
The Public Health and Safety Company. Food industry health, safety and audit specialists.
Nat’l Assoc. of Flavors & Food-Ingredient Systems
Association of processors and suppliers of fruits, flavors, syrups, colors, sweeteners, cocoa and related food ingredients.
National Association for the Specialty Food Trade
The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade is a not-for-profit…
National Association of Flavors and Food
Association of manufacturers, processors and suppliers of fruits, flavors, syrups, and related food ingredients.
National Association of Margarine Manufacturers
Association serving health conscious consumers and the margarine industry.
National Association of Wheat Growers
Partnership of U.S. wheat growers who are working for a better future for their industry and the public.
National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
Trade association that represents the wholesale distribution industry.
National Beer Wholesalers Association
Represents more than 2,300 licensed independent beer wholesalers.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Association for America’s cattle farmers and ranchers.
National Cherry Growers & Industries Foundation
The National Cherry Growers and Industries Foundation (commonly called simply as NCGIF) is a nonprofit corporation…
National Coffee Association
Comprised of coffee producers, exporters, importers, roasters, wholesalers/distributors…
National Coffee Association of USA
The first trade association for the U.S. coffee industry.
National Confectioners Association (NCA)
National Trade Association dedicated to promoting/protecting the confectionery industry.
National Corn Growers Association
Federation which develops and implements polices and programs to protect and advance the corn producer’s interests.
National Cottonseed Products Association
Organization engaged in the processing & marketing of cottonseed products.
National Country Ham Association
Represents the interests of Country Ham Producers nationwide.
National Frozen Foods Association
Promote sales of frozen foods through education, training, research and sales planning.
National Grain Sorghum Producers
Organization representing U.S. grain sorghum farmers nationwide.
National Grain and Feed Association
Association that represents and provides services for grain, feed and grain-related commercial businesses.
National Honey Board
The National Honey Board is a federal research and promotion board under USDA oversight that conducts research…
National Institute of Oilseed Products
Association promoting the use of vegetable oils and raw materials.
National Meat Association
Advocating the interests of the meat industry since 1946.
National Milk Producers Federation
Primary national representative of dairy producers which directly lobbies Congress.
National Nutritional Foods Association
Represents the interests of manufacturers and retailers of a wide variety of natural products.
National Oilseed Processors Association
Organization representing the soybean, sunflower, canola, flaxseed and safflower seed crushing industries.
National Onion Association
The Voice of the Onion Industry.
National Pasta Association
The NPA is the trade association for U.S. pasta manufacturers and related suppliers.
National Pecan Shellers Assoc.
Focuses on the Pecan industry.
National Pork Board
National Pork Board.
National Pork Producers Council
Conducts public policy outreach on behalf of its 44 affiliated state association members.
National Potato Council
Association working for the well being of the U.S. potato industry on governmental issues.
National Poultry and Food Distributors Association
Provide services to poultry processors, further processors, distributors and marketers.
National Renderers Association
Members of this association are all in the business of rendering, i.e. transforming…
National Turkey Federation
National advocate for all segments of the turkey industry.
National Yogurt Association
Official resource for yogurt information.
North American Blueberry Council
Organization of members in the highbush blueberry industry.
North American Meat Processors Association
Serves the needs of its members through services and educational programs, meetings and seminars.
North American Millers’ Association
Trade association of the wheat, corn, oat and rye milling industry.
Northern Nut Growers Association
Brings together people interested in growing nut trees.
Northwest Food Processors Association
Regional trade association for the fruit and vegetable processing industry since 1914.
Organic Trade Association
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for the organic industry…
Pacific Northwest Grain & Feed Assoc.
Serves the needs of firms involved with grain, feed, and other agricultural commodities within the Pacific Northwest.
Peanut & Tree Nut Processors Assoc.
Provides a forum for processors, manufacturers, & suppliers of peanuts, tree nuts, and related products.
Peanut Advisory Board
Association representing peanut farmers in Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
Peanut Institute
Dedicated to expanding state-of-the-art knowledge regarding peanuts and peanut products.
Pet Food Institute
National Trade Association of dog and cat food manufacturers.
Pickle Packers International
Association for the pickled vegetable industry.
Private Label Manufacturers Association
Represents more than 3,200 companies around the world.
Produce Marketing Association
Trade association serving those who market fresh fruits, vegetables, and related products worldwide.
R&D Associates for Military Food & Packaging
Provides the safest and highest quality food and food service to the U.S. Armed Forces.
Refrigerated Foods Association
Goal is to become the principal association for prepared refrigeration food companies.
Salt Institute
Association of salt producers founded in 1914.
Snack Food Association
The Snack Food Association (SFA) is the international trade association of the snack food industry representing snack..
Society of Human Resource Managment (SHRM)
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management…
Southwest Meat Association
Created to give support to its members by initiating opportunities & resolving problems.
Soy Protein Council
Formed to discuss and act on common issues of concern to the soy industry.
Sugar Association
Educates consumer and professional audiences about pure, natural sugar.
Tea Association
Association to protect the interests of the tea trade in the United States.
Tortilla Industry Association
The Tortilla Industry Association (TIA) was created in 1989 to serve the emerging tortilla industry…
U.S. Dairy Export Council
Represents the interests of milk producers, dairy cooperatives, proprietary processors, export traders and industry suppliers.
U.S. Grains Council
Building global markets for U.S. grains.
U.S. Meat Export Federation
Working to create opportunities & develop existing international markets for U.S. beef, pork, lamb and veal.
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association
World’s largest and most active poultry organization.
U.S. Wheat Associates
Develops export markets on behalf of American wheat farmers.
USA Rice Federation
Promotes the domestic and international demand for rice.
United Egg Association
Alliance of four separate organizations providing services to the egg industry.
United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association
Promotes the growth and success of produce companies and their partners.
United Soybean Board
Link to subscribe to USB’s Publications!
Virginia Apple Growers Association
Virginia’s Red and Golden Delicious varieties are the all-time favorites…
Walnut Marketing Board
Promotes usage of walnuts in the U.S. through publicity, product promotions and production research & education programs.
Washington State Potatoes
State association to promote potato growers and suppliers.
Western Growers Association
Trade association whose members grow, pack, and ship 90 percent of the fresh vegetables in California and Arizona.
Wheat Foods Council
The Wheat Foods Council is an industry-wide partnership dedicated to increasing wheat and other grain foods…
Wheat Quality Council
Goal is to enhance the milling and end-use qualities of wheat in the United States.
Wine Institute
The public policy advocacy association of California wineries.
Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, Inc
National trade organization representing the wholesale branch of the wine and spirits industry.

Nonfiction Reading List for Summer

New Nonfiction 


Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir
By Lawson, Jenny
2012-04 – Amy Einhorn Books

BookPage Notable Title


Internet star Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her comedic and pointed debut. Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. 

Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man
By Kurlansky, Mark
2012-05 – Doubleday Books

BookPage Notable Title


From the author of “Cod,” “Salt,” and other informative bestsellers, comes the first biography of Clarence Birdseye, the eccentric genius inventor whose fast-freezing process revolutionized the food industry and American agriculture. 

Paris, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down Paris, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down
By Baldwin, Rosecrans
2012-04 – Farrar Straus Giroux

BookPage Notable Title


An offbeat, up-to-date, surprising entry in the expat canon, this is a book about a young man who witnesses his Paris preconceptions replaced by the oddities of a vigorous, nervy city–exactly what he needs to uncover a Paris of his own, and fall in love with the city all over again. 

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
By Quindlen, Anna
2012-04 – Random House

BookPage Notable Title


Suddenly sixty, Quindlen, a Pulitzer Prizewinning columnist and best-selling novelist, finds herself looking back on her life. She’s not so much wondering how she got where she is but, rather, considering how the choices she made and the chances she took along the way have prepared her for the road ahead. What even to call this next stage in a woman’s life? Not elderly, certainly, yet definitely no longer young, this middle-aged morass can be hard to navigate. 

A Wedding in Haiti: The Story of a Friendship A Wedding in Haiti: The Story of a Friendship
By Alvarez, Julia
2012-04 – Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

BookPage Notable Title


Julia Alvarez has been called “a one-woman cultural collision” by the “Los Angeles Times Book Review,” and that has never been truer than in this story about three of her most personal relationships–with her parents, with her husband, and with a young Haitian boy known as Piti. 

Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son
By Lamott, Anne
With Lamott, Sam
2012-03 – Riverhead Books

BookPage Notable Title


In “Some Assembly Required,” Anne Lamott enters a new and unexpected chapter of her own life: grandmotherhood. Stunned to learn that her son, Sam, is about to become a father at nineteen, Lamott begins a journal about the first year of her grandson Jax’s life. 

Power Genes: Understanding Your Power Persona–and How to Wield It at Work

A New Way of Looking at Power at Work

Who hasn’t left the office after a particularly frustrating day wondering what they could have done to turn a negative experience into a positive one? Perhaps it was a difficult conversation with a domineering boss, or an encounter with a know-it-all peer who made you feel insecure. Would you believe the way you react to these interactions likely stems from the dynamics you experienced as a child? Could it be that your childhood persona has grown into your power persona at work?

In Power Genes, executive coach Maggie Craddock reveals how to kick those old habits—trying too hard to please, acting out, using manipulative methods of persuasion—and tells how to use power more effectively to advance your career. Craddock identifies four power types and explains how to diagnose yours:

• The Pleaser—you make others feel good about themselves but need constant validation and approval from them
• The Charmer—you draw others in with your charm, yet trust is your Achilles heel
• The Commander—you take charge of the situation and gain admiration from others, but fear any loss of control
• The Inspirer—you are star power in action, yet your vision for the future can derail the needs of workers right now

The book outlines a process for avoiding your type’s signature destructive reflexes and replacing them with new behaviors—helping you to interact productively with other people in the office. By showing you how to recognize your type’s blind spots and then recondition your actions, Power Genes will give you the insights and action plan you need to become a more consistently powerful professional. It’s time to throw out unproductive habits and take charge of your workplace relationships.

Editorial Reviews


“Career success is determined in large measure by the quality of our working relationships. By teaching us how to improve our interactions with others, Maggie Craddock illuminates new pathways to a more rewarding and fulfilling career.”
–Keith Green, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Freddie Mac

“Maggie Craddock once again shines a bright light onto the nature of power and leadership and the role of nurture in their use. Leaders of today and tomorrow will find her insights a challenge to the normal leadership rhetoric while being both practical and inspirational.”
–Lara Warner, CFO, Credit Suisse Investment Bank

“Regardless of where you fit on the Power Grid, understanding Maggie Craddock’s insight that who you are and where you come from impact how you are perceived by others is critical to becoming a more effective leader.”
–Brian P. Hull, Group Managing Director, UBS Wealth Management Americas

“We don’t have to be prisoners of our instincts! In this insightful book, Maggie Craddock shows how to become more deliberately effective in workplace relationships with colleagues and clients—a key to career success.”
–Roelfien Kuijpers, Global Head, DB Advisors

“Power Genes is a recipe book for improving the effectiveness of your personal interactions—it provides great insights into the DNA that drives how you act or lead based on your family structure. What’s different about this book is the recognition that we don’t all operate exclusively in one persona; we can alter our natural reactions to get the most out of our relationships.”
–Eric Elliott, President and CEO, Prime Therapeutics

About the Author

Maggie Craddock is an executive coach and author of The Authentic Career: Following the Path of Self-Discovery to Professional Fulfillment. Prior to coaching, she received two Lipper Awards for managing the top mutual fund in its class nationwide. She is an Ackerman-certified family therapist.

Popular Highlights



Resentment is the number one energy drain for hardworking Pleasers who have fallen into the trap of giving more than they get on a consistent basis. &quote;


The challenge for the Pleaser is to break out of the scarcity mind-set so that they learn to value themselves from within and balance their calling to support others with a commitment to achieving their own goals. &quote;


Pleasers under fire must resist the urge to unburden themselves emotionally with their staff. &quote;


“It doesn’t matter if they like you. It matters that they respect you.” &quote;


Maintain a decisive image, and keep your reports busy with clearly defined assignments. &quote;


They often dash from one achievement to the next because they are compelled by the need to distract themselves from uncomfortable feelings within. &quote;


To stay on track professionally, the Pleaser must learn to stay focused on resolving the professional issue at hand and mopping up any hurt feelings later. &quote;


Power is often established in the informal moments between people, where there is no official script to follow. &quote;


Pleasers need to take care that their loyalty isn’t driving them to produce results for others at their own expense. &quote;


“When you can make others feel great about themselves in your presence, that’s power!” &quote;

Fiction Best Sellers January 2012


11/22/63 11/22/63
By King, Stephen
2011-11 – Scribner Book Company
BookPage Notable Title King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination. Jake Epping is a 35-year-old high-school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. 864 pp. 2,000,000 print. (General Fiction)  
Death Comes to Pemberley Death Comes to Pemberley
By James, P.D.
2011-12 – Knopf Publishing Group
A rare meeting of literary genius: P. D. James, long among the most admired mystery writers of our time, draws the characters of Jane Austen’s beloved novel “Pride and Prejudice” into a tale of murder and emotional mayhem. Pemberley is thrown into chaos after Elizabeth Bennett’s disgraced sister Lydia arrives and announces that her husband Wickham has been murdered. 
The Art of Fielding The Art of Fielding
By Harbach, Chad
2011-09 – Little Brown and Company
At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.
The Sense of an Ending The Sense of an Ending
By Barnes, Julian
2011-10 – Knopf Publishing Group
2011 Man Booker Prize WinnerBy an acclaimed writer at the height of his powers, “The Sense of an Ending” extends a streak of extraordinary books that began with “Arthur & George” and continued with “Nothing to Be Frightened Of” and, most recently, “Pulse.” 
1q84 1q84
By Murakami, Haruki
Translator Rubin, Jay
Translator Gabriel, Philip
2011-10 – Knopf Publishing Group
BookPage Notable TitleThe long-awaited magnum opus from Haruki Murakami, in which this revered and best-selling author gives us his hypnotically addictive, mind-bending ode to George Orwell’s “1984.” 
The Marriage Plot The Marriage Plot
By Eugenides, Jeffrey
2011-10 – Farrar Straus Giroux
BookPage Notable Title
It’s the early 1980s–the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. But real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. 416 pp. 400,000 print. (General Fiction) 


The Litigators The Litigators
By Grisham, John
2011-10 – Doubleday Books
The incomparable master of the legal thriller takes us deeper into the labyrinth that is the American justice system, always drawing us in with an irresistible hook, pull-ing the thread of tension tighter and tighter, and then knocking us out with a conclusion that’s never “by the book.” Maybe that’s why, after more than twenty years of consecutive #1 “New York Times” best sellers, a new novel by America’s favorite storyteller is still a major publishing event. 
The Night Circus The Night Circus
By Morgenstern, Erin
2011-09 – Doubleday BooksTo enter the black-and-white-striped tents of Le Cirque des Reves is to enter a world where objects really do turn into birds and people really do disappear. Even though visitors believe the performances are all illusion, they are obsessively drawn to this extraordinary night circus. Those who run and perform in the circus are its lifeblood. Marco Alisdair runs the operation from London as assistant to the eccentric proprietor. Celia Bowen holds it all together from her role as illusionist. As magicians, Marco and Celia are bound to each other in a deadly competition of powers, creating ever more fantastical venues for circus goers to marvel at. But falling in love was never part of the game, and the players struggle to extricate themselves from this contest while keeping the circus afloat. 
State of Wonder State of Wonder
By Patchett, Ann
2011-06 – Harper
BookPage Notable TitleAward-winning “New York Times”-bestselling author Patchett (“Bel Canto, The Magician’s Assistant”) returns with a provocative novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest–a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love. 
The Cat's Table The Cat’s Table
By Ondaatje, Michael
2011-10 – Knopf Publishing Group
BookPage Notable Title
From Michael Ondaatje: a stunning new novel–by turns poignant and electrifying–about the magical, often forbidden, discoveries of childhood and a lifelong journey that begins unexpectedly with a sea voyage. 
The Paris Wife The Paris Wife
By McLain, Paula
2011-02 – Ballantine Books
BookPage Notable TitleA deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, “The Paris Wife” captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley. 
The Drop The Drop
By Connelly, Michael
2011-11 – Little Brown and Company
BookPage Notable Title
Harry Bosch has been given three years before he must retire from the LAPD, and he wants cases more fiercely than ever. In one morning, he gets two. DNA from a 1989 rape and murder case matches a 29-year-old convicted rapist. Was he an eight-year-old killer or has something gone terribly wrong in the new Regional Crime Lab? 416 pp. (Espionage/Thriller) 


The Leopard The Leopard
By Nesbo, Jo
Translator Bartlett, Don
2011-12 – Knopf Publishing Group
Two women are found murdered in Oslo–both of them have drowned in their own blood. What mystifies the police is that the puncture wounds in the victims’ faces have been caused from the inside of their mouths. Kaja Solness from Homicide is sent to Hong Kong to track down a man who is the Oslo Police Department’s only specialist on serial killings. The severely addicted detective has tried to disappear in the vast, anonymous city. He is on the run and haunted by his last case, the woman he loves, and creditors alike. His name is Harry Hole. 
V Is for Vengeance V Is for Vengeance
By Grafton, Sue
2011-11 – Marian Wood Book
BookPage Notable Title
A woman with a murky past who kills herself. A dying old man. A lovely woman. A professional shoplifting ring. A brutal and unscrupulous gangster. A wandering husband. A spoiled kid. A lonely widower. An elegant but ruthless businessman whose dealings are definitely outside the law: the spider at the center of the web. And in the middle of it all is Kinsey Millhone, whose 38th-birthday gift is a punch in the face that leaves her with two black eyes and a busted nose. 448 pp. 1,250,000 print. (Mystery/Detective) 


The Prague Cemetery The Prague Cemetery
By Eco, Umberto
Translator Dixon, Richard
2011-11 – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
The story of a secret agent who weaves plots, conspiracies, intrigues and attacks, and helps determine the historical and political fate of the Continent. 

Book list

Books on the Air

 Baking With the Cake Boss by Buddy Valastro
 100 Plus by Sonia Arrison
The Tanning of America by Steve Stoute
Simple Family Meals by Mario Batali
Almost President by Scott Farris
Rotis by Stephane Reynaud
Then Again by Diane Keaton

The Magical Christmas Horse by Mary Higgins Clark

Warren Buffett Stock Portfolio by Mary Buffett and David Clark

Queen of America by Luis Alberto Urrea

The Artist of Disappearance by Anita Desai

Ben-Gurion by Shimon Peres
Weekend Edition: 420 Characters by Lou Beach

Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson
Extra Virginity by Tom Mueller

Best Business Books of 2011

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
18 Minutes by Peter Bregman
Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo
Reinventing Discovery by Michael Nielsen
Nothing To Lose, Everything To Gain by Ryan Blair
Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
You Must Read This: Elegies for the Brokenhearted by Christie Hodgen reviewed by Stewart O’Nan

Morning Edition: Nancy Pearl‘s 2011 Picks
In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard
A World on Fire by Amanda Foreman
Blind Sight by Meg Howrey
The Summer of the Bear by Bella Pollen
By George by Wesley Stace
Vaclav and Lena by Haley Tanner
Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham

All Things Considered: 3 Books on Masquerading Identities
The Runner by David Samuels
Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
Arthur Mervyn Or, Memoirs of the Year 1793 by Charles Brockden Brown

All Things Considered: Something For Nothing by Michael W. Klein
Diane Rehm Show: The Accordion Family by Katherine Newman
Marketplace: An Economist Gets Lunch by Tyler Cowen

Year-End-Wrap-Up: The 10 Best Novels of 2011
Swamplandia by Karen Russell
Open City by Teju Cole
The Submission by Amy Waldman
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier
The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Train Dreams by Denis Johnson
The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
All Things Considered: Alan Cheuse Picks The Best Books To Give As Gifts
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston
Queen of America by Luis Alberto Urrea
The Complete Record Cover Collection by R. Crumb
The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
Fired Up: The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Fantasy
A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente
Rule 34 by Charles Stross
The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Apollo’s Angels by Jennifer Homans
A Passion For The Past: Best Historical Fiction of 2011
Elizabeth I by Margaret George
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Fiction Best Sellers

Fiction Best Sellers


1q84 1q84
By Murakami, Haruki
Translator Rubin, Jay
Translator Gabriel, Philip
2011-10 – Knopf Publishing Group

BookPage Notable Title


The long-awaited magnum opus from Haruki Murakami, in which this revered and best-selling author gives us his hypnotically addictive, mind-bending ode to George Orwell’s “1984.” 

The Litigators The Litigators
By Grisham, John
2011-10 – Doubleday Books



The incomparable master of the legal thriller takes us deeper into the labyrinth that is the American justice system, always drawing us in with an irresistible hook, pull-ing the thread of tension tighter and tighter, and then knocking us out with a conclusion that’s never “by the book.” Maybe that’s why, after more than twenty years of consecutive #1 “New York Times” best sellers, a new novel by America’s favorite storyteller is still a major publishing event. 

The Marriage Plot The Marriage Plot
By Eugenides, Jeffrey
2011-10 – Farrar Straus Giroux

BookPage Notable Title


It’s the early 1980s–the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. But real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. 416 pp. 400,000 print. (General Fiction) 

The Sense of an Ending The Sense of an Ending
By Barnes, Julian
2011-10 – Knopf Publishing Group

2011 Man Booker Prize Winner


By an acclaimed writer at the height of his powers, “The Sense of an Ending” extends a streak of extraordinary books that began with the best-selling “Arthur & George” and continued with “Nothing to Be Frightened Of” and, most recently, “Pulse.”

Out of Oz: The Final Volume in the Wicked Years Out of Oz: The Final Volume in the Wicked Years
By Maguire, Gregory
2011-11 – William Morrow & Company


Maguire returns with the final installment in his transformative work, a thrilling and compulsively readable saga in which the fate of Oz is decided at last. The stirring, long-awaited conclusion to the extraordinary bestselling series begun with “Wicked”, “Out of Oz” is a magical journey rife with revelations and reversals, reprisals and surprises–the hallmarks of the brilliant and unique imagination of Maguire. 592 pp. (General Fiction) 

The Night Circus The Night Circus
By Morgenstern, Erin
2011-09 – Doubleday Books 

To enter the black-and-white-striped tents of Le Cirque des Reves is to enter a world where objects really do turn into birds and people really do disappear. Even though visitors believe the performances are all illusion, they are obsessively drawn to this extraordinary night circus. Those who run and perform in the circus are its lifeblood. Marco Alisdair runs the operation from London as assistant to the eccentric proprietor. Celia Bowen holds it all together from her role as illusionist. As magicians, Marco and Celia are bound to each other in a deadly competition of powers, creating ever more fantastical venues for circus goers to marvel at. But falling in love was never part of the game, and the players struggle to extricate themselves from this contest while keeping the circus afloat. 

The Paris Wife The Paris Wife
By McLain, Paula
2011-02 – Ballantine Books
BookPage Notable Title

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, “The Paris Wife” captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley. 

Zero Day Zero Day
By Baldacci, David
2011-10 – Grand Central Publishing 

John Puller is a combat veteran and the best military investigator in the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigative Division. Now, Puller is called out on a case in a remote, rural area in West Virginia coal country far from any military outpost. Someone has stumbled onto a brutal crime scene, a family slaughtered. 416 pp. (Espionage/Thriller)

The Cat's Table The Cat’s Table
By Ondaatje, Michael
2011-10 – Knopf Publishing Group

BookPage Notable Title


From Michael Ondaatje: a stunning new novel–by turns poignant and electrifying–about the magical, often forbidden, discoveries of childhood and a lifelong journey that begins unexpectedly with a sea voyage.

A Dance with Dragons A Dance with Dragons
By Martin, George R. R.
2011-07 – Bantam Books


Dubbed “the American Tolkien” by “TIME” magazine, Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the #1 “New York Times”-bestselling author delivers the fifth book in his landmark series–as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire. 

State of Wonder State of Wonder
By Patchett, Ann
2011-06 – Harper

BookPage Notable Title


Award-winning “New York Times”-bestselling author Patchett (“Bel Canto, The Magician’s Assistant”) returns with a provocative novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest–a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love. 

The Affair The Affair
By Child, Lee
2011-09 – Delacorte Press



Ever wonder why Jack Reacher left the Military Police and became a one-man freelance vigilante squad? Child goes back 14 years to show how it all happened. 

The Best of Me The Best of Me
By Sparks, Nicholas
2011-10 – Grand Central Publishing



Sparks’ latest is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they’ve taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined–and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of their mentor, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past. 288 pp. (General Fiction) 

The Dovekeepers The Dovekeepers
By Hoffman, Alice
2011-10 – Scribner Book Company



Hoffman weaves a spellbinding tale of four extraordinary, bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in desperate days. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets–about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and who they love. 512 pp. 150,000 print. (General Fiction) 

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows: A Flavia de Luce Novel I Am Half-Sick of Shadows: A Flavia de Luce Novel
By Bradley, Alan
Author Bradley, C. Alan
2011-11 – Delacorte Press


It’s Christmastime, and the precocious Flavia de Luce–an 11-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry and a penchant for crime-solving–is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ decaying English estate, to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern. 

5 Must-Read Books on Error and the Science of Being Wrong

via Daily Good

–by Maria Popova , Original Story

 What Ronald Reagan has to do with gorilla costumes, Shakespeare and fake pennies.

The intricate mechanisms of the human mind are endlessly fascinating. We’ve previously explored various facets of how the mind works — from how we decide towhat makes us happy to why music affects us so deeply — and today we’re turning to when it doesn’t: Here are five fantastic reads on why we err, what it means to be wrong, and how to make cognitive lemonade out of wrongness’s lemons.


The pleasure of being right is one of the most universal human addictions and most of us spend an extraordinary amount of effort on avoiding or concealing wrongness. But error, it turns out, isn’t wrong. In fact, it’s not only what makes us human but also what enhances our capacity for empathy, optimism, courage and conviction. InBeing Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, which we featured as one of the 5 must-read books by TED 2011 speakers, Kathryn Schulz examines wrongology with the rigorous lens of a researcher and the cunning wit of a cultural commentator to reveal how the mind works through the eloquent convergence of cognitive science, social psychology and philosophical inquiry.

However disorienting, difficult, or humbling our mistakes might be, it is ultimately wrongness, not rightness, that can teach us who we are.” ~ Kathryn Schulz

From Shakespeare to Freud, Schulz examines some of history’s greatest thinkers’ perspectives on being wrong and emerges with a compelling counterpoint to our collective cultural aversion to wrongness, arguing instead that error is a precious gift that fuels everything from art to humor to scientific discovery and, perhaps most importantly, a transformative force of personal growth that to be embraced, not extinguished.

To err is to wander, and wandering is the way we discover the world; and, lost in thought, it is also the way we discover ourselves. Being right might be gratifying, but in the end it is static, a mere statement. Being wrong is hard and humbling, and sometimes even dangerous, but in the end it is a journey, and a story.” ~ Kathryn Schulz


In 2005, Joseph Hallinanwrote a front-page story for The Wall Street Journal, investigating the safety record of anesthesiologists with a dreadful track record in the operating room, letting patients turn blue and suffocate before their eyes. These mistakes, Hallinan found, were often attributed to “human error,” which assumes inevitability. Yet a closer analysis of these anesthesiologists’ process and practice revealed much could be done to avoid these deadliest of errors. So Hallinan spent nearly three years translating the insight from this particular story into the general world of human psychology, where error abounds in a multitude of realms.

Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average explores the cognitive mechanisms behind everything from forgetting our passwords to believing we can multitask (which we already know we can’t) to overestimating the impact of various environmental factors on our happiness. It’s essentially a study of human design flaws, examining our propensity for mistakes through a fascinating cross-section of psychology, neuroscience and behavioral economics.

We don’t think our perception is economical; we think it’s perfect. When we look at something, we think we see everything. But we don’t. Same with memory: we might think we remember everything, especially commonly encountered things like the words to the National Anthem, or the details on the surface of a penny—but we don’t. Our brains are wired to give us the most bang for the buck; they strip out all sorts of stuff that seems unimportant at the time. But we don’t know what’s been stripped out. One of the consequences of this is that we tend to be overconfident about the things we think we do know. And overconfidence is a huge cause of human error.” ~ Joseph Hallinan

Can you pick out the real penny? Check your answer here.


In 1999, Harvard researchers Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons conducted a now-iconic selective attention experiment. Chances are, you’ve seen it, as the video made the viral rounds 10 years after the original experiment, but on the off-chance you haven’t, we won’t spoil it for you: Just watch this video in which 6 people — 3 in white shirts and 3 in black — pass basketballs around; you must keep a silent count of the number of passes made by the people in white shirts. Ready?

Now, be honest: Did you notice the gorilla that nonchalantly strolled through the middle of the action at one point? If you answered “yes,” you’re pretty exceptional. Chabris and Simons found that more than half of people didn’t notice it so, astounded, they set out to investigate the curious cognitive glitches that made the gorilla invisible — what is it that makes us so tragicomically susceptible to missing valuable information and misperceiving reality?

Published 11 years after the original experiment,The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us encapsulates Chabris and Simons’ findings on the mechanisms behind this “inattentional blindness” and how they translate into fundamental human behavior. Through six compelling everyday illusions of perception, they swiftly and eloquently debunk conventional wisdom on everything from the accuracy of memory to the correlation between confidence and competence. The book, much to our delight, is written with the subtext of being an antidote to Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking which, for all its praises, is tragically plagued by out-of-context “research,” wishful dot-connecting and other classic Gladwellisms.


In 1987, Ronald Reagan stood up in front of the nation in the wake of the Iran contra-scandal to deliver his State of the Union address, in which he famously declared, “Mistakes were made.” The phrase became an infamous hallmark of diffusion of responsibility and the failure to own our mistakes, which inspired the title of social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson‘s excellent Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts — an ambitious quest to unravel the underpinnings of self-justification and, in the process, make us better human beings.

As fallible human beings, all of us share the impulse to justify ourselves and avoid taking responsibility for any actions that turn out to be harmful, immoral or stupid. Most of us will never be in a position to make decisions affecting the lives and deaths of millions of people, but whether the consequences of our mistakes are trivial or tragic, on a small scale or a national canvas, most of us find it difficult, if not impossible, to say, ‘I was wrong; I made a terrible mistake.’ The higher the stakes — emotional, financial, moral — the greater the difficulty.”

Tavris and Aronson examine the root cause of these self-righteous yet erroneous behaviors: Cognitive dissonance — the mental anguish that results from trying to reconcile two conflicting ideas, such as a belief we hold and a circumstantial fact that contradicts it. In our deep-seated need to see ourselves as honorable, competent and consistent, we often bend reality to confirm this self-perception, which in turn results in a domino effect of errors. Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) holds up an uncomfortable but profoundly illuminating mirror that not only exposes the engine of self-justification but also offers rich insight into the behavioral tactics that prevent and mediate it.


Written 20 years ago, How We Know What Isn’t So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life by Cornell psychologist Thomas Gilovich is arguably the most important critique on the biases of human reason ever published. It’s as much a throughly researched investigation into the science of mind as it is a compelling — and increasingly timely — treatise on the importance of not letting superstition and sloppy thinking cloud our judgement on a cultural and sociopolitical level.

Gilovich uses classic psychology experiments to extract practical insight and offer a recipe for using logical principles to predict and avoid our natural biases, from seeking confirmatory information to misattributing causality to random events and a wealth in between.

People do not hold questionable beliefs simply because they have not been exposed to the relevant evidence. Nor do people hold questionable beliefs simply because they are stupid or gullible. Quite the contrary. Evolution has given us powerful intellectual tools for processing vast amounts of information with accuracy and dispatch, and our questionable beliefs derive primarily from the misapplication or overutilization of generally valid and effective strategies for knowing. Just as we are subject to perceptual illusions in spite of, and largely because of, our extraordinary perceptual capacities, so too are many of our cognitive shortcomings closely related to, or even an unavoidable cost of, our greatest strengths.” ~ Thomas Gilovich

If this isn’t enough wrongology for you, we’ve compiled a complementary list of additional reading — take a look.

This article is reprinted with permission of Maria Popova. She is a cultural curator and curious mind at large, who also writes for Wired UK, The Atlantic and Design Observer, and is the founder and editor in chief of Brain Pickings.

Lincoln Leadership Executive Strategies

Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times

Principles delivered by the author.

1. Get out of the office and circulate among the troops
2. Build strong alliances
3. Persuade rather than coerce
4. Honesty and integrity are the best policies
5. Never act out of vengeance or spite
6. Have the courage to handle unjust criticism
7. Be a master of paradox
8. Exercise a strong hand – be decisive
9. Lead by being led
10. Set goals and be results oriented
11. Keep searching until you find your “Grant”
12. Encourage innovation
13. Master the art of public speaking
14. Influence people through conversation and storytelling
15. Preach a vision and continually reaffirm it

The chart No. of days per month on pg 23 demonstrates Lincoln’s practice of MBWA (management by walking around) during the course of his presidency.

The contents of the book are presented in four parts, each part breaks down into several sub-parts pertaining to the main topic:

Part I – People

Part II – Character

Part III – Endeavor

Part IV – Communication

Popular Highlights

&quote; If subordinates, or people in general, know that they genuinely have easy access to their leader, they’ll tend to view the leader in a more positive, trustworthy light. &quote;

&quote;Simply spending time together and getting to know one’s subordinates can overcome mountains of personal differences and hard feelings. &quote;
&quote; People generally want to believe that what they’re doing truly makes a difference and, more important, that it is their own idea. &quote;
&quote; But people are much more likely to trust a leader if they know he is compassionate and forgiving of mistakes. And trust, of course, is the essential building block for successful relationships. &quote;
&quote;When a leader begins to coerce his followers, he’s essentially abandoning leadership and embracing dictatorship. &quote;
&quote; If they knew what he would do, they could make their own decisions without asking him for direction, thereby avoiding delay and inactivity. &quote;
&quote;Abraham Lincoln knew the value of making requests as opposed to issuing orders. &quote;
&quote;One of the most effective ways to gain acceptance of a philosophy is to show it in your daily actions. In order to stage your leadership style, you must have an audience. By entering your subordinate’s environment – by establishing frequent human contact – you create a sense of commitment, collaboration, and community. You also gain access to vital information necessary to make effective decisions. Additionally, when personal contact is not possible, you can send surrogates to the field to obtain information. &quote;
&quote;Invariably an organization takes on the personality of its top leader, providing that individual is in touch with the members of the organization. If the leader is petty, the subordinates will be petty. But if the leader is encouraging, optimistic, and courteous, then the vast majority of the workers in the organization will be as well. &quote;
&quote;Pettiness, spite, and vengeance are emotional reactions considered to be beneath the dignity of a leader. &quote;

Books and Films on building a sustainable relationship with our planet…

The 11th Hour is a 2007 feature film documentary, created, produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, on the state of the natural environment.  With contributions from over 50 politicians, scientists, and environmental activists, including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, physicist Stephen Hawking, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai, and journalist Paul Hawken, the film documents the grave problems facing the planet’s life systems. Global warming, deforestation, mass species extinction, and depletion of the oceans’ habitats are all addressed. The film’s premise is that the future of humanity is in jeopardy. The film proposes potential solutions to these problems by calling for restorative action by the reshaping and rethinking of global human activity through technology, social responsibility, and conservation. Film website.

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein is, in essence, an assault on free-market capitalism. With this work, the author argues that free market policies conceived by Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics have been pushed through time and again all while societies are dealing with social upheaval or disaster. Book Website,presentation by the author at a Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives benefit event.

According to the World Bank, “the wars of the next century will be about water.” In Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit,” Vandana Shiva asks the pivotal question: Who should have control over water, corporations or communities? The author explores the emergence of corporate culture, and its threat to historical and communal water rights. She then outlines a global movement to keep life-sustaining water a universal right.Book Website.

Some societies seem to vanish from the face of the earth, or suddenly drop off the pages of history. Collapse by Jared Diamond is a discussion of how societies choose–or fail–to adapt. Whether societies, from the Maya in Central America to the Norse in Greenland, Diamond argues that survival is largely determined by five factors: climate change, hostile neighbors, trade partners (that is, alternative sources of essential goods), environmental problems, and, finally, a society’s response to its environmental problems.Book Website.

The Great Work by Thomas Berry Book Review on the author’s homepage.

Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben is a response to the all-to-pervasive assumption that more is better, rebuking the idea that growth is unequivocally positive. When does growth for growth’s sake begin to lose its appeal? How can we reorganize our priorities as a society to seek out the things that truly make us happy? McKibben asks us to reconsider what makes prosperity, and how we can make choices that simultaneously address our needs as individuals and as members of a community. Book Description on the author’s website.

The Age of Stupid is a climate blockbuster from McLibel director Franny Armstrong starring Pete Postlethwaite as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, asking: why didn’t we save ourselves when we had the chance?
Plot Outline
Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite (In The Name of the Father, Brassed Off) stars as a man living alone in the devasted world of 2055, looking back at “archive” footage from 2007 and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?
Pete Postlethwaite
Directed By
Franny Armstrong
Produced By
Lizzie Gillett & John Battsek

Stupid was launched in the UK on 15th March 2009 at the People’s Premiere. The green-carpet, solar-powered, celeb-tastic event broke the Guinness World Record for biggest simultaneous film screening (the cinema tent in Leicester Square beamed live by satellite to 61 cinemas round the country), whilst producing just 1% of the emissions of a normal premiere. Highlights included Gillian Anderson, Ken Livingstone, Will Young and loads of celebs on the green carpet, President Nasheed announcing that the Maldives will go carbon neutral in ten years and Pete Postlethwaite ambushing Climate Minister Ed Miliband with a giant pledge (resulting in, a month later, Ed changing the UK coal policy). And Stupid was Number 1 at the Box Office (by screen average) for a week too.

McLibel is the story of two ordinary people who humiliated McDonald’s in the biggest corporate PR disaster in history.

McDonald’s loved using the UK libel laws to suppress criticism. Major media organisations like the BBC and The Guardian crumbled and apologised. But then they sued gardener Helen Steel and postman Dave Morris.

In the longest trial in English legal history, the “McLibel Two” represented themselves against McDonald’s £10 million legal team. Every aspect of the corporation’s business was cross-examined: from junk food and McJobs, to animal cruelty, environmental damage and advertising to children.

Outside the courtroom, Dave brought up his young son alone and Helen supported herself working nights in a bar. McDonald’s tried every trick in the book against them. Legal manoeuvres. A visit from Ronald McDonald. Top executives flying to London for secret settlement negotiations. Even spies.

Seven years later, in February 2005, the marathon legal battle finally concluded at the European Court of Human Rights. And the result took everyone by surprise – especially the British Government.

McLibel is not just about hamburgers. It is about the importance of freedom of speech now that multinational corporations are more powerful than countries.  Filmed over ten years by no-budget Director Franny Armstrong, McLibel is the David and Goliath story of two people who refused to say sorry. And in doing so, changed the world.

The United States premiere of “A River Runs Through Us,” a film by Carla Pataky played to a standing-room only crowd at the Point Reyes Film Festival on February 26th and 27th. You can watch the film for free online on youtube, and download a free copy for educational or artistic use below or at the International Rivers website. The film is available in English or English with Spanish subtitles.
The documentary offers a personal and hopeful introduction to one of the biggest threats facing our world’s lifelines, as told by the people at the forefront of the global movement. Filmed at the Rivers for Life 3 meeting — a gathering of 350 river activists from 50 countries, held in rural Mexico — this documentary touches on issues such as how climate change will affect rivers and dams; what happens to communities displaced by or living downstream of large dams; and what kinds of solutions exist that both preserve our life-giving waterways while meeting our needs for energy and water.

Click on the awards below to see details about film screenings of A River Runs Through Us.

Columbia Gorge International Film Festival Official Selection Agitpop Film Festival Official Selection Geography of Hope Official Selection

From the Global Footprint NetworkJust what do terms like biodiversity, the Ecological Footprint and ecosystem services actually mean, and what do they have to do with our daily lives? Not Another Nature Film, produced by WWF for the launch of the 2010 Living Planet Report and narrated by British and actor and comic Stephen Merchant, takes a lighthearted look at a serious problem and reminds us why we need to play nice.

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