Book Bits | 29 February 2020

The Long Deep Grudge: A Story of Big Capital, Radical Labor, and Class War in the American Heartland
By Toni Gilpin
Summary via publisher (Haymarket Books)
This rich history details the bitter, deep-rooted conflict between industrial behemoth International Harvester and the uniquely radical Farm Equipment Workers union. The Long Deep Grudge makes clear that class warfare has been, and remains, integral to the American experience, providing up-close-and-personal and long-view perspectives from both sides of the battle lines. International Harvester – and the McCormick family that largely controlled it – garnered a reputation for bare-knuckled union-busting in the 1880s, but in the 20th century also pioneered sophisticated union-avoidance techniques that have since become standard corporate practice. On the other side the militant Farm Equipment Workers union, connected to the Communist Party, mounted a vociferous challenge to the cooperative ethos that came to define the American labor movement after World War II.

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success
By Ross Douthat
Review via The New Republic
In his new book, The Decadent Society: How We Became Victims of Our Own Success, Douthat takes an approach by turns sententious and statistical to argue that Western society has run out of gas. (Two of his previous books were calls for reform in the Republican Party and the modern church, but as neither institution seems to have improved as a result, he has moved on to society as a whole.) Regardless of your political persuasion, the broad strokes of his argument will be familiar, which is the point: The global economy is anemic, our domestic birth rates have plummeted, no one invents anything useful anymore, and Disney is doing too many remakes. It’s unclear what exactly happened or when, but between 1960 and 1980, all the material and immaterial gears in the developed world came to a grinding halt, and it’s unclear how long we have before the whole thing clanks apart.

The Income Factory: An Investor’s Guide to Consistent Lifetime Returns
By Steven Bavaria
Summary via publisher (McGraw-Hill)
The most common investing approach today—one that values “growth” over all else— can be ineffective and counterproductive for many investors, not to mention needlessly stressful. Now, one of Seeking Alpha’s most popular writers, Steven Bavaria, provides a groundbreaking alternative that will see you through all markets—up, down, and sideways. The Income Factory shows how to build an income stream that increases solidly and consistently—a result of re-investing and compounding the dividends. And the best part? This income stream actually grows faster during market downturns than during flat or rising market periods.

Borrowed from Your Grandchildren: The Evolution of 100-Year Family Enterprises
By Dennis T. Jaffe
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
While creating wealth is a wonderful achievement, business families are also concerned with how their wealth is used to support their values, the lives of their children and the well-being of the community. Over several generations, families who are successful in growing their wealth have been able to reinvent themselves and their business in the face of significant environmental transformations and internal differences cause by family dynamics. Borrowed from my Grandchildren is a fascinating look at how large, long-lasting business families succeed across generations. Author Dennis T. Jaffe, one of the leading architects of the field of family enterprise consulting, has interviewed members of successful, well known, 100-year family enterprises from 20 countries, who serve as role models for those wishing to see their wealth positively impact their children, employees, and communities.

The Wealthy Gardener: Lessons on Prosperity Between Father and Son
By John Soforic
Summary via publisher (Portfolio)
A heartwarming series of stories and practical wisdom on entrepreneurship and wealth in the vein of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, written by a financially independent father for his ambitious son. Soon after he opened his vineyard for business many years ago, the Wealthy Gardener noticed a puzzling fact. Everyone wanted money, but only a few people managed to accumulate it. The reason, he realized, is that most people focus on short term gains instead of achieving lasting wealth. As he grew old and aware of his dwindling time on this Earth, the Wealthy Gardener began to share his hard-earned wisdom with the financially troubled in his community, patiently mentoring those who asked for his practical advice on the ways of prosperity.

The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World
By Rahm Emanuel
Review via City Journal
In his new book, The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World, former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel argues that cities are supplanting polarized national capitals. In the years ahead, he believes, urban centers will continue to grow in power and influence. Yet Emanuel fails to account for his mixed legacy in Chicago. He touts his record, but it’s hardly a model for other mayors.

Please note that the links to books above are affiliate links with and James Picerno (a.k.a. The Capital Spectator) earns money if you buy one of the titles listed. Also note that you will not pay extra for a book even though it generates revenue for The Capital Spectator. By purchasing books through this site, you provide support for The Capital Spectator’s free content. Thank you!