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Books Reviewed in 2020

2020 was a terrible year for the world. 2020 was a great year for books.

Here are the books that I reviewed for IHE, along with a couple that I co-authored.

Would love to hear (in a letter to the editor, or an e-mail, or a tweet, or a TikTok, or whatever) if we read any of the same books in 2020. See you all in 2021.

Learning Innovation and the Future of Higher Education by Joshua Kim and Edward Maloney

 

 

 

 

The Low-Density University: 15 Scenarios for Higher Education by Edward Maloney and Joshua Kim

 

 

 

 

Foreword to ‘Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers’: An introduction to a must-read new book.

The authors of Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers, Kathryn E. Linder, Kevin Kelly and Thomas J. Tobin, asked me to write the foreword to their book.

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/foreword-%E2%80%98going-alt-ac-guide-alternative-academic-careers%E2%80%99

 

 

Universities, the Climate Emergency, and ‘The Ministry for the Future’: Lots of time and a fast read for book clubbing.

The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/universities-climate-emergency-and-%E2%80%98-ministry-future%E2%80%99

 

 

Are ‘One Billion Americans’ a Good Idea?: An argument for babies and immigrants.

One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger by Matthew Yglesias

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/are-%E2%80%98one-billion-americans%E2%80%99-good-idea

 

 

‘The New Map’ and the New Liberal Arts: Energy and society.

The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations by Daniel Yergin

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/%E2%80%98-new-map%E2%80%99-and-new-liberal-arts

 

 

Learning Science, Institutional Change, and ‘The Idea of the Brain’: Neuroscience and the university of the future.

The Idea of the Brain: The Past and Future of Neuroscience by Matthew Cobb

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/learning-science-institutional-change-and-%E2%80%98-idea-brain%E2%80%99

 

 

Going ‘Upstream’: The latest book by one of the Heath brothers.

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/going-%E2%80%98upstream%E2%80%99

 

 

Reading ’2030’ as an Opportunity to Talk About Higher Ed’s Next Decade: Thinking laterally about the future of academia.

2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything by Mauro F. Guillen

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/reading-%E2%80%992030%E2%80%99-opportunity-talk-about-higher-ed%E2%80%99s-next-decade

 

 

3 Reasons to Read ‘The Deficit Myth’: Thanks to Matt Reed for the recommendation.

The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy by Stephanie Kelton

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/3-reasons-read-deficit-myth

 

 

‘Ghost Road’ and the Surprising Future of Autonomous Transportation: Beyond the driverless car.

Ghost Road: Beyond the Driverless Car by Anthony M. Townsend

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/%E2%80%98ghost-road%E2%80%99-and-surprising-future-autonomous-transportation

 

 

‘Underwater’ and the New Small College Town Housing Bubble: The dream and nightmare of homeownership.

Underwater: How Our American Dream of Homeownership Became a Nightmare by Ryan Dezember

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/%E2%80%98underwater%E2%80%99-and-new-small-college-town-housing-bubble

 

 

Campus Offices and ‘The Great Indoors’: Data-driven design and academic space planning.

The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behavior, Health, and Happiness by Emily Anthes

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/campus-offices-and-%E2%80%98-great-indoors%E2%80%99

 

 

‘Monopolized,’ COVID-19 and Worrying Over a Concentrated Higher Ed: Will our sector come to resemble tech, media and other industries?

Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power by David Dayen

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/%E2%80%98monopolized%E2%80%99-covid-19-and-worrying-over-concentrated-higher-ed

 

 

‘Lights Out,’ GE and the Fall of Elite Higher Ed: Why if it could happen to General Electric, it can happen to us.

Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric by Thomas Gryta and Ted Mann

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/%E2%80%98lights-out%E2%80%99-ge-and-fall-elite-higher-ed

 

 

Poker, Metacognition and ‘The Biggest Bluff’: Less certainty. More inquiry.

The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win by Maria Konnikova

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/poker-metacognition-and-%E2%80%98-biggest-bluff%E2%80%99

 

 

Will Higher Education Follow the ‘More from Less’ Story?: Unfairly reading Andrew McAfee’s excellent book with COVID-19 eyes.

More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources―and What Happens Next by Andrew McAfee

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/will-higher-education-follow-%E2%80%98more-less%E2%80%99-story

 

 

Higher Education and ‘How Innovation Works’: A theory of change.

How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom by Matt Ridley

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/higher-education-and-%E2%80%98how-innovation-works%E2%80%99

 

 

Responding to 6 Quotes From ‘The Merit Myth’: Essential reading.

The Merit Myth: How Our Colleges Favor the Rich and Divide America by Anthony P. Carnevale, Peter Schmidt and Jeff Strohl

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/responding-6-quotes-%E2%80%98-merit-myth%E2%80%99

 

 

Why Rosabeth Moss Kanter Wants Us to ‘Think Outside the Building’: Some of the curriculum, and part of the story, of Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative.

Think Outside the Building: How Advanced Leaders Can Change the World One Smart Innovation at a Time by Rosabeth Moss Kanter

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/why-rosabeth-moss-kanter-wants-us-%E2%80%98think-outside-building%E2%80%99

 

 

The Uses of ‘More: A History of the World Economy From the Iron Age to the Information Age’: Economic history as a guide to our future economy.

More: A History of the World Economy From the Iron Age to the Information Age by Philip Coggan

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/uses-%E2%80%98more-history-world-economy-iron-age-information-age%E2%80%99

 

 

Extreme Economies’ and Higher Ed in 2050: What can we learn from outliers about the future?

Extreme Economies: What Life at the World’s Margins Can Teach Us About Our Own Future by Richard Davies

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/%E2%80%98extreme-economies%E2%80%99-and-higher-ed-2050

 

 

Houston as a ‘Prophetic City’: A biography of our nation’s fourth-largest city.

Prophetic City: Houston on the Cusp of a Changing America by Stephen L. Klineberg

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/houston-%E2%80%98prophetic-city%E2%80%99

 

 

Keynes, ‘The Price of Peace’ and the Intellectual Origins of Our Left/Right Divide: … the gradual encroachment of ideas.

The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes by Zachary D. Carter

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/keynes-%E2%80%98-price-peace%E2%80%99-and-intellectual-origins-our-leftright-divide

 

 

Trying to Read ‘Arguing With Zombies’ as a Republican: Dear conservatives …

Arguing With Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future by Paul Krugman

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/trying-read-%E2%80%98arguing-zombies%E2%80%99-republican

 

 

Pirates, Professors, and ‘Enemy of All Mankind’: The latest must-read book by Steven Johnson.

Enemy of All Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History’s First Global Manhunt by Steven Johnson

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/pirates-professors-and-%E2%80%98enemy-all-mankind%E2%80%99

 

 

Remembering Eating Out While Reading ‘The Restaurant’: And a list of books on restaurants, food and the food industry.

The Restaurant: A 2,000-Year History of Dining Out by William Sitwell

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/remembering-eating-out-while-reading-%E2%80%98-restaurant%E2%80%99

 

 

Two Convincing and One Debatable Argument in ‘A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations’: Plus a list of other books on electricity and energy that I’ve reviewed.

A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations by Robert Bryce

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/two-convincing-and-one-debatable-argument-%E2%80%98-question-power-electricity-and

 

 

5 Higher Ed COVID-19 Leadership Lessons From ‘The Splendid and the Vile’: If Churchill were a university president or provost during a pandemic.

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/5-higher-ed-covid-19-leadership-lessons-%E2%80%98-splendid-and-vile%E2%80%99

 

 

Peering at ‘The Velvet Rope Economy’: The lifestyles of the 1 percent.

The Velvet Rope Economy: How Inequality Became Big Business by Nelson D. Schwartz

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/peering-%E2%80%98-velvet-rope-economy%E2%80%99

 

 

‘MBS,’ Saudi Arabia and Academic Freedom: Who gets to think and write freely in higher ed?

MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman by Ben Hubbard

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/%E2%80%98mbs%E2%80%99-saudi-arabia-and-academic-freedom

 

 

‘The Decadent Society’ During Pandemic: Have worries about cultural, political and economic stagnation lost their relevance in the age of COVID-19?

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/%E2%80%98-decadent-society%E2%80%99-during-pandemic

 

 

Taking a Break from the Pandemic to Discuss ‘The New Class War’: The origins of our economic, political, and cultural polarization.

The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite by Michael Lind

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/taking-break-pandemic-discuss-%E2%80%98-new-class-war%E2%80%99

 

 

COVID-19 and ‘The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch’: How are you escaping?

The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch: How the Canceled Sitcom Became the Beloved Pop Culture Icon We Are Still Talking About Today by Kimberly Potts

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/covid-19-and-%E2%80%98-way-we-all-became-brady-bunch%E2%80%99

 

Golden Gates’ and Faculty/Staff Housing Costs: Why housing became so expensive, and what this trend means for higher ed.

Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America by Conor Dougherty

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/golden-gates-and-facultystaff-housing-costs

 

 

Amazon, Libraries, and Pollan’s Only From Audible ‘Caffeine’: The price of our addictions.

How Caffeine Created the Modern World, Written and narrated by Michael Pollan

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/amazon-libraries-and-pollan%E2%80%99s-only-audible-%E2%80%98caffeine%E2%80%99

 

Reading ‘Secondhand’ and Thinking About All Those Books That Academics Own: What will happen to your personal library, as well as everything else that your kids won’t want?

Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale by Adam Minter

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/reading-%E2%80%98secondhand%E2%80%99-and-thinking-about-all-those-books-academics-own

 

 

Rushkoff, Online Learning and ‘Team Human’: Further evidence of the need for online education people to participate in the broader world of ideas.

Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/rushkoff-online-learning-and-%E2%80%98team-human%E2%80%99

 

 

An Affectionately Critical Review of ‘The Future Is Faster Than You Think’: Pushing back on the power of convergence.

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Disrupting Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/affectionately-critical-review-%E2%80%98-future-faster-you-think%E2%80%99

 

 

A Great Novel, an Invitation to Dinner With the Author and Thoughts on Caste in Academia: Discussing In the Light of What We Know.

In the Light of What We Know: A Novel by Zia Haider Rahman

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/great-novel-invitation-dinner-author-and-thoughts-caste-academia

 

 

‘Academia Next’: Reviewing the future of higher education.

Academia Next: The Futures of Higher Education by Bryan Alexander

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/learning-innovation/%E2%80%98academia-next%E2%80%99

 

 

Higher Ed Exports and ‘Trade Is Not a Four-Letter Word’: The impact of international students on U.S. colleges and universities.

Trade Is Not a Four-Letter Word: How Six Everyday Products Make the Case for Trade by Fred P. Hochberg

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/higher-ed-exports-and-%E2%80%98trade-not-four-letter-word%E2%80%99

 

 

Reading Gibson’s ‘Agency’ for Higher Ed Pattern Recognition: Speculative fiction and the possible futures of postsecondary education.

Agency by William Gibson

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/reading-gibsons-agency-higher-ed-pattern-recognition

 

 

Ed Tech, Gender and “Uncanny Valley”: Some questions for women in academic/educational technology, inspired by a terrific memoir of Silicon Valley tech culture.

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Wiener

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/ed-tech-gender-and-%E2%80%9Cuncanny-valley%E2%80%9D

 

 

Higher Ed Employment in a “World Without Work”: Will robots take all the (campus) jobs?

A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond by Daniel Susskind

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/higher-ed-employment-%E2%80%9Cworld-without-work%E2%80%9D

 

 

‘Food Routes’ and the Logistics Behind How We Eat: A great book to build a course around.

Food Routes: Growing Bananas in Iceland and Other Tales From the Logistics of Eating by Robyn Metcalfe

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/%E2%80%98food-routes%E2%80%99-and-logistics-behind-how-we-eat

 

 

Are Academics ‘Wrong About Nearly Everything’?: Will you score better than the average American on this book-inspired quiz?

Why We’re Wrong About Nearly Everything: A Theory of Human Misunderstanding by Bobby Duffy

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/are-academics-%E2%80%98wrong-about-nearly-everything%E2%80%99

 

 

Recommending ‘Trick Mirror’: A book to talk about with my college-going daughters.

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/recommending-trick-mirror%E2%80%99

 

 

‘The Golden Thread’ and an Imaginary Department of Microhistory: A book, and a discipline, for the curious.

The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History by Kassia St. Clair

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/learning-innovation/golden-thread-and-imaginary-department-microhistory

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