Learning Express

Featured Book Lists
New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Compromised
by Peter Strzok

Book list In 2017, Jeff Immelt stepped down as CEO of General Electric after more than 15 years at the company's helm. Immelt had succeeded legendary CEO Jack Welch, who'd navigated GE since 1981. The company weathered tough times during Immelt’s ascension, starting with 9/11. Multiple facets of the conglomerate bore heavy losses due to the terrorist attacks, particularly its GE Capital division. In the aughts, accounting scandals at Enron, Tyco, and others spurred new legislation dealing with corporate accounting, and GE faced further scrutiny in how it booked revenue. The 2008 worldwide recession nearly crippled the company in respects to GE Capital's exposure to toxic assets. Immelt’s successor John Flannery began his tenure putting out various fires around the company, including the broke Power division. Thirty plus years of building up without looking back came home to roost. Gryta and Mann expand on their Wall Street Journal reporting to create a compelling narrative of a giant’s spectacular fall in this powerful and fascinating read.

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly A venerable American company struggles for survival and eventually crashes, in this exciting offering from Wall Street Journal reporters Gryta and Mann. Formed in the late 19th century, General Electric enjoyed a long, genteel reign as America’s dominant producer of electrical goods. The book centers on the company’s dramatic decline, starting with longtime CEO Jack Welch’s exit in September 2001, and his replacement by his handpicked successor, Jeff Immelt. Inheriting a company typified by rigid procedures and a boys’ club culture, Gryta and Mann note, Immelt was determined to drag GE into the modern day. The authors track these attempts at reinvention, such as by adopting a “lean manufacturing” model antithetical to GE’s traditionally meticulous product-development approach. They also cover the hard-fought battles with the Environmental Protection Agency, ill-conceived business dealings, and falling stock prices that marred Immelt’s reign. After Immelt retired in 2017, GE veteran John Flannery took over, only to discover a chaotic, money-losing mess, with “reported profits were aspirational, if not fraudulent.” Possessing all the suspense of a true-crime account, Gryta and Mann’s riveting look at GE’s previous two decades underlines the harsh facts of survival in 21st-century business. Agent: Eric Lupfer, Fletcher & Co. (Apr.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Two Wall Street Journal reporters expand years of their newspaper coverage into a detailed book about the decline of General Electric due in large part to management incompetence, greed, and dishonesty. Founded in Schenectady, New York, in 1892, General Electric eventually grew into one of the world’s largest corporations, selling products and services with sterling reputations, developing a loyal workforce, training managers who earned renown (especially Jack Welch), and providing reliable investments for stockholders. Examining what went wrong during the past two decades, Gryta and Mann focus mostly on CEO Jeff Immelt and his successor, John Flannery. During their stewardships, GE stock prices and number of employees dropped significantly. At times, financial disaster seemed imminent, as the corporation sold many of its electricity-related assets to raise cash. When Flannery arrived in 2017, the company was fighting “dysfunction tending toward chaos and a confrontation with the past that was mere weeks from spilling into public view. Beneath the placid surface, GE was in total disarray.” The authors attempt to place the demise in a larger context by noting that for many decades, GE served as a model of excellent management for countless other corporations. This leads the authors to wonder about the viability of many other seemingly healthy corporations. Often, the authors’ exploration of the bigger picture falls victim to the excruciatingly detailed saga of GE. Readers without a direct connection to the corporation—e.g., current or former employees, outside corporate analysts, and investors—will be tempted to skim the parts of the narrative about the dizzying maneuvering inside the corporate suites. The authors’ knowledgeable reporting is mostly top-down, as they rarely focus on lower-level employees. They analyze Immelt from a variety of angles, and while he certainly emerges as a complex figure, the authors struggle to make him compelling as a protagonist. The book would have been more engaging if shortened by nearly 100 pages. An overlong survey that may interest business students as a case study. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog One Came Home
by Amy Timberlake

Book list To find out what really happened to her purportedly dead sister, sharpshooting 13-year-old Georgie Burkhardt and her sister's one-time suitor Billy McCabe follow the trail of pigeon hunters and discover far worse going on near Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871. Georgie tells her story in a first-person narrative that rings true to the time and place. She is smart, determined, and not a little blind to the machinations of adults around her, including Billy, who has been sent by Georgie's storekeeper grandfather to follow her and keep her safe. She does notice that Billy is well made, but this is no love story; it's a story of acceptance, by Georgie, her family, and her small town. Timberlake weaves in the largest passenger pigeon nesting ever seen in North America, drought and fatal fires along Lake Michigan that year, a currency crisis that spawned counterfeiters, and advice on prairie travel from an actual handbook from the times. Historical fiction and mystery combine to make this a compelling adventure, and an afterword helps disentangle facts from fiction.--Isaacs, Kathleen Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-Thirteen-year-old Georgie Burkhardt can shoot better than anyone in Placid, Wisconsin. She can handle accounts and serve customers in her family's general store. What she can't do is accept that the unrecognizable body wearing her older sister's blue-green gown is Agatha. Determined to discover what happened after Agatha abruptly left town with a group of pigeoners, Georgie sets out to follow her route. In return for the loan of a mule, she reluctantly allows Billy McCabe, one of Agatha's suitors, to accompany her. The journey includes a menacing cougar and ruthless counterfeiters, but Georgie's narration offers more than action-packed adventure. She unravels the tangle of events that led to Agatha's sudden departure and acknowledges her own role. By turns humorous and reflective, Georgie's unique and honest voice includes confusion about her feelings for Billy and doubts about her ability to kill even in desperate circumstances. Timberlake seamlessly integrates information about two significant events that occurred in Wisconsin in 1871: the largest recorded nesting of passenger pigeons in spring and devastating firestorms in fall. Georgie's physical and emotional odyssey that occurs between those two events will linger in readers' minds.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Powered by: YouSeeMore © The Library Corporation (TLC)