Archive for July, 2014

Book Review: The Up Side of Down

Monday, July 21st, 2014

up side of downMcArdle, Megan. The up side of down : why failing well is the key to success. Viking, 2014.

Anyone who is admitted to an elite university like Duke is successful.   Duke students graduate at the top of their high school class or undergraduate institution, and have positive experiences in their first employment opportunities.  Many Duke students have never experienced failure and would find it devastating if they did. A new book written by a Chicago MBA, a self-described spectacular failure, explains that mistakes are important learning experiences.

Business journalist Megan McArdle writes about the advantages of failure in her new book, The Up Side of Down.  She describes her failed summer internship at Merrill Lynch, and her failure to garner a permanent offer from the firm.  She accepted a position with a technology firm just before 9/11 and was laid off before her start date.  Eventually she accepted a lower-paying position as a journalist for the Economist, and grew to become an internationally known and respected business writer.

McArdle analyzes how decline happens in business, using companies like Solyndra and GM as examples.  Successful technology companies take calculated risks, using failure as a tool to grow the business.  McArdle also writes about mistakes in health care and in journalism.  Throughout the book, she explains problems with perception, such as the role of bias and loss aversion in reacting to a crisis.

Some reviewers take issue with some of the facts in McArdle’s book.  Fair enough. And in places, the material may be recycled from previous work.  But the writing is engaging and personal, interesting throughout.  Recommended.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Movies You May Have Missed

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Occasionally we’ll highlight interesting DVDs in the collection that you may have missed when they were first released. Here are three older titles:

  • Sorcerer, a new addition to the collection though an older title, follows a four-man team who must transport a volatile cargo of nitroglycerin over 200 miles of treacherous terrain to stop a potentially disastrous oil fire. Director William Friedkin’s previous films included The Exorcist and The French Connection, but Sorcerer had the colossal misfortune to be released one month after Star Wars.
  • Gattaca is a science fiction thriller starring Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke, and Jude Law. Hawke plays an “In-Valid”, a natural-born human, doomed to low-level work in futuristic caste society while Law plays a disabled genetically engineered “Valid”, those groomed for high-level corporate jobs. With Law’s help, Hawke attempts to subvert the system, but runs into trouble when he becomes a murder suspect.
  • One more thriller, The Devil’s Backbone, ends the list. Hellboy’s  Guillermo del Toro directs this supernatural story set during the final days of the Spanish Civil War. The 12-year-old protagonist, Carlos, arrives at Santa Lucia School and uncovers a host of secrets and the ghost of a murdered student.

Welcome To Fuqua!

Friday, July 11th, 2014

forest readerWelcome to all new students who arrived at Fuqua this week to attend the Language Institute and the Summer Math Review Course.  Students bring an energy and vitality to our university and to our city.  We hope your move went smoothly and that as you explore the city and the university, you come to enjoy your new home as much as we do.

Duke Libraries are among the elite libraries of the world.  Since you have found your way to the Ford Library Blog, you must already know that the library web pages give you access to the library 24 hours every day.  You can access the online catalog for all of Duke’s libraries as well as the libraries of other research universities in the area, including UNC and NC State (noted in the catalog as TRLN Libraries).  Besides print resources, the Duke catalog give you access to the thousands of full-text journals, eBooks, and audiobooks (online or on CD) that you can download to your own devices.

I also invite you to come to our library, the most beautiful space on campus (“like reading in a forest” – an actual quote from an MBA), and a quiet place to study.  Introduce yourself to Jane Day, our fabulous director of reference services.  Or consult with any of our reference librarians in person at the reference desk, by email or by online chat.

We can help you be successful during your time here at the Fuqua School.

Meg Trauner  MLS, MBA
Ford Library Director

New Movies for July: Part 1

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Here are the first of the month’s new DVDs:

Adult World
Authors Anonymous
Devil’s Knot
Ernest & Celestine
Gasland, part 2
Jimmy P.
The Lunchbox
The Machine
300: Rise of an Empire
Walk of Shame

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.