2010 Honored Faculty & Honored Books

R. Paul Battaglio, Jr.
School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

American Public Administration: Past, Present, Future
by Frederick C. Mosher

"Very few books have collected contributions from some of the most revered scholars in public administration. The book provides a concise overview of the profound nature of the practice and study of public administration. For me, the book defined what it truly means to be a student of public administration. Even though the book was written 35 years ago, I continue to rely on it in both my academic and practical endeavors. Anyone looking for an introduction to the field would be hard pressed to find an alternative as insightful as Mosher’s contribution."

Denise Boots
School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives
by John H. Laub and Robert J. Sampson

“This book is a follow-up to Sampson and Laub’s influential Crime in the Making, which offered a fascinating first glimpse into the outcomes of men participating in the famous Glueck study, and which subsequently reignited interest in life course explanations of crime.  At the heart of the life course theoretical debate is whether the onset, persistence, and desistance of antisocial behaviors are predetermined by environmental, genetic, developmental and/or other behaviorally-related traits and if propensities for criminal behavior are static within individuals over time.  Written by two of the most prolific criminologists in the world, Shared Beginnings challenges key assumptions of other life course theories and group-based methodologies, presents unique persistence and incidence data for a cohort over the entire lifespan, and suggests that turning points in adulthood may be just as relevant to offending decisions as life events in early childhood.  This book continues to have an immense influence on my long-term research agenda and my interest in how various risk and protective factors impact youth pathways toward antisocial and prosocial life course outcomes.”

Patrick T. Brandt
School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

Rules, Games and Common-Pool Resources
by Elinor Ostrom, Roy Gardner and James Walker

"Common pool resource and collective action problems are at the heart of many political conflicts.  This book presents a unique and complete approach to how to think about collective, common pool resource problems and how they can be managed.  It shows success and failure in managing these political conflicts with game theoretic, empirical, and case-study analyses.  It is a great example of mixed-methods research and challenges one to think about very hard social problems in novel ways."

Huseyin Cavusoglu
School of Management

Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness
by Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein

“Given our shortcomings as human beings, we all make poor decisions in areas like investment, healthcare, and education.   We postpone contributing money - or contribute less - to retirement plans because we think retirement is far away; we eat fast food because this is what we see first in a cafeteria; we pick a mortgage without looking into the fine prints of the contract - or without comparing  alternative mortgages. Drawing on simple yet colorful examples like these from our daily lives, the authors show how institutions and individuals can design "choice architectures" to "nudge" us in the right direction, thereby making us wealthier, healthier and happier. This book is utterly engaging and informative. It fundamentally changed the way I think about myself and the world that surrounds me.  If you need some help in making sound decisions, this is a must-read book because we are capable of overcoming our cognitive biases so long as we pay more attention to our choices and do not live our lives on an auto-pilot mode.”

Sean Cotter
School of Arts and Humanities

The Pleasure of the Text
by Roland Barthes

“It's impossible to choose one book! Please take my picture standing in front of the entire library, and put a sticker on the front door that says, ‘Get to work!’ Failing that, I'll choose Richard Howard's translation of Roland Barthes's The Pleasure of the Text.”

Jeremy Hall
School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

The City and Man
by Leo Strauss

“Strauss, in this essay, highlights a core distinction that any researcher in political science must acknowledge and understand: that what is (political science) and what ought to be (politics) are distinct spheres of engagement. Strauss has taught me that what is must be the sole focus of my research, but as a public administration scholar there is constant pressure to apply findings to practice. Understanding a study’s potential usefulness while remaining unbiased in the research is key to scholarly success.”

Ganesh Janakiraman
School of Management

Principles of Inventory Management: When You are Down to Four, Order More
by Jack Muckstadt

"The book Principles of Inventory Management: When You are Down to Four, Order More is authored by Professor Jack Muckstadt, my doctoral thesis advisor, to whom I owe gratitude for his encouragement to me over the years and for his part in the shaping of myself as an academic. This book is based on a course Professor Muckstadt taught at Cornell which I took as a doctoral student; the course and the book provided an excellent foundation to me for pursuing research in Inventory Management."

Özalp Özer
School of Management

Genghis Kahn: Making of the Modern World
by Jack Weatherford

"An incredible read that reinforces the importance of dreams, vision, goals, devotion, perseverance, strategy and more . . . from an unlikely book. The history about the making of the world could not have been told in a more fluent narrative."