Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez was the first anti-neoliberal presidential candidate to win in the region. Electing Chávez examines the circumstances that facilitated this pivotal election. By 1998, Venezuela had been rocked by two major scandals—the exchange rate incidents of the 1980s and the banking crisis of 1994—and had suffered rising social inequality. These events created a deep-seated distrust of establishment politicians. Chávez’s 1998 victory, however, was far from inevitable. Other presidential candidates also stood against corruption and promised a clean break from politics as usual. Moreover, business opposition to Chávez’s anti-neoliberal candidacy should have convinced voters that his victory would provoke a downward economic spiral.
In Electing Chávez, Leslie C. Gates examines how Chávez won over voters and even obtained the secret allegiance of a group of business “elite outliers,” with a reinterpretation of the relationship between business and the state during Venezuela’s era of two-party dominance (1959-1998). Through extensive research on corruption and the backgrounds of political leaders.
Gates tracks the rise of business-related corruption scandals and documents how business became identified with Venezuela’s political establishment. These trends undermined the public’s trust in business and converted business opposition into an asset for Chávez. This long history of business-tied politicians and the scandals they often provoked also framed the decisions of elite outliers. As Gates reveals, elite outliers supported Chávez despite his anti-neoliberal stance because they feared that the success of Chávez’s main rival would deny them access to Venezuela’s powerful oil state.
The poignant rise and fall of an idealistic immigrant who, as CEO of a major conglomerate, tried to change the way America did business before he himself was swallowed up by corporate corruption.
At 8 a.m. on February 3, 1975, Eli Black leapt to his death from the 44th floor of Manhattan’s Pan Am building. The immigrant-turned-CEO of United Brands—formerly United Fruit, now Chiquita—Black seemed an embodiment of the American dream. United Brands was transformed under his leadership—from the “octopus,” a nickname that captured the corrupt power the company had held over Latin American governments, to “the most socially conscious company in the hemisphere,” according to a well-placed commentator. How did it all go wrong?
Eli and the Octopus traces the rise and fall of an enigmatic business leader and his influence on the nascent project of corporate social responsibility. Born Menashe Elihu Blachowitz in Lublin, Poland, Black arrived in New York at the age of three and became a rabbi before entering the business world. Driven by the moral tenets of his faith, he charted a new course in industries known for poor treatment of workers, partnering with labor leaders like Cesar Chavez to improve conditions. But risky investments, economic recession, and a costly wave of natural disasters led Black away from the path of reform and toward corrupt backroom dealing.
Now, two decades after Google’s embrace of “Don’t be evil” as its unofficial motto, debates about “ethical capitalism” are more heated than ever. Matt Garcia presents an unvarnished portrait of Black’s complicated legacy. Exploring the limits of corporate social responsibility on American life, Eli and the Octopus offers pointed lessons for those who hope to do good while doing business.
From the humble roots of a small town in Michigan to the building of an entrepreneurial empire, John Sweetland’s life story captures the spirit of the American Dream. This adventurous narrative explores the journey of a young American growing up in the Midwest, his formative years in the military and at university, and his career as a leader of commerce. His background not only laid the foundation for an economist, but also a visionary and philanthropist. Spanning nearly a century, John Sweetland’s autobiography travels broadly with a voice that is reflective and humorous as well as relatable and inspirational.
American evangelicalism is big business. It is not, Daniel Vaca argues, just a type of conservative Protestantism that market forces have commodified. Rather evangelicalism is an expressly commercial practice, in which the faithful participate, learn, and develop religious identities by engaging corporations and commercial products.
Housed on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the University Musical Society is one of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country. A past recipient of the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest public artistic honor, UMS connects audiences with wide-ranging performances in music, dance, and theater each season.Between 1987 and 2017, UMS was led by Ken Fischer, who over three decades pursued an ambitious campaign to expand and diversify the organization’s programming and audiences—initiatives inspired by Fischer’s overarching philosophy toward promoting the arts, “Everybody In, Nobody Out.”
The approach not only deepened UMS’s engagement with the university and southeast Michigan communities, it led to exemplary partnerships with distinguished artists across the world. Under Fischer’s leadership, UMS hosted numerous breakthrough performances, including the Vienna Philharmonic’s final tour with Leonard Bernstein, appearances by then relatively unknown opera singer Cecilia Bartoli, a multiyear partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and artists as diverse as Yo-Yo Ma, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Elizabeth Streb, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Though peppered with colorful anecdotes of how these successes came to be, this book is neither a history of UMS nor a memoir of Fischer’s significant accomplishments with the organization. Rather it is a reflection on the power of the performing arts to engage and enrich communities—not by handing down cultural enrichment from on high, but by meeting communities where they live and helping them preserve cultural heritage, incubate talent, and find ways to make community voices heard.
“A book that truly speaks to everyone. . . . Always practical, often inspiring, this is more a reference book than a self-improvement text, and a great read for any would-be leader.”
—Roger Penske, owner of Penske Corporation and Penske Racing
“Sound, practical advice driven home with real-world examples. . . . This is a must-read book for anyone who wants to make a positive difference in the lives of others in their community, their business, or their family.”
—Dennis W. Archer, former mayor of Detroit
“Everyday Leadership is a treasure chest of engaging stories, practical tips, and rich insights into how we each can make a difference in the world when we take responsibility for the personal power that we have. . . . once you’ve taken Everyday Leadership to heart you’ll leave this world a little bit better than you found it.”
—Jim Kouzes, coauthor of The Leadership Challenge
“Everyday Leadership taught me as much about how to be a better person as it did about being a better leader. In fact, it revealed how much the two are the same. Excellent and helpful reading for anyone.”
—Marianne Williamson, author of Return to Love and Everyday Grace
Everyday Leadership offers strategies to improve leadership skills, achieve results, and gain greater satisfaction in these hectic times. It speaks to the everyday leader, whether that person is a principal, pastor, parent, or CEO.
Daniel Granholm Mulhern brings the art of management down to earth, presenting stories that illuminate some of the best ideas about real human leadership. He offers practical steps to achieve the goal of leading well in our lives through creating a vision, communicating that vision, and living it in simple yet powerful ways.
Daniel Granholm Mulhern is the “First Gentleman” of the State of Michigan and an accomplished consultant, business coach, and motivational speaker. In addition to the personal support and counsel he offers his wife, Governor Jennifer Mulhern Granholm, Dan contributes his professional expertise, spearheading the effort to make Michigan’s state government a model for the nation as a “great place to do great work!” Dan also chairs the Michigan Community Service Commission, which promotes and coordinates volunteer efforts across the state.