The ABA Journal newsletter put out a gift ideas for lawyers article yesterday, which includes the Harvey Birdman Box Set, various bobble heads and gadgets. I don't have anything that exciting to pass along, but if you're looking for a gift idea for a labor and employment law attorney or professional, here are four books that might do the trick:
1. The Tooth Fairy. A nice piece of fiction by Federal Judge Jacob Hart, this book's main characters consist of a union president, a factory owner, and a management side labor attorney. The plot hinges around a discharge grievance and arbitration. What more could you ask for? Well, there is also violence and romance. If it sounds familiar, yes, I recommended this book last year as well.
2. Bargaining with Baseball: Labor Relations in an Age of Prosperous Turmoil. I have not read this book by the former NLRB Board member, but it seems like a natural for anybody interested in labor law and baseball. It was reviewed by Rick Eymer at Palo Alto Online:
William B. Gould IV retains his lifelong passion for two things: the law, specifically labor law, and baseball, most specifically the Boston Red Sox. The Professor Emeritus at Stanford Law School, where Gould has presided since joining the faculty in 1972, has managed to capture both of his passions in his latest book, Bargaining with Baseball: Labor Relations in an Age of Prosperous Turmoil (McFarland and Company, $39.95).
3. Wild West 2.0. I was impressed by David Thompson's presentation at the Technology in Labor and Employment Symposium and picked up his book. The book does a great job of breaking down the complex series of tubes that we call the Internet, has a worthwhile perspective and is filled with entertaining, interesting and illuminating anecdotes.
4.Thinking Fast and Slow. I have not read Daniel Kahneman's newest book on the way we make decisions. but I heard an interesting interview with Daniel Kahneman about the book and am putting it on my list. Here's an interesting bit from the interview about how factors in the environment can influence the decisions our institutions make:
Take for example the study out of the National Academy of Sciences, which found that Israeli parole judges — known for turning down parole applications — were more likely to award parole in cases they heard immediately after taking a meal break.
"Presumably they are hungry, but certainly they are tired, they're depleted," Kahneman says of the judges' state when they are a few hours away from a meal. "When you're depleted, you tend to fall back on default actions, and the default action in that case is apparently to deny parole. So yes, people are strongly influenced by the level of glucose in the brain."
The implications of such a study are tremendous: If democratic society is based on people making decisions, what does it mean when all it takes to influence those decisions is a little bit of glucose?
"Clearly, the decision-making that we rely on in society is fallible," Kahneman says. "It's highly fallible, and we should know that."
And if you aren't sold yet, here's an excerpt from the introduction about
protected concerted activity watercooler talk:
Every author, I suppose, has in mind a setting in which readers of his or her work could benefit from having read it. Mine is the proverbial office watercooler, where opinions are shared and gossip is exchanged. I hope to enrich the vocabulary that people use when they talk about the judgments and choices of others, the company's new policies, or a colleague's investment decisions. Why be concerned with gossip? Because it is much easier, as well as far more enjoyable, to identify and label the mistakes of others than to recognize our own. Questioning what we believe and want is difficult at the best of times, and especially difficult when we most need to do it, but we can benefit from the informed opinions of others. Many of us spontaneously anticipate how friends and colleagues will evaluate our choices; the quality and content of these anticipated judgments therefore matters. The expectation of intelligent gossip is a powerful motive for serious self-criticism, more powerful than New Year resolutions to improve one's decision making at work and at home...
...When you are asked what you are thinking about, you can normally answer. You believe you know what goes on in your mind, which often consists of one conscious thought leading in an orderly way to another. But that is not the only way the mind works, nor indeed is that the typical way. Most impressions and thoughts arise in your conscious experience without your knowing how they got there. You cannot trace how you came to the belief that there is a lamp on the desk in front of you, or how you detected a hint of irritation in your spouse's voice on the telephone, or how you managed to avoid a threat on the road before you became consciously aware of it. The mental work that produces impressions, intuitions, and many decisions goes on in silence in our mind.