Linchpin: Your reviews
Linchpin reviews, free samples, links and more
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Thanks for reading and thanks for your support. Linchpin is the fastest-selling and most successful book of my career. My goal is to shake things up and spread ideas that matter, and I can't do it without you.
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Emotional labor in sixty seconds
The Entrepreneur interview
Free stuff for linchpins
- Changethis: Brainwashed!--an 8 page PDF
A free manifesto from Seth about public school and the end of a system.
- Seth Godin on quieting the Lizard Brain, video from the Behance conference
Seth argues that we must quiet our fearful lizard brains to avoid sabotaging projects just before we finally finish them.
- The Linchpin Manifesto
A single page PDF, click to download. Suitable for posting, sharing, emailing or instigating.
- Free audio excerpt: "The Path"
Free sample from the audio book
- Another audio excerpt: You are a Genius
More than you could hope for, but less than you expected...
- One last audio excerpt: Surrounded by Bureaucrats
An audio excerpt about bureaucrats
- Dozens of interviews and videos
Find out the skinny on this lens
- Tweets about LInchpin
A beautiful three page PDF on Linchpin tweets generously created by Crystal, Roxy and Reese
Riddles for Linchpins
A video filled with offbeat and perhaps disturbing questions that will help you think about the status quo.
Bonus stuff from 800 CEO READ
Neat things you can get with a purchase
- A free copy of THE BLUE SWEATER
Get the hardcover of Jacqueline Novogratz's breakthrough book if you buy Linchpin from 8CR. Or call (800) CEO READ.
- Get the no-longer-sold sold-out boxed set for free
If you buy 50 copies of the book, you'll get a boxed set for free. Only from (800) CEO READ.
More reviews, interviews and videos (just click on the picture below)
This page will be fully updated by 10 am Tuesday, so be patient!
Now in the iTunes store
- Linchpin audio, unabridged
The entire book, read by the author
The bibliography (by request)
Here’s a partial list, somewhat annotated, of some of the amazing books I had the pleasure to read while working on this book. To each author, “thanks, and your work made a difference. I took a seed from your generous gift and grew it into something else, hopefully something that will spread.”
On Gifts and Art
The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield
In this short book, Steven sells a very important and simple idea. We are victims of the resistance, an almost irresistible force in our lizard brain that shouts out our genius and pushes us to fit in instead. Once you recognize the resistance and know its name, this knowledge will change you (for the better).
The Gift, by Lewis Hyde
Long, rich, and intricate, this book by poet Lewis Hyde takes us on a tour of gifts, art, poetry, commerce, and the history of the world. His understanding of how seemingly small decisions about things like usury changed our world forever is profound.
The Gift, by Marcel Mauss
Considered by many to be the breakthrough book on the economy of gifts. It’s not a fun read, but stuff like this rarely is.
Art is Work, by Milton Glaser
Milton Glaser does the work. Loudly and with pride and generosity, he has long led the way in thinking about the work and why it matters. This is mostly a portfolio, but the writing here will make you think.
Man on Wire, by Philippe Petit
Petit is an artist, someone living an adventure through his actions. His life is a gift to us, and this book, as much as the movie, will encourage and provoke you.
On Sociology and Economics
The Lonely Crowd, by David Riesman with Glazer and Denney
This is the best-selling sociology book ever, apparently. The key argument is that “fitting in” to a large group is a relatively new phenomenon, and it has changed the way human beings interact.
From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932, by Daivd Hounshell
This is a powerful book, an extraordinary insight into the change from handmade to factory, from skilled craftsmen to cogs in a system. This really happened, and it happened to our great grandparents. The shifts were mammoth—in one two year period, productivity at a Ford plant went up by more than five times.
The Power Elite, by C. Wright Mills
The first book to dive deep into the privileged class of American corporations and politics (largely the same group). Mills makes an overwhelming case that there was a caste system running our country, our schools, and our corporations. The vestiges still remain, but it’s changing, in some places faster than others.
The American Myth of Success, by Richard Weiss
The evolution of our culture as seen through self-improvment books. Weiss starts around the Civil War and goes up to the 1950s. What we read reflected who we were and where we were going.
The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, by Arlie Russell Hochschild
Hochschild was given significant access to stewardesses working at Delta Airlines in the 1960s. She chronicles the deadening pain they felt as they were forced to bring cheerfulness and emotion to work each day. I fundamentally disagree with her conclusion (that doing emotional labor is painful, not a privilege), but her work was considered a breakthrough at the time.
Stone Age Economics, by Marshall Salins
Despite the clever title, this is actually a book about how primitive cultures worked. One key takeaway is that hunter-gatherers were the idle rich. They worked about three hours a day and spent the rest of the day lolling about.
Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back, by Douglas Rushkoff
Doug is at the cutting edge of recognizing the collision between corporate values and human values. Most of this book is fairly pessimistic, and it argues that money has pushed people apart from each other. Harking back to The Gift, his point is that barter and community exchange do more than create commerce.
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, by Max Weber
Largely misunderstood, hard to read, and in some ways incorrect, it is still considered a giant achievement in sociology. Weber tries to understand the relationship between religious and commercial values, particularly as they led to the success of the United States.
The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels
This book isn’t about what you think it’s about. And it’s certainly not about the USSR. The key argument here is that small experiments in communism don’t work, because they are corrupted by the temptation to defect and engage in trade with neighbors that exploit their workers (so you can benefit). Only worldwide revolution and grabbed power by farmers and factory workers can upend the unfair bargain that kings and capitalists have put in place. At one profound level they are right: as long as the workers don’t own the means of production, the exchange will be inherently unfair. A lot of what they pessimistically predicted has occurred to the workers at the bottom of the ladder.
The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith
There may be a reason to read this entire book, but if there is, it eludes me. The Cliffs Notes are sufficient.
The Big Sort, by Bill Bishop
Bill’s key argument is that people choose to move to neighborhoods that vote and think the way they do. This is a logical outgrowth of the theories in The Lonely Crowd.
The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life, by Richard Florida
Richard has been in the forefront of doing scholarly work on how the workers who do own the means of production are changing our economy. Their decisions—from where they live to what they do—change the art created in our system and thus our lives as well.
The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America, by Daniel Brook A stunning indictment, very well researched, that shows how badly commodity workers are being hammered. If you’re average, you’re toast.
Weapons of Mass Instruction, by John Taylor Gatto
John Taylor Gatto is spitting mad, and no wonder. He has seen the worst our schools can do. He understands the history and is a victim of the bureaucracy. I wish every school board member, administrator, teacher, and parent could read a ten-page excerpt of this book. It’s important.
Schooling in Capitalist America, by Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis
Thirty years old and loaded with accurate predictions about the future (and facts about our past).
Learning to Labor, by Paul Willis
Ethnographic research from the 1970s that makes and proves a startling thesis: the very structure of school ends up establishing the “us and them” mentality that alienates most students from authority and sets them up to be unhappy wage slaves instead of productive leaders.
On Programming and Productivity
The Mythical Man Month, by Fred Brooks
Simple, useful analysis of a very complex topic, a new one for our age.
Software Project Management, by Steve McConnell
Steve’s insights into thrashing are worth the entire price of the book.
Joel on Software, by Joel Spolsky
Joel is the best writer on managing brilliant people that I know of. Hands down.
Zen Habits, by Leo Babauta
Leo’s productivity insights are scary in their simplicity and effectiveness.
On Science, Evolution, and the Brain
Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History, by Stephen Jay Gould
There are so many wonderful books about evolution, it’s difficult to pick one. I picked this one because of the quote I grabbed, but I could have easily picked books by Dan Dennett and Matt Ridley.
Honest Signals, by Andy Pentland
Pentland is a professor at MIT, and this is ostensibly a book about some amazing technology he’s putting together that quietly measures the interactions people have all day when they’re not remembering that the system is watching. What it’s actually about, though, is the incredible power of nonverbal communication and tribal hierarchies in the way we interact.
Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently, by Gregory Berns
Berns covers some of the same territory I do, but from a biological point of view. His take is that perception, fear, and networking are the three underlying neurological factors that lead some people to be original thinkers. It was vindicating to read his book just as I finished mine, because his scientific data completely confirms the three pillars that I describe herein.
Don’t Bite the Hook, by Pema ChÃ¶drÃ¶n
Pema, a Buddhist nun who converted later in life from American roots, is my favorite teacher. She is able to simply and clearly connect with listeners and readers about a few powerful insights. In this book she talks about shenpa, the cycle of anxiety we buy into whenever confronted with a stressful situation.
Awakening the Buddha Within, by Lama Surya Das
There are countless books for Westerners in search of the simple insights of Buddhism. This book is quite detailed and serious.
Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity, by Hugh MacLeod
There are a million books about creativity. There are very few books that challenge the resistance so directly and effectively. This book eliminates the excuses that have been holding you back from being creative. It demands that you become an artist.
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Taleb makes a compelling case that the predictable events that everyone knew were going to change everything are not predictable at all.
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, by Thich Nhat Hanh
This is not a book about religion. It’s about seeing things as they are and finding things interesting instead of threatening. In world without saber-tooth tigers, this turns out to be a productive approach.
On Overcoming Resistance and Getting Creative
Getting Things Done, by David Allen
Presentation Zen, by Garr Reynolds
A Whack on the Side of the Head, by Roger Van Oeck
Some of the books from the bibliography
Just a few to get you started!
Feel free to post your review here if you don't have an easy way to do it on a blog, etc. I'll filter out the spam and post the rest, usually within a day.
Last updated on March 12, 2012
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