Stanford Social Innovation Review : Informing and inspiring leaders of social change

All Book Excerpts

Book Excerpts


Book Reviews


Excerpts and reviews of top books on social innovation


Economic Development

Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development

By Daniel Immerwahr | Reviewed By Michael Weinstein

For policy makers today, earlier efforts to promote local community organizing yield relatively few lessons.


Economic Development

Only One Thing Can Save Us: Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement

By Thomas Geoghegan | Reviewed By Thomas A. Kochan

New ideas on how to empower US workers involve breaking free of current labor law.



A World of Giving: Carnegie Corporation of New York - A Century of International Philanthropy

By Patricia L. Rosenfield | Reviewed By Peter Frumkin

Can the history of a century-old foundation amount to more than the sum of its grants?


Technology & Design

The Creativity Crisis: Reinventing Science to Unleash Possibility

By Roberta B. Ness | Reviewed By Maryann Feldman

A survey of obstacles to innovation focuses erroneously on the supposed caution of university-based scientists.



Valuing Life: Humanizing the Regulatory State

By Cass R. Sunstein | Reviewed By Peter A. Ubel

A leading public intellectual, fresh from government service, explores the complexities of cost-benefit analysis.



Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change

By George Marshall | Reviewed By Andrew J. Hoffman

People tend to avoid reckoning with climate science—for reasons that have little to do with science.



The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose

By Christian Smith & Hilary Davidson | Reviewed By Kieran Healy

Those who engage in altruistic behavior reap benefits that are significant and measurable, two sociologists argue.



Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast: A Blueprint for Transformation from the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation

By Nicholas LaRusso, Barbara Spurrier, & Gianco Farrugia | Reviewed By Gabriella Rosen Kellerman

The Mayo Clinic achieves patient care improvements through innovation that is incremental rather than disruptive.


Economic Development

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism

By Jeremy Rifkin | Reviewed By Timothy Ogden

A "big think" look at the future of capitalism fails to reckon with the factors that make capitalism so resilient.



On the Rocketship: How Top Charter Schools Are Pushing the Envelope

By Richard Whitmire | Reviewed By Catherine DiMartino

In one prominent effort to reinvent public schools, promise and performance don't necessarily match up.