Duhigg divides the book into three sections: The Habits of Individuals, The Habits of Successful Organizations, and The Habits of Societies. This is a very, very informative and entertaining book. It reminds me a great deal of The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Guwande, in that the ideas contained in both are “duh, why didn’t I think of that?” simple but profound. He uses hundreds of examples of how we develop good and bad habits and how we can improve by simply understanding the science behind our habitual behavior.
George F. Kennan: An American Life by John Lewis Gaddis
This is the best biography of 2012 and perhaps of the last several years. Kennan was, of course, known as the architect of the Cold War, through his “long telegram,” autonomous letter from X, and other writings that influenced policy makers and gave the blueprint for the containment of the Soviet Union. Gaddis, the author of several books about the Cold War, tells us about the human side of Kennan but also brilliantly covers an important and challenging time for the U.S. You will enjoy this book even if you are either already versed in 20th century foreign relations or simply don’t think you would want to know this much about it. It is that well-done.