HOW Books

The Empathy Diaries

Recommended by HOW staff, Turkle ties together her coming-of-age and her pathbreaking research on technology, empathy, and ethics. Growing up in postwar Brooklyn, Turkle searched for clues to her identity in a house filled with mysteries. She mastered the codes that governed her mother’s secretive life. She learned never to ask about her absent scientist father–and never to use his name, her name. Before empathy became a way to find connection, it was her strategy for survival.

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The Warmth of Other Suns

Recommended by HOW Conversations guest Sondra Samuels, this Pulitzer Prize–winning author chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

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The Splendid and the Vile

Recommended by HOW Conversations guest Dr. Heather Wilson, this book is an intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz—an inspiring portrait of courage and leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis.

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The Boys in the Boat

Recommended by HOW Conversations guest Dr. Heather Wilson, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.

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2034

From The HOW Institute Board member Admiral James Stavridis, and co-author Elliot Ackerman, both former military officers and award-winning authors, comes a chillingly authentic geopolitical thriller that imagines a naval clash between the US and China in the South China Sea in 2034–and the path from there to a nightmarish global conflagration.

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The Hero Code

Written by HOW Conversations guest Admiral William H. McRaven, THE HERO CODE is a ringing tribute to the real, everyday heroes he’s met over the years, from battlefields to hospitals to college campuses, who are doing their part to save the world.

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Human Kind

Recommended by The How Institute Board member Paul Polman and from New York Times bestselling author of Utopia for Realists comes a “bold” and “extraordinary” argument that humans thrive in a crisis and that our innate kindness and cooperation have been the greatest factors in our long-term success on the planet.

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The Best and the Brightest

David Halberstam’s masterpiece comes recommended by HOW Institute Board member, Nancy Gibbs. Using portraits of America’s flawed policy makers and accounts of the forces that drove them, The Best and the Brightest reckons magnificently with the most important abiding question of our country’s recent history: Why did America become mired in Vietnam, and why did we lose? As the definitive single-volume answer to that question, this enthralling book has never been superseded. It is an American classic.

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A Most Beautiful Thing

Recommended by HOW Conversations guest Lieutenant General Nadja West, this novel is a moving true story of a group of young men growing up on Chicago’s West side who form the first all African American school rowing team in the nation, and in doing so not only transform a sport, but their lives.

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Teams of Teams

Written by HOW Conversations guest General Stanley McChrystal, this book provides an extraordinary example and exposition of such an accomplishment. It details with compelling examples why resilience and adaptability, not efficiency, are today’s key success factors in overcoming challenges in various human concerns.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

Recommended by The HOW Institute Board member Admiral James Stavridis, the novel is a gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequalities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

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The Bedford Incident

Recommended by The HOW Institute Board member Admiral James Stavridis, this is a novel of the sea,and it is told with a skill that merits comparison with the best. It consists of three parts: The War is the cold war of the 1960’s, but on a little-publicized and bleakly isolated front where opposing naval forces secretly maneuver against each other in the eternally empty reaches of the Arctic Ocean. The Chase is by a modern American destroyer on the track of a Soviet submarine whose mission is to probe NATO defenses based on Greenland. The Battle is finally joined above the algaed hulk of a melancholy victim of one of the last traditional battleship engagements in the North Atlantic.

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The Leaders Bookshelf

For the last several years The HOW Institute Board member Admiral James Stavridis and his co-author, R. Manning Ancell, have surveyed over two hundred active and retired four-star military officers about their reading habits and favorite books, asking each for a list of titles that strongly influenced their leadership skills and provided them with special insights that helped propel them to success in spite of the many demanding challenges they faced. The Leader’s Bookshelf synthesizes their responses to identify the top fifty books that can help virtually anyone become a better leader.

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Sailing True North

In Sailing True North, The HOW Institute Board member Admiral Stavridis offers lessons of leadership and character from the lives and careers of history’s most significant naval commanders. He also brings a lifetime of reflection to bear on the subjects of his study–naval history, the vocation of the admiral, and global geopolitics. Above all, this is a book that will help you navigate your own life’s voyage: the voyage of leadership of course, but more important, the voyage of character.Sailing True North helps us find the right course to chart.

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Once an Eagle

Recommended by HOW Conversations guest Admiral William H. McRaven and a No. 1 New York Times Bestseller, Once an Eagle has been a favorite of American military men and women since its writing. The novel tells the story of Sam Damon, career Army officer, from his initial enlistment to his rise to general officer rank.

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All Quiet on the Western Front

Recommended by HOW Conversations guest Admiral William H. McRaven, All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I. The book describes the German soldiers’ extreme physical and mental stress during the war, and the detachment from civilian life felt by many of these soldiers upon returning home from the front.

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Foundations of Moral Obligations: The Stockdale Course

Recommended by HOW Conversations guest Admiral William H. McRaven, Joseph Brennan’s lively introduction to the wisdom of the ages is a practical guide to ethics and morality.

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Are leaders made by history, or do they make it?

Gautam Mukunda, a Harvard Business School Professor who spoke to HOW-IS’ first NXT-GEN class, offers an enticingly fresh look at how and when individual leaders really can make a difference.

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Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

Based on five years of research and interviews in homes, schools and the workplace, MIT Professor and noted author, Sherry Turkle, argues that we have come to a better understanding of where our technology can and cannot take us and that the time is right to reclaim conversation. The most human—and humanizing—thing that we do.

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HOW: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything

Dov Seidman’s seminal book explores how we think, how we behave, how we lead, and how we govern our institutions and ourselves to uncover the values-inspired “hows” of twenty-first-century success and significance. With in-depth insights and practical advice, HOW will help you bring excellence and significance to your business endeavors—and your life—and refocus your efforts in powerful new ways.

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