The best books to address how to fix the supply chain and US communities

Who am I?

Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland in the 1970s and 1980s, I learned about the impact of globalization and supply chain from an early age. I saw my community lose its economic base, many who could leave did, and what was left turned into an epicenter of despair. Eventually, I worked in the field of manufacturing and supply chain and understood the root causes of the problems in a lack of balance between supply and demand within local communities. The past blue-collar workers from urban and rural communities have been experiencing these challenges now for decades, and now it’s time to reinvent our supply chains to help our nation.  


I wrote...

Reinventing the Supply Chain: A 21st-Century Covenant with America

By Jack Buffington,

Book cover of Reinventing the Supply Chain: A 21st-Century Covenant with America

What is my book about?

When the COVID-19 pandemic led to a global economic "shutdown" in March 2020, our supply chains began to fail, and out-of-stocks and delivery delays became the new norm. Contrary to public perception, the pandemic strain did not break the current system of supply chains; it merely exposed weaknesses and fault lines that were decades in the making, and which were already acutely felt in deindustrialized cities and depopulated rural towns throughout the United States. 

Reinventing the Supply Chain explores the historical role of supply chains in the global economy, outlines where the system went wrong and what needs to be done to fix it, and demonstrates how a retooled supply chain can lead to the revitalization of American communities.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Out of the Crisis

Jack Buffington Why did I love this book?

W. Edwards Deming was an original quality and productivity expert in the US during World War II, and the important period afterward for supply chains and the US economy. His principles ring true today in a global supply chain and US economy that is often looking for easy answers to problems that can be solved through foundational principles in culture, management, and statistics. Rather than splashy, quips and anecdotes, Deming offers approaches that led to the United States becoming the world's most productive and people-centered economy in the world, but now that is lost. In reading Deming, we can gain what was lost.

By W. Edwards Deming,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Out of the Crisis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Essential reading for managers and leaders, this is the classic work on management, problem solving, quality control, and more—based on the famous theory, 14 Points for Management

In his classic Out of the Crisis, W. Edwards Deming describes the foundations for a completely new and transformational way to lead and manage people, processes, and resources. Translated into twelve languages and continuously in print since its original publication, it has proved highly influential. Research shows that Deming’s approach has high levels of success and sustainability. Readers today will find Deming’s insights relevant, significant, and effective in business thinking and practice. This…


Book cover of The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind

Jack Buffington Why did I love this book?

Rajan’s book is an underappreciated perspective on what’s happening in markets today. Rajan is best known as the economist in 2005 who warned the financial community of the impending 2007 financial crash and was criticized for being misguided. In his 2019 book, he notes the problems of the first two pillars (Big Business and Government) in these financial crises and the importance of the third pillar (the Community) is solving the problem. Rajan and I agree on this notion, as the “Community-Based Supply Chain” is the foundation for my solutions needed in today’s communities and US economy.

By Raghuram G. Rajan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Third Pillar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE FINANCIAL TIMES AND MCKINSEY BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2019

From one of the most important economic thinkers of our time, a brilliant and far-seeing analysis of the current populist backlash against globalization and how revitalising community can save liberal market democracy.

Raghuram Rajan, author of the 2010 FT & Goldman-Sachs Book of the Year Fault Lines, has an unparalleled vantage point onto the social and economic consequences of globalization and their ultimate effect on politics and society.

In The Third Pillar he offers up a magnificent big-picture framework for understanding how three key forces -…


Book cover of Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging

Jack Buffington Why did I love this book?

Despite the hopes and dreams of humanity coming together as some form of a “global community,” there’s no evidence that this has happened in the past or is possible in the future. Junger’s book, Tribe, provides evidence of how humans find comfort in a community that leads to both good and bad outcomes. The book leads to thought-provoking questions about how we can leverage what’s good for communities, or tribes, and mitigate the fallouts to solve global problems.

By Sebastian Junger,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Tribe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of THE PERFECT STORM and WAR comes a book about why men miss war, why Londoners missed the Blitz, and what we can all learn from American Indian captives who refused to go home.

Tribe is a look at post-traumatic stress disorder and the challenges veterans face returning to society. Using his background in anthropology, Sebastian Junger argues that the problem lies not with vets or with the trauma they've suffered, but with the society to which they are trying to return.

One of the most puzzling things about veterans who experience PTSD is that the majority…


Book cover of The Affluent Society

Jack Buffington Why did I love this book?

Galbraith’s book is the classic explanation of how the American (and other) economies transitioned from using an increase in production for the greater good to becoming used for excess and overconsumption. Galbraith wrote the book in 1958 in the post-World War II economy, but his economic theories remain foundational today, sixty-five years ago. Unlike the economists who criticized capitalism in favor of socialism, Galbraith believed socialism stunted innovation, and preferred a more rational model of capitalism. The Affluent Society is a great read for those who wish to understand the roots of today’s imbalanced economy, and the need for greater balance.

By John Kenneth Galbraith,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Affluent Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Kenneth Galbraith's international bestseller The Affluent Society is a witty, graceful and devastating attack on some of our most cherished economic myths.

As relevant today as when it was first published over forty years ago, this newly updated edition of Galbraith's classic text on the 'economics of abundance', lays bare the hazards of individual and social complacency about economic inequality.

Why worship work and productivity if many of the goods we produce are superfluous - artificial 'needs' created by high-pressure advertising? Why begrudge expenditure on vital public works while ignoring waste and extravagance in the private sector of the…


Book cover of The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Jack Buffington Why did I love this book?

Adam Smith is often known as the “father of modern capitalism” given his famous 1776 work, The Wealth of Nations. He is too often misquoted as being in favor of a laissez-faire, casino economy, with an individual’s self-interest in being unfettered, but this is not the case. In his prior book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith paints a picture of an economy in balance that leads to economic growth and prosperity across the society. He railed against monarchs who hoarded gold and the East Indian Tea Company which was focused more on its profit than the welfare of society. If economists who often misquote Smith first read his book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, perhaps there would be a more balanced approach to economic growth and overall societal prosperity through capitalism.

By Adam Smith,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Theory of Moral Sentiments as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The foundation for a general system of morals, this 1749 work is a landmark in the history of moral and political thought. Readers familiar with Adam Smith from The Wealth of Nations will find this earlier book a revelation. Although the author is often misrepresented as a calculating rationalist who advises the pursuit of self-interest in the marketplace, regardless of the human cost, he was also interested in the human capacity for benevolence — as The Theory of Moral Sentiments amply demonstrates.
The greatest prudence, Smith suggests, may lie in following economic self-interest in order to secure the basic necessities.…


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By Maryka Biaggio,

Book cover of The Model Spy: Based on the True Story of Toto Koopman’s World War II Ventures

Maryka Biaggio Author Of The Model Spy: Based on the True Story of Toto Koopman’s World War II Ventures

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Who am I?

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What is my book about?

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Largely unknown today, Toto was arguably the first woman to spy for the British Intelligence Service. Operating in the hotbed of Mussolini's Italy, she courted danger every step of the way. As the war entered its final stages, she faced off against the most brutal of forces—Germany's Intelligence Service, the Abwehr.

The Model Spy: Based on the True Story of Toto Koopman’s World War II Ventures

By Maryka Biaggio,

What is this book about?

Celebrated model Toto Koopman had beauty, brains, and fame. Born to a Dutch father and Indonesian mother, she took up the life of a bon vivant in 1920s Paris and modeled for Vogue magazine and Coco Chanel. But modeling didn’t satisfy her. Fluent in six languages, she was adventurous and fascinated by world politics.

In London she attracted the attention of Lord Beaverbrook, the William Randolph Hearst of England. She soon became his confidante, companion, and translator, traversing the Continent and finding herself caught in the winds of impending war. Beaverbrook introduced her to influential people, including a director at…


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