Book Hints

A selection mention of books received


First, a modest pamphlet that allows us the rare relief of laughing at our enemies. Petr Beckmann, who has been a professor of electrical engineering at a Colorado university since he left Czechoslovakia in 1963, has come out with a revised edition of his compilation of jokes from behind the Iron Curtain, entitled Hammer and Tickle (Boulder: Golem Press, 1980, 105 pp., $4.00 paper). A sample:

"Have you heard the latest? Czechoslovakia is going to have an admiralty."
"What? An admiralty in a country that does not border on the sea?"
"So? We have a Justice Department, don't we?"

Another book that brings a somewhat different sort of delight is The Entrepreneur's Guide (New York: Macmillan, 1980, 173 pp., $8.95), written by UmbrollerĀ® baby stroller entrepreneur Deaver Brown. Brown opens the book with a nice quote from Thomas Jefferson to explain the attraction for entrepreneurship, "Freedom is the right to choose. The right to create for oneself the alternatives." The rest of the book is readable advice on the millions of details involved in setting up shop: how to evaluate whether you have the necessary entrepreneurial talents, choosing a product and a market, obtaining loans, hiring personnel, establishing administrative priorities, etc., etc. (Brown is, incidentally, a Harvard Business School graduate). In a similar vein, Murray Miller and Franz Serdahely have coauthored How to Win the Battle against Inflation with a Small Business (Wilmington, Dela.: Enterprise Publishing, 1980, 163 pp., $14.95). The title is somewhat misleading, as the book goes into a lot of investment strategies, such as purchasing buildings at auctions, building your own home, the benefits of bartering, and computer usage, as well as the traditional aspects of setting up a business: risk capital, stocks, financing, and partnerships. A last reference book is How to Do Your Own Accounting for a Small Business (Wilmington, Dela.: Enterprise Publishing, 1980, 291 pp./set, $14.95/set). The text and the accompanying practice manual (paper) were written and prepared by Robert Milliron, a retired public accountant and author of fiction books. Written for the average person, it offers step-by-step instructions, complete definitions of all terms, exercises, as well as hints on how to accommodate the Internal Revenue Service and to analyze your financial statements.

An interesting book on "intellectual property" has just come out, called Who Owns What Is in Your Head? (New York: Hawthorn Books, 1980, 296 pp., $6.95). It focuses on the question of trade secrets and mobile employees. Author Stanley H. Lieberstein provides us with both theories and cases, as well as guidelines for both employers and employees on what exactly constitutes a trade secret and what legal procedures are recommended for protecting confidential information.