In addition to his many journalistic articles, Bill is the author of several important books in the fields of international economics, the automotive industry, entrepreneurship, and the media.
Has the American Media Misjudged China?
November 21, 2014
Thirty five years after China’s opening to the world, some of the key assumptions that have guided coverage are being tested by the presidency of Xi Jinping.
Bill chaired an organizing committee that managed a reunion of 70 current and former China Hands on behalf of the Overseas Press Club, the Asia Society's ChinaFile and the Foreign Correspondents Club of China. The reunion held four panel discussions about coverage of China's economy, its domestic political situation, the government's crackdown on the Western media, and the country's social media scene. The sessions were videotaped. Highlights are available at the OPC website
Those discussions have been transcribed and edited into an e-book that is now available on Amazon.com
. Bill offers his own personal conclusions in an introduction. Appendices include a list of attendees, the Foreign Correspondents Club of China report on the Chinese government crackdown against the Western media, and a protest statement issued by the OPC. It is the sixth book that Bill has either written or edited.
The Next American Economy: Blueprint For a Real Recovery
November 14, 2011
At a time when debate is raging about how to create jobs and revive the American economy, veteran business writer William J. Holstein argues that the best way for us to recover our economic footing is to do what Americans do best-innovate and create new industries. Contrary to the perception that the American economy has run out of inspiration and new ideas, Holstein uses compelling case studies to celebrate the innovation and business success being experienced in many industries, from technology and energy to retraining and exporting, across the country, from Boston to Orlando, Pittsburgh to San Diego. In the face of economic powerhouses such as Japan and China that are pursuing conscious national strategies, Holstein argues that Americans must find new avenues of cooperation among universities, business, and government to create the kind of sustainable growth we need. Replete with fresh insights into how Americans can create a real economic recovery, The Next American Economy is essential reading for business leaders, politicians, strategists, and anyone who cares about our future.
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Why GM Matters: Inside the Race to Transform an American Icon
July 14, 2009
"Bill Holstein is an extremely knowledgeable and perceptive journalist. At a time when GM and the domestic auto industry are in acute crisis, this book makes sense of what has happened--and what should happen next. It's a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of the American auto industry"
-- Alex Taylor, Senior Editor, Fortune Magazine
Bill has conducted hundreds of interviews not only in the United States, but also in Germany and China, to zero in on what really is happening inside this giant corporation. He interviewed Rick Wagoner on two occasions in Detroit, and then spoke with him again following his ill-fated testimony before the Senate and House Committees in November 2008.
The message that emerges from many months of research is that Wagoner has truly put GM through the most sweeping transformation since the days of Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., in the 1920s. Wagoner has transformed the cost structure, encouraged a complete transformation of how GM actually manufactures cars, opened up the company's design capabilities and helped his people engage in very robust innovation, as reflected in GM's commitment to lithium ion batteries for the Chevrolet Volt.
The financial crisis has obviously ambushed Wagoner's effort. So it has been shocking to see the company forced to ask the federal government for bridge loans. It appears that some sort of help is forthcoming. Thus it is possible that Wagoner can complete his historic transformation. The American economy may depend on it.
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Memo to the CEO: Manage the Media (Don’t Let the Media Manage You)
June 14, 2007
"Holstein has a compelling message."
Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross
Chief Reputation Strategist
In this book, Bill argues that two major trends have completely transformed the way that chief executive ofﬁcers have to think of communicating—the rise of shareholder activist coalitions, and the power of Internet-based communications. He contends that CEOs have to rethink the way they themselves and their entire organizations communicate. They need to shape both their message architecture and the playing ﬁeld of ideas. To do anything less, Bill says, is to let others deﬁne their company’s future.
From Harvard Business School Press
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Multiple copies may be purchased through Jon Mueller at 800-CEO Read (jon @ 800ceoread.com). Recommended by the publisher, 800-CEO Read offers many special services, including special packaging, signed copies, domestic and international shipping, and more. Orders of 1,000 copies or more may be placed with Rich Gravelin at Harvard Business Publishing (rgravelin @ hbsp.harvard.edu or 617-783-7626). For orders of this volume, the publisher can customize the book jacket with a company’s logo and include an introduction from the company CEO or other representative at no additional charge.
Rags to Riches: The History of Cintas
May 14, 2002
In 2002, Bill spent many months with Richard T. Farmer, who transformed his father’s and grandfather’s rag company into a modern uniform and services company called Cintas. Together they produced a history of the company.
Dick Farmer self-published the book, and more than 15,000 copies have been sold or distributed to the company’s employees and customers. A limited number of copies is available at amazon.com. For background on the company, see www.cintas.com
The Japanese Power Game: What It Means to America
April 14, 1990
In 1989, Bill spent several months in Japan conducting research for this book, which appeared at a time of great ferment in relations between the United States and Japan.
The event that triggered interest among book editors was the Recruit scandal, which toppled several powerful ﬁgures in Japanese politics and in its corporate world. But Bill broadened the book to become an inquiry into the structure of economic and political relations between the two countries.
It received wide critical acclaim when it appeared in 1990.
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