The Messenger: Moderna, the Vaccine, and the Business Gamble That Changed the World, Peter Loftus ’92 (Harvard Business Review Press). In early 2020, investors were starting to doubt that Moderna could deliver its first product to market. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic and, with it, the biotech company’s opportunity to put its messenger RNA technology to lifesaving use. Loftus, who covers the biotech and pharmaceutical industries for The Wall Street Journal, recounts how Moderna helped the world fight COVID-19 — and how the pandemic provided a path for the struggling company to become a global leader.
Making The Best Years of Our Lives: The Hollywood Classic That Inspired a Nation, Alison Macor ’88 (University of Texas Press). “The first big, good movie of the post-war era,” according to Life magazine, 1946 Best Picture winner The Best Years of Our Lives tells the story of three returning servicemen adjusting to ordinary life — two of them suffering from what today would be understood as post-traumatic stress disorder. The film’s authentic depiction of their difficult reintegration, featuring double-amputee Harold Russell in an Oscar-winning supporting role, won widespread praise, and General Omar Bradley said the film would help “the American people to build an even better democracy.” Film historian Macor’s comprehensive analysis also chronicles a backlash against the movie’s critique of the nation’s ideals, ensnaring its creators in anti-communist crusades.
Reimagining Design: Unlocking Strategic Innovation, Kevin G. Bethune ’98 (MIT Press). As the author sees it, the value of design extends far beyond utility or aesthetics. In his corporate career, the former Westinghouse engineer and Nike shoe designer discovered that the process could transform organizations — with the right approach. Drawing on his experience with major companies and his consulting work as the founder and chief creative officer of his “think tank,” dreams · design + life, Bethune provides a framework to promote multidisciplinary collaboration and create an inclusive workplace through design.