Books

Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair With Trash
What is America's largest export, most prodigious product and greatest legacy -- the biggest thing we make? Our trash. Each of us is on track to toss 102 tons of garbage in a lifetime, 7.1 pounds a day, every day. We roll to the curb our collective body weight each year -- eighteen times over. Our disposable plastic alone outweighs the entire U.S. Navy -- and it costs us hundreds of billions of dollars. But there's good news, too: there are families, companies and whole communities who are finding a way back from waste, and profitting in the process. Through a compellingly human, at times absurdly humorous trash travelogue, Edward Humes reveals how government cooks the books to conceal the severity of our trashy ways, how the consumer economy is hijacked to encourage our costly love affair with waste, and how a new generation of waste-weary men and women are just saying no -- and finding that our biggest roadblock to restoring prosperity and our planet just might be our trash cans.

Bill McKibben, author of Earth: "Unlike most dirty books, this one is novel and fresh on every page. You'll be amazed."

Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland: "Garbology is an illuminating, entertaining read that ultimately provides hope and tips for a less wasteful future. This book will make you want to burn, or at least recycle, your trash can!"

Samuel Fromartz, author of Organic Inc: "In this well-written and fast-paced book, Edward Humes delves into the underbelly of a consumer society -- it's trash. What he finds is so startling and infuriating, you will never think about 'waste' in the same way again."

A Man and His Mountain
Meet the legendary entrepreneur who put Chardonnay on America’s tables and shook the horseracing world to its corrupt and complacent heart -- the only lumberjack turned cop turned lawyer turned winemaker to work his way onto the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans. The story of self-made billionaire Jess Jackson, who built the Kendall-Jackson wine empire from a few mountainous acres of grapes and raced the Horse of the Year three years in a row, is a remarkable tale of romance, risk and reinvention – perhaps the greatest second act in the history of American business.
Booklist: Humes makes his charismatic subject’s every venture vividly and intensely dramatic. This book will attract readers of diverse interests, from the law to wine-making to business to horse-racing.

Robert Parker, Wine Spectator: A classic American story - a man of the people becomes one of the great visionaries and qualitative titans the wine world has ever witnessed. Very highly recommended.”

Kirkus Reviews: A well-rounded, absorbing narrative of entrepreneurship, wine and the extraordinary man who made it all happen.. The quintessentially American rags-to-riches story.

Force of Nature: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart's Green Revolution

What happens when a renowned river guide teams up with the CEO of one of the largest—and least Earth-friendly—corporations in the world? In the case of former Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott and white water expert-turned Blu Skye Sustainability consultant Jib Ellison, you get nothing less than a green business revolution. Force of Nature reveals the inside story of the struggle to redefine what it means to be green in the world of big business. A little-known partnership between a one-man consultancy and the world's biggest retailer has evolved and grown, and has begun transforming whole industries. Now it's empowering a second industrial revolution, from the way we make clothes to heartland dairy farms, based on a simple truth: that the clean, green, efficient, less polluting way of doing business can also be the most profitable way of doing business.

New York Times: "Mr. Humes does here what the very best business books do. He finds a good story to help illuminate an issue of surpassing importance.... Mr. Humes’s prose is almost flawless, lean and clear, egoless and spare. He doesn’t deify or demonize Wal-Mart or any of the characters; in fact, he says Wal-Mart’s very business model is probably unsustainable. This is first-rate work — both by the author and by Wal-Mart itself."

Los Angeles Times: "A meticulously researched and engrossing narrative... For those interested in the relationship between business and environment -– once wary, now warming -– Humes' book is a compelling case study."

Publishers Weekly: “Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Humes offers a stirring story of how ecologically responsible practices are increasingly benefiting the bottom line... A fascinating, fair-minded look at the congruence between environmentalism and business, and the behemoth at the intersection.”

Eco Barons: The New Heroes of Environmental Activism

While many people remain paralyzed by the scope of Earth’s environmental crisis, the Eco Barons – a new, unheralded generation of dreamers, schemers and millionaires – have quietly dedicated their lives and fortunes to saving the planet. From the former fashion magnate and founder of Esprit who has saved more rainforest than anyone else on the planet, to the Malibu pool cleaner who led a worldwide effort to slow climate change, to the activists who saved the polar bear, the sea turtle and hundreds of other species from extinction, the incredible stories of the Eco Barons show just how much an individual’s determination and vision can accomplish. As environmentalist Bill McKibben says of Eco Barons “the heroes chronicled… will dramatically expand your sense of what you can do for the environment!” Published by ecco/Harper Collins. Browse the book here.
New York Times: “Encouraging and often inspirational… We must all strive to be become Eco Barons in our own right if we are to save the planet.”

Outside Magazine: “Humes’s in-depth reporting (reveals)… the new face of American environmentalism.”

Reuters:Eco Barons reminds you of the best that journalism has to offer, as Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward Humes has a knack for flowing narrative in his tales as well as any fiction writer.”


Mississippi Mud: Southern Justice & the Dixie Mafia (2010 edition)

This critically acclaimed bestseller chronicles the assassination of a Mississippi judge and his wife, the leading candidate for mayor of Biloxi -- and their daughter’s quest to bring the killers to justice.

Lynne Sposito’s fearless investigation of her parents’ murders soon led her to a shadowy group of criminals known as the Dixie Mafia, and into a teeming underworld of merciless killers, ruthless con men, and venal politicians who would do anything to keep Lynne from exposing the truth. Published by Simon & Schuster. Browse the book here.

Chicago Tribune: “Reminiscent of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood… Reads as smoothly as a finely crafted suspense novel.”

Bestselling author Ann Rule: “A story almost too unbelievable to be true. But it is… Engrossing! Terrifiic!”

New York Times: “Edward Humes’s lucid and unadorned prose admirably suits this complex story of venality and betrayal… Mississippi Mud reads like a well-constructed mystery novel.”


Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion & the Battle for America’s Soul

This behind-the-scenes account from the front lines of America’s “Evolution Wars” tells a dramatic story of faith, science and courage unlike any since the famous Scopes Monkey Trial. The small town of Dover, Pennsylvania, put science and religion on a collision course when it sought to teach a religiously themed alternative to evolution called “intelligent design” in its high school biology classes. The resulting trial soon became a national cause – with the town and its children caught in the crossfire. Now being developed for film by HBO. Published by ecco/Harper Collins. Browse the book here.
Seattle Times: “Vivid, memorable and engaging, and a welcome breath of common sense in an area dominated by zealots and table pounding.”

Newsday: “An explosive and colorful read.”

Washington Post: “Gripping… An important episode in the country’s ongoing struggle to reconcile faith, science, and culture. Humes’s book is a compelling account of that struggle.”



No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court

This award-winning and bestselling investigative narrative pierces the secrecy and scandal of the one place designed to save kids, though it too seldom does. No Matter How Loud I Shout provides a poignant, human look at a year in the life of Los Angeles Juvenile Court – and a vivid portrait of the children who pass through it.

Winner of the PEN Center USA award for research nonfiction and the Best Book award from Investigative Reporters and Editors. Published by Simon & Schuster. Browse the book here.

Washington Post: “Passionate… A sad, maddening, brilliant book.”

New York Times: “A finely etched, powerfully upsetting portrait.”

Washington Monthly: “Reads like a pilot for a Michael Crichton TV series… Stories careen by in an “ER”-style blur but still manage to touch a nerve. Humes has produced a thoughtful, nuanced work, set apart from the flood of wonkish policy books by his often beautiful prose.”


Over Here: How the GI Bill Transformed the American Dream

Inspiring war stories are familiar. But what about the after-the-war stories? Over Here is the Greatest Generation’s after-the-war story – vivid portraits of how the original GI Bill empowered an entire generation and reinvented the nation. The GI Bill opened college education to the masses, transformed America from a nation of renters into a nation of homeowners, and enabled an era of prosperity never before seen in the world. Doctors, teachers, engineers, researchers and Nobel Prize winners who had never considered college an option rewrote the American Dream thanks to this most visionary legislation. Published by Harcourt. Browse the book here.

Long Beach Press Telegram: “A profound book… brilliant.”

Denver Post: “Poignant… The human dramas scattered throughout the narrative are irresistible.”

Los Angeles Times: “Humes’s rich tapestry is… deeply moving, alive with the thrill of people from modest backgrounds discovering that the opportunities available to them were far greater than anything they had dreamed of.”


School of Dreams: Making the Grade at a Top American High School

Set in a Los Angeles-area high school where a grass roots revolt transformed failure into one of the best public schools in the nation, School of Dreams chronicles the lives of America’s stressed-out academic top performers. Young people struggle to balance their dreams against their parents’ ambitions, and teachers walk the line between manufacturing test-takers and fostering great learning. A Washington Post Book World “Rave,” a Booklist Editor’s Choice, and an American School Board Journal’s “Must Read.” Published by Harcourt. Read more here.
Washington Post: “A masterly example of passionate yet even-handed reporting… It deserves an A+, even without grade inflation.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“ Reveals more about what’s missing in public education than No Child Left Behind or any high-stakes test ever could.”

Booklist: “Humes captures the angst and yearning of high school students who want to achieve, for themselves and their parents, but who have a vague sense they’re missing out on something less tangible than a grade-point average.”


Baby ER

Life, death and hope in the cutting-edge world of a neonatal intensive care unit, where new breakthroughs have redefined the possible, where new parents face their worst fears, and new lives hang in the balance. Humes spent a year as author in residence at a top NICU, following the lives and fates of the young patients and their families at they journey through a high-tech medical world filled with dread and wonder. Published by Simon & Schuster. Browse the book here.

Los Angeles Times: “A remarkable and searing book… Humes has written a book that is hard to forget, a picture of sadness and joy that is all the more beautiful for its pervasive humanity and its inherent mystery.”

New York Times: “A masterly job… Splendid reading… Humes does what only a good journalist can do:  He transports us body and soul… Great medical storytelling.”

San Francisco Chronicle: “Eloquent… An affirming, often riveting book, and the families of the many children alive today because of an NICU will thank him for it.”


Mean Justice: A Town’s Terror, a Prosecutor’s Power, a Betrayal of Justice 

Set in the toughest town on crime in America, Mean Justice is the bestselling story of the unintended casualty in the war on crime: innocence.

A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 1999, Mean Justice chronicles the story of a retired high school principal convicted of murdering his wife, despite grave questions about the evidence against him and the conduct of authorities, and numerous revelations of police and prosecutorial misconduct in numerous other cases. Published by Simon & Schuster. Browse the book here.

Los Angeles Times: “This is the same seamless, honest and also lyrical writing that earned Humes a Pulitzer Prize.”

San Francisco Chronicle:Mean Justice is an extraordinary nonfiction work… The reader is simple swept along.”

Chicago Tribune: “So thorough… So compelling… An important book.”



Murderer With a Badge
The true story of the dirtiest cop in Los Angeles, nicknamed “Mild Bill” for his unassuming manner, even as he ran a ring of luxury yacht thieves and engineered murders for hire.


Buried Secrets
Drug trafficking, ritual murder and official incompetence on the US-Mexican border.