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Go To The Mattresses

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Masters of DisasterIf you're a fan of the Godfather, you have to love any book that says all you have to know about managing a crisis you already learned from Vito Corleone.

Masters of Disaster is the perfect playbook for how to respond when you're under enemy fire and armed with little more than a cannoli.

The team that advised President Clinton, celebrities and corporate titans have broken down the commandments of crisis management, whether you accidentally hit "reply all" to an embarrassing email, or are fending off a real crisis in your life or business. You can get their hard knuckle advice and funny real life stories at bookstores or online at BarnesAndNoble.com.

Penned by fixers Chris Lehane and Mark Fabiani, and filmmaker Bill Guttentag, Masters of Disaster is a vital and fun read full of back-room tales for those who want to learn from America's greatest corporate and political scandals. You'll understand the big mistakes made by companies like Toyota and BP, politicians like Mitt Romney and celebrities like Roger Clemons and Tiger Woods.

The book argues for full and rapid transparency in a crisis: "If the mistake fits, be quick to admit."

The masters also recommend the cool disciplined approach to crisis that made Michael Corleone the Godfather when he decided to kill the corrupt cop that shot his dad: "It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business."

America's greatness, like its greatest historical failures, has come from the fact that public opinion can rule. Masters of Disaster shows those who face crisis can only survive by respecting public opinion and those who don't will quickly fall.

My consumer group Consumer Watchdog creates a lot of crisis for big corporations and politicians when they stray from the path. If more of them heeded this book's advice, there would be a lot fewer scandals and more pro-consumer companies.

Go to your mattress with a copy of Masters of Disaster and enjoy the book.

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Jamie Court is the president of Consumer Watchdog and author of The Progressive's Guide To Raising Hell: How To Win Grassroots Campaigns, Pass Ballot Box Laws and Get The Change You Voted For (Chelsea Green)