Margaret M. Polski, Ph.D.

Photo of Founders Halls


Margaret M. Polski. Wired For Survival: The Rational (And Irrational) Choices We Make, From the Gas Pump To Terrorism. New York, NY: FT Press. 2009. 156 pages.

Read a Sample Chapter


New book from FT Press offers fresh insights into why humans behave the way they do, and its impact on issues ranging from politics, the economy, management, security, and foreign affairs

Looking through the lens of developments in neuroscience, this book challenges conventional assumptions about how we think and choose and puts a 21st century face on age-old questions about safety, security, and prosperty. It begins by placing current geo-strategic issues in historical perspective and describing how we actually make decisions compared to how we think we ought to, and then ventures into the processes of the human mind. In the final chapter these fresh insights are applied to examine the security issues that underpin how best to compete in global markets; to manage energy and other key resources; to invest in and secure critical infrastructure; to address the structural impacts of trade; to manage tomorrow's catastrophes, both natural and man-made.


“Do you ever wonder how you think? If you do, this book will fascinate and inform you. If you don’t, you will after reading this book. Either way, you’ll enjoy learning how we don’t usually do it as we think we do, how we may d it better for the very reason, and how we may do it still better once we understand.”
Thomas C. Schelling, 2005 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics, Distinguished University Professor, Emeritus, University of Maryland

“Wired for Survival is true to its think-different mission. Ranging from macro political economy, through markets and personal exchange to the neuroeconomic brain, Polski has written an engaging narrative for the inquisitive general reader, enjoyable also by the specialists in this range.”
Vernon L. Smith, 2002 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics, George L. Argyros Endowed Chair in Finance and Economics, Chapman University

Table of Contents

Foreward by R. James Woolsey, former head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency

One: Under the Twinkle of a Fading Star
Two: Bits and Pieces
Three: Mind Matter
Four: Thinking in the Wild
Five: Feeling Our Way
Six: Mind to Mind
Seven: Brightening the Twinkle of Our Fading Star




Photo of the book the Invisible Hands of U.S. Commercial Banking Reform

Margaret M. Polski. The Invisible Hands of U.S. Commercial Banking Reform: Private Action and Public Guarantees. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2003. 121 pages.

Read The Epilogue: The Future of U.S. Commercial Banking  (PDF)



This book describes the transformation of the U.S. commercial banking industry in the late twentieth century. It situates this transformation in historical context and provides detailed analyses (including extensive time series data) on the evolution of a highly regulated industry, where state and federal laws limited products, services, geographic locations, and pricing, to a more lightly regulated industry where banks compete with a variety of financial service providers. On an academic level, it tests the explanatory power of standard theories of regulatory change. The Epilogue contains a prescient description of the challenges facing today’s bank regulators and managing executives.


“This book is short. But as the partial summary indicates, its brevity masks the scope of its coverage and the depth of its analysis. In fact the richness and conciseness of the book makes reading almost every sentence crucial. At the same time, Polski writes with such clarity that my third year money and banking students could easily read and learn from it …”
Sherry Davis Kaspar
Book Reviews. Journal of Economic Issues. Vol. XL, No. 1, March 2006.

Table of Contents

One: Introduction
Two: Theoretical Foundations
Three: A Theory Of Change And A Framework For Analysis
Four: Economic Change 1960-2000
Five: Institutional Change 1960-2000
Six: Explaining Commercial Banking Reform
Epilogue: The Future of U.S. Commercial Banking