One sign we live in contentious times is the evergreen popularity of Getting to Yes, this month's No.12 paperback and a regular on the BUSINESS WEEK Best-Seller List for more than three years. Against the backdrop of the feverish strike at General Motors Corp., the how-to-negotiate primer seems well worth revisiting.

Authors Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton assert that bargaining should not consist of haggling over opposing positions, such as precise dollar figures. Whether talks center on the value of an antique or the status of hostages, negotiators are more likely to get results from ''principled negotiations,'' they say. This approach involves ''focusing on basic interests, mutually satisfying options, and fair standards.''

Once the parties have identified each others' underlying interests--fairness, say, or stability--and brainstormed in a search for creative options, they are more likely to reach agreement. The biggest problem for the authors, all of whom have taught negotiation at Harvard University, lies in their notion that solutions can be found in ''objective criteria.'' In the end, there are no such things: Wage standards, for example, reflect both momentary power relations--such as unions' political strength--and ephemeral demographics, such as the size, education, and age of the labor force. All the same, Getting to Yes has sufficient wisdom to merit several more seasons of best-sellerdom.


1 THE 9 STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM by Suze Orman (Crown $23) Practical and ''spiritual'' steps for managing money.

2 THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR by Thomas J. Stanley, PhD, and William D. Danko, PhD (Longstreet Press $22) The penny-pinchers shall inherit the earth.

3 TITAN by Ron Chernow (Random House $30) John D. Rockefeller Sr., the devil and angel.

4 THE ROARING 2000S by Harry S. Dent Jr. (Simon & Schuster $25) The good times keep on rollin'.

5 THE UNEMOTIONAL INVESTOR by Robert Sheard (Simon & Schuster $25) Another Motley Fool's market-beating advice.

6 HOW TO RETIRE RICH by James O'Shaughnessy (Broadway $25) Number-crunching your way to the golden years.

7 THE GORILLA GAME by Geoffrey A. Moore, Paul Johnson, and Tom Kippola (HarperBusiness $26) Spotting high-tech stocks that dominate their market niches.

8 UNLEASHING THE KILLER APP by Larry Downes and Chunka Mui (Harvard Business School $24.95) How to ''achieve escape velocity from your current paradigm.''

9 CONTRARIAN INVESTMENT STRATEGIES by David Dreman (Simon & Schuster $25) A fund manager's unorthodox advice.

10 SELLING THE INVISIBLE by Harry Beckwith (Warner $16) A collection of bite-size lessons on marketing.

11 DIE BROKE by Stephen M. Pollan and Mark Levine (HarperBusiness $25) Forget about the will--and the conventional wisdom--says a financial adviser.

12 BLUR by Stan Davis and Christopher Meyer (Addison-Wesley $25) Finding focus in a world of constant change.

13 BIG DEAL by Bruce Wasserstein (Warner $30) An exhaustive history of recent mergers and acquisitions.

14 JACK WELCH SPEAKS by Janet Lowe (Wiley $16.95) Quotes from GE's man, culled from speeches, news stories, and his own writings.

15 WALL STREET MONEY MACHINE by Wade B. Cook (Lighthouse Publishing $24.95) A former cab driver's formulas for striking it rich.


1 THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by Stephen R. Covey (Fireside $14) Habitually popular.

2 THE MOTLEY FOOL INVESTMENT GUIDE by David and Tom Gardner (Fireside $12) The online duo puts it on paper.

3 THE 1998 WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE? by Richard Nelson Bolles (Ten Speed Press $16.95) The enduring job-search bible.

4 SUCCESS IS A CHOICE by Rick Pitino with Bill Reynolds (Broadway $13) Coach says work harder, harder!

5 THE WALL STREET JOURNAL GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING MONEY AND INVESTING by Kenneth M. Morris and Alan M. Siegel (Fireside $14.95) Concise explanations enriched with graphics.

6 1001 WAYS TO REWARD EMPLOYEES by Bob Nelson (Workman $10.95) Give them a champagne brunch, a casual-dress day--or plain old cash.

7 THE MOTLEY FOOL INVESTMENT WORKBOOK by David and Tom Gardner (Fireside $12) ''So where do I find stocks?'' and other queries, asked and answered.

8 BUILT TO LAST by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras (HarperBusiness $15) How 3M, Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, and others became standouts.

9 BARRON'S DICTIONARY OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT TERMS by John Downes and Jordan Elliot Goodman (Barron's $11.95) What is an oligopsony anyway?

10 PERSONAL HISTORY by Katharine Graham (Vintage $15) The grande dame of The Washington Post on journalism, business, and her life.

11 INVESTING FOR DUMMIES by Eric Tyson, MBA (IDG Books $19.99) From stocks to small business--with cartoons, too.

12 GETTING TO YES by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton (Penguin $12.95) A Harvard team's step-by-step guide to conflict resolution.

13 GET A FINANCIAL LIFE by Beth Kobliner (Fireside $12) Hey, Gen-Xers, mutual funds and mortgages can be fun!

14 THE E MYTH REVISITED by Michael E. Gerber (HarperCollins $15) Starting and maintaining a small business.

15 HOME BUYING FOR DUMMIES by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown (IDG Books $16.99) Getting your dream house.

BUSINESS WEEK's Best-Seller List is based on a survey of chain and independent booksellers that carry a broad selection of books on economics, management, sales and marketing, small business, investing, personal finance, and careers. Well over 1,000 retail outlets nationwide are represented. Current rankings are based on a weighted analysis of unit sales in May.

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Updated June 25, 1998 by bwwebmaster
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