Alina Tugend has been a journalist for more than 25 years and has written about education, environmental issues, and consumer culture for numerous publications including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, the American Journalism Review, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Education Week, Child and Parents among others. Since 2005, she has written the bi-weekly consumer column "ShortCuts" for the New York Times business section. Several of her columns have appeared in the 2006 and 2009 editions of "The New York Times Practical Guide to Practically Anything." A graduate of U.C. Berkeley, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism, Tugend was one of four journalists nationwide awarded a grant to study at Yale Law School, leading to a Masters of Studies in Law. She lives outside of New York City with her husband and two sons.

American society is obsessed with success, but Alina Tugend says that when it comes to mistakes like the financial crisis, we’d be better off focusing on our mistakes.