Longlist For Best Business Book Of The Year Announced
August 8, 2014
The Financial Times-McKinsey Financial Book Of The Year Award comes with a £30,000 prize. Sixteen books have been selected for the longlist; a six-book shortlist will be announced on September 24th and the winner announced on November 11th.
Here are the 16 books longlisted from over 300 titles entered:
(Click on the link to put a hold on the book in the catalog; have your LION Library barcode handy.)
The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World by Russell Gold
Russell Gold, a brilliant and dogged investigative reporter at The Wall Street Journal , has spent more than a decade reporting on one of the biggest stories of our time: the spectacular, world-changing rise of “fracking.” Recognized as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a recipient of the Gerald Loeb Award for his work, Gold has traveled along the pipelines and into the hubs of this country’s energy infrastructure; he has visited frack sites from Texas to North Dakota; and he has conducted thousands of interviews with engineers and wildcatters, CEOs and roughnecks, environmentalists and politicians. He has also sifted through reams of engineering reports, lawsuit transcripts, and financial filings. The result is an essential book-a commanding piece of journalism, an astounding study of human ingenuity, and an epic work of storytelling.
Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty
What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories. In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty analyzes a unique collection of data from twenty countries, ranging as far back as the eighteenth century, to uncover key economic and social patterns. His findings will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.
China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa by Howard French
An exciting, hugely revealing account of China’s burgeoning presence in Africa–a developing empire already shaping, and reshaping, the future of millions of people. A prizewinning foreign correspondent and former New York Times bureau chief in Shanghai and in West and Central Africa, Howard French is uniquely positioned to tell the story of China in Africa. Through meticulous on-the-ground reporting–conducted in Mandarin, French, and Portuguese, among other languages–French crafts a layered investigation of astonishing depth and breadth as he engages not only with policy-shaping moguls and diplomats, but also with the ordinary men and women navigating the street-level realities of cooperation, prejudice, corruption, and opportunity forged by this seismic geopolitical development. With incisiveness and empathy, French reveals the human face of China’s economic, political, and human presence across the African continent–and in doing so reveals what is at stake for everyone involved.
Creativity, Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, comes an incisive book about creativity in business–sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath. Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation–into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture–but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.” For nearly twenty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, and WALL-E, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner thirty Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is . Here, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired–and so profitable.
Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance by Julia Angwin
An inside look at who’s watching you, what they know and why it matters. We are being watched. We see online ads from websites we’ve visited, long after we’ve moved on to other interests. Our smartphones and cars transmit our location, enabling us to know what’s in the neighborhood but also enabling others to track us. And the federal government, we recently learned, has been conducting a massive data-gathering surveillance operation across the Internet and on our phone lines. In Dragnet Nation , award-winning investigative journalist Julia Angwin reports from the front lines of America’s surveillance economy, offering a revelatory and unsettling look at how the government, private companies, and even criminals use technology to indiscriminately sweep up vast amounts of our personal data.
Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt (US title) by Michael Lewis
Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post-financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks. Working at different firms, they come to this realization separately; but after they discover one another, the flash boys band together and set out to reform the financial markets. This they do by creating an exchange in which high-frequency trading–source of the most intractable problems–will have no advantage whatsoever.The characters in Flash Boys are fabulous, each completely different from what you think of when you think “Wall Street guy.” Several have walked away from jobs in the financial sector that paid them millions of dollars a year. From their new vantage point they investigate the big banks, the world’s stock exchanges, and high-frequency trading firms as they have never been investigated, and expose the many strange new ways that Wall Street generates profits.
Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit by Charles W. Calomiris and Stephen H. Haber
Why are banking systems unstable in so many countries–but not in others? The United States has had twelve systemic banking crises since 1840, while Canada has had none. The banking systems of Mexico and Brazil have not only been crisis prone but have provided miniscule amounts of credit to business enterprises and households. Analyzing the political and banking history of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil through several centuries, Fragile by Design demonstrates that chronic banking crises and scarce credit are not accidents due to unforeseen circumstances. Rather, these fluctuations result from the complex bargains made between politicians, bankers, bank shareholders, depositors, debtors, and taxpayers. The well-being of banking systems depends on the abilities of political institutions to balance and limit how coalitions of these various groups influence government regulations. (Description provided by Princeton University Press)
GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History by Diane Coyle
Why did the size of the U.S. economy increase by 3 percent on one day in mid-2013—or Ghana’s balloon by 60 percent overnight in 2010? Why did the U.K. financial industry show its fastest expansion ever at the end of 2008—just as the world’s financial system went into meltdown? And why was Greece’s chief statistician charged with treason in 2013 for apparently doing nothing more than trying to accurately report the size of his country’s economy? The answers to all these questions lie in the way we define and measure national economies around the world: Gross Domestic Product. This entertaining and informative book tells the story of GDP, making sense of a statistic that appears constantly in the news, business, and politics, and that seems to rule our lives—but that hardly anyone actually understands. (Description provided by Princeton University Press)
The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out is Good Business (US Cover) by John Browne
In The Glass Closet, Lord John Browne, former CEO of BP, seeks to unsettle business leaders by exposing the culture of homophobia that remains rampant in corporations around the world, and which prevents employees from showing their authentic selves. Drawing on his own experiences, and those of prominent members of the LGBT community around the world, as well as insights from well-known business leaders and celebrities, Lord Browne illustrates why, despite the risks involved, self-disclosure is best for employees—and for the businesses that support them. Above all, The Glass Closet offers inspiration and support for those who too often worry that coming out will hinder their chances of professional success. (Description provided by Harper Collins)
Hack Attack: How the Truth Caught up With Rupert Murdoch by Nick Davies
At first, it seemed like a small story. The royal editor of the News of the World was caught listening to the voicemail messages of staff at Buckingham Palace. In 2007 he and a private investigator were sentenced to prison and the case was closed. But Nick Davies felt sure there was more to it and began his painstaking investigation which ultimately exposed a world of crime and cover-up, of fear and favour – reaching all the way to the top. (Description provided by Random House Books Australia)
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
A lot of people talk about how great it is to start a business, but only Ben Horowitz is brutally honest about how hard it is to run one. In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, draws on his own story of founding, running, selling, buying, managing, and investing in technology companies to offer essential advice and practical wisdom for navigating the toughest problems business schools don’t cover. His blog has garnered a devoted following of millions of readers who have come to rely on him to help them run their businesses.
House of Debt: How They (and You) Caused the Great Recession, and How We Can Prevent It From Happening Again by Atif Mian and Amir Sufi
The Great American Recession resulted in the loss of eight million jobs between 2007 and 2009. More than four million homes were lost to foreclosures. Is it a coincidence that the United States witnessed a dramatic rise in household debt in the years before the recession—that the total amount of debt for American households doubled between 2000 and 2007 to $14 trillion? Definitely not. Armed with clear and powerful evidence, Atif Mian and Amir Sufi reveal in House of Debt how the Great Recession and Great Depression, as well as the current economic malaise in Europe, were caused by a large run-up in household debt followed by a significantly large drop in household spending. (Description provided by University of Chicago Press)
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail? In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page. This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It’s also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative.
The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
In recent years, Google’s autonomous cars have logged thousands of miles on American highways and IBM’s Watson trounced the best human Jeopardy! players. Digital technologies–with hardware, software, and networks at their core–will in the near future diagnose diseases more accurately than doctors can, apply enormous data sets to transform retailing, and accomplish many tasks once considered uniquely human. In The Second Machine Age MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee–two thinkers at the forefront of their field–reveal the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. As the full impact of digital technologies is felt, we will realize immense bounty in the form of dazzling personal technology, advanced infrastructure, and near-boundless access to the cultural items that enrich our lives. Amid this bounty will also be wrenching change. Professions of all kinds–from lawyers to truck drivers–will be forever upended. Companies will be forced to transform or die.
Shredded: Inside RBS, the Bank that Broke Britain by Ian Fraser
At its zenith, the Royal Bank of Scotland was the world’s biggest bank. It had assets of $3 trillion, employed over 200,000 people, had branches on every high street and was admired and trusted by millions of borrowers and investors. Now the mere mention of its name causes anger and resentment, and its former CEO, Fred Goodwin, is reviled as one of the architects of the worst financial crisis since 1929. In Shredded, Ian Fraser lifts the lid on the catastrophic mistakes that led the bank to the brink of collapse, scrutinizing the role played by RBS’s directors who failed to check Goodwin’s hubris, the colleagues who were overawed by his despotic leadership style, the politicians who created a regulatory free-for-all in which banks went virtually unsupervised, and the investors who egged Goodwin on. (Description provided by Birlinn)
Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty by Daniel Schulman
Like the Rockefellers and the Kennedys, the Kochs are one of the most influential dynasties of the modern age, but they have never been the subject of a major biography… until now. Not long after the death of his father, Charles Koch, then in his early 30s, discovered a letter the family patriarch had written to his sons. “You will receive what now seems to be a large sum of money,” Fred Koch cautioned. “It may either be a blessing or a curse.” Fred’s legacy would become a blessing and a curse to his four sons-Frederick, Charles, and fraternal twins David and Bill-who in the ensuing decades fought bitterly over their birthright, the oil and cattle-ranching empire their father left behind in 1967. Against a backdrop of scorched-earth legal skirmishes, Charles and David built Koch Industries into one of the largest private corporations in the world-bigger than Boeing and Disney-and they rose to become two of the wealthiest men on the planet. Influenced by the sentiments of their father, who was present at the birth of the John Birch Society, Charles and David have spent decades trying to remake the American political landscape and mainline their libertarian views into the national bloodstream. They now control a machine that is a center of gravity within the Republican Party. To their supporters, they are liberating America from the scourge of Big Government. To their detractors, they are political “contract killers,” as David Axelrod, President Barack Obama’s chief strategist, put it during the 2012 campaign.
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