Book Bits | 4 July 2020

The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win
Maria Konnikova
Review via Nature
There has never been a more pressing need for digestible and coherent literature on rational decision-making. Enter The Biggest Bluff, psychologist Maria Konnikova’s depiction of her journey into professional poker. What at first seems a light-hearted story about a curious academic dipping her toe into shark-infested waters delivers a crucial lesson in how to thrive in an increasingly misleading world.

Tech Trends in Practice: The 25 Technologies that are Driving the 4th Industrial Revolution
Bernard Marr
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
How will the latest technologies transform your business? Future Tech Trends in Practice will give you the knowledge of today’s most important technology trends, and how to take full advantage of them to grow your business. The book presents25 real-world technology trends along with their potential contributions to organisational success. You’ll learn how to integrate existing advancements and plan for those that are on the way.

Capitalism at Risk, Updated and Expanded: How Business Can Lead
Joseph L. Bower, et al.
Summary via publisher (Harvard Business Review Press)
The spread of capitalism worldwide has made people wealthier than ever before. But capitalism’s future is far from assured. Pandemics, income inequality, resource depletion, mass migrations from poor to rich countries, religious fundamentalism, the misuse of social media, and cyberattacks–these are just a few of the threats to continuing prosperity that we see dominating the headlines every day. How can capitalism be sustained? And who should spearhead the effort? Critics turn to government. In their groundbreaking book, “Capitalism at Risk,” Harvard Business School professors Joseph Bower, Herman Leonard, and Lynn Paine argue that while robust governments must play a role, leadership by business is essential.

George Washington, Entrepreneur: How Our Founding Father’s Private Business Pursuits Changed America and the World
John Berlau
Summary via publisher (All Points Books/Macmillan)
A business biography of George Washington, focusing on his many innovations and inventions. George Washington: general, statesman…businessman? Most people don’t know that Washington was the country’s first true entrepreneur, responsible for innovations in several industries. In George Washington, Entrepreneur, John Berlau presents a fresh, surprising take on our forefather’s business pursuits.

Dark Finance: Illiquidity and Authoritarianism at the Margins of Europe
Fabio Mattioli
Summary via publisher (Stanford University Press)
Dark Finance offers one of the first ethnographic accounts of financial expansion and its political impacts in Eastern Europe. Following workers, managers, and investors in the Macedonian construction sector, Fabio Mattioli shows how financialization can empower authoritarian regimes—not by making money accessible to everyone, but by allowing a small group of oligarchs to monopolize access to international credit and promote a cascade of exploitative domestic debt relations.

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