● Concrete Economics: The Hamilton Approach to Economic Growth and Policy
By Stephen S. Cohen and J. Bradford Delong
Summary via publisher (Harvard Business Review Press)
History, not ideology, holds the key to growth. Brilliantly written and argued, “Concrete Economics” shows how government has repeatedly reshaped the American economy ever since Alexander Hamilton’s first, foundational redesign. This book does not rehash the sturdy and long-accepted arguments that to thrive, entrepreneurial economies need a broad range of freedoms. Instead, Steve Cohen and Brad DeLong remedy our national amnesia about how our economy has actually grown and the role government has played in redesigning and reinvigorating it throughout our history. The government not only sets the ground rules for entrepreneurial activity but directs the surges of energy that mark a vibrant economy. This is as true for present-day Silicon Valley as it was for New England manufacturing at the dawn of the nineteenth century.
● Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It
By Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman
Summary via publisher (Bloomsbury)
American democracy has become coin operated. Special interest groups increasingly control every level of government. The necessity of raising huge sums of campaign cash has completely changed the character of politics and policy making, determining what elected representatives stand for and how they spend their time. The marriage of great wealth and intense political influence has rendered our country unable to address our most pressing problems, from runaway government spending to climate change to the wealth gap. It also defines our daily lives: from the cars we drive to the air we breathe to the debt we owe. In this powerful work of reportage, Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman, two vigilant watchdogs, expose legalized corruption and link it to the kitchen-table issues citizens face every day. Inciting our outrage, the authors then inspire us by introducing us to the army of reformers laying the groundwork for change, ready to be called into action.
● Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity
By Douglas Rushkoff (Author)
Q&A with author via CNET
His latest book, “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus,” is built around the preface that: “The digital economy has gone wrong. Everybody knows it, but no one knows quite how to fix it, or even how to explain the problem.”
● The Art of Risk: The New Science of Courage, Caution, and Chance
By Kayt Sukel
Summary via publisher (Penguin Random House)
Are risk-takers born or made? Why are some more willing to go out on a limb (so to speak) than others? How do we weigh the value of opportunities large or small that may have the potential to change the course of our lives? These are just a few of the questions that author Kayt Sukel tackles, applying the latest research in neuroscience and psychology to compelling real-world situations. Building on a portfolio of work that has appeared in such publications as Scientific American, Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and more, Sukel offers an in-depth look at risk-taking and its role in the many facets of life that resonates on a personal level.
● So You Want to Start a Hedge Fund: Lessons for Managers and Allocators
By Ted Seides
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
So You Want to Start a Hedge Fund provides critical lessons and thoughtful insights to those trying to decipher the industry, as well as those seeking to invest in the next generation of high performers. This book foregoes the sensational, headline-grabbing stories about the few billionaire hedge fund managers to reach the top of the field. Instead, it focuses on the much more common travails of start-ups and small investment firms. The successes and failures of a talented group of competitive managers—all highly educated and well trained—show what it takes for managers and allocators to succeed. These accounts include lessons on funding, team development, strategy, performance, and allocation.