Book Bits: 11 November 2023

The Fund: Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates, and the Unraveling of a Wall Street Legend
Rob Copeland
Review via The Daily Beast
In public, Ray Dalio has all the markings of an icon. He built his hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, into the largest in the world; he signed The Giving Pledge; he wrote a book about his principles (title: Principles) that sold millions of copies.
New York Times reporter Rob Copeland is here to shatter the illusion. On Tuesday, Copeland published a new biography, The Fund: Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates, and the Unraveling of a Wall Street Legend, which draws on interviews with hundreds of people in Dalio’s orbit.

Same as Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes
Morgan Housel
Summary via publisher (Portfolio/Penguin Random House)
Every investment plan under the sun is, at best, an informed speculation of what may happen in the future, based on a systematic extrapolation from the known past. Same as Ever reverses the process, inviting us to identify the many things that never, ever change. With his usual elan, Morgan Housel presents a master class on optimizing risk, seizing opportunity, and living your best life. Through a sequence of engaging stories and pithy examples, he shows how we can use our newfound grasp of the unchanging to see around corners, not by squinting harder through the uncertain landscape of the future, but by looking backwards, being more broad-sighted, and focusing instead on what is permanently true.

Material World: The Six Raw Materials That Shape Modern Civilization
Ed Conway
Review via Financial Times
As Conway, economics editor of Sky News, points out in Material World, we are all mine-ridden now. New resources are needed to produce computers, build homes and offices, and make both internal combustion engine and electric cars. “Far from being independent from the physical world around us, we have never been more reliant upon it.”

The Genius of Israel: The Surprising Resilience of a Divided Nation in a Turbulent World
Dan Senor and Saul Singer
Interview with co-author (Senor) via The Dispatch
On today’s Remnant, Jonah welcomes Dan Senor, a prolific pundit, political adviser, and author of the new book, The Genius of Israel: The Surprising Resilience of a Divided Nation in a Turbulent World. As tragic as the unfolding situation in Israel may be, Dan joins the program to bring a welcome degree of optimism to our discourse on the subject. Israel, it turns out, has become one of the happiest societies in the world in recent years. But simultaneously, levels of fulfillment have plummeted in the United States. Dan’s book explores why this is the case, and what lessons Americans should take from Israel to strengthen our social fabric and build communities that emphasize the importance of each individual. Tune in for all of the uplifting details.

Breaking Twitter: Elon Musk and the Most Controversial Corporate Takeover in History
Ben Mezrich
Review via BookPage
In Mezrich’s version of the story, Twitter broke Musk. The book opens with a glittering vision of Twitter in 2020—one that quickly disintegrates into confusion, disarray and dysfunction after its acquisition by Musk. Mezrich sees Musk taking a similar path as he transforms from the rockstar boy genius of Tesla and Space X to the trolling, erratic and capricious dictator of Twitter. Like the original story of Icarus, Breaking Twitter warns that achieving an ambitious goal can result in cosmic punishment.

Water for All: Global Solutions for a Changing Climate
David Sedlak
Summary via publisher (Yale U. Press)
It is not your imagination: water crises are more frequent. Our twentieth-century systems for providing the water that grows food, sustains cities, and supports healthy ecosystems are failing to meet the demands of growing population and the challenges brought on by climate change. But the grim news reports—of empty reservoirs, withering crops, failing ecosystems—need not be cause for despair, argues award-winning author David Sedlak.

Please note that the links to books above are affiliate links with and James Picerno (a.k.a. The Capital Spectator) earns money if you buy one of the titles listed. Also note that you will not pay extra for a book even though it generates revenue for The Capital Spectator. By purchasing books through this site, you provide support for The Capital Spectator’s free content. Thank you!