● Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-first Century
By Orville Schell and John Delury
Interview with authors via The Diane Rehm Show
By some estimates, China will likely surpass the United States to become the leading economic superpower by 2016. The world’s most populous country now boasts a rapidly expanding military and growing influence in global affairs. But these accomplishments have come after a long period of dynastic decline, foreign occupation and civil war. China experts Orville Schell and John Delury say China’s pursuit of national greatness after generations of humiliation has come to define the Chinese character. They say this determined quest for wealth and power remains the key to understanding many of China’s actions today. A conversation about the history of Chinese nationalism and how it paved the way for the world’s most populist country to become the global economic powerhouse it is today.
● Worthless, Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value
By Daniel Isenberg
Review via The Wall Street Journal
In “Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value,” Daniel Isenberg, a professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College and before that at Harvard Business School, offers many useful stories of entrepreneurship, culled from his teaching experience. But it isn’t until two-thirds of the way through that he torturously concedes that every entrepreneur needs a streak of Gordon Gekko.
“I have gradually come to the difficult conclusion that the burning desire for extraordinary value capture is almost a sine qua non for the supreme effort required to convert the value from imagined into tangible value,” he writes. “Personal gain is the simplest and most powerful motivation. If a person does not feel deeply that ‘This must pay off for me,’ there will rarely be extraordinary value creation.”
● The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving
By Leigh Gallagher
Review via Publishers Weekly
The suburbs are in many ways a uniquely American phenomenon—no other nation has them in such abundance. But their future is in doubt. Gallagher, assistant managing editor at Fortune, marshals ample evidence that the suburbs are in decline, as the financial crisis, long-term demographic trends, and increased environmental awareness conspire to drive Americans away from residential subdivisions. “Simply speaking, more and more Americans don’t want to live there anymore,” she writes. Through conversations with home builders, designers, and consumers, and a review of relevant data concerning suburban real estate, Gallagher heralds a future of “smaller-scale” communities and urban spaces characterized by walk-ability, socioeconomic diversity, and mixed-use development.
● Gentlemen Bankers: The World of J. P. Morgan
By Susie J. Pak
Summary via publisher, Harvard University Press
Gentlemen Bankers investigates the social and economic circles of one of America’s most renowned and influential financiers to uncover how the Morgan family’s power and prestige stemmed from its unique position within a network of local and international relationships. At the turn of the twentieth century, private banking was a personal enterprise in which business relationships were a statement of identity and reputation. In an era when ethnic and religious differences were pronounced and anti-Semitism was prevalent, Anglo-American and German-Jewish elite bankers lived in their respective cordoned communities, seldom interacting with one another outside the business realm. Ironically, the tacit agreement to maintain separate social spheres made it easier to cooperate in purely financial matters on Wall Street. But as Susie Pak demonstrates, the Morgans’ exceptional relationship with the German-Jewish investment bank Kuhn, Loeb & Co., their strongest competitor and also an important collaborator, was entangled in ways that went far beyond the pursuit of mutual profitability.
● The West Without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us about Tomorrow
By Lynn Ingram and Frances Malamud-Roam
Summary via publisher, California University Press
The West without Water documents the tumultuous climate of the American West over twenty millennia, with tales of past droughts and deluges and predictions about the impacts of future climate change on water resources. Looking at the region’s current water crisis from the perspective of its climate history, the authors ask the central question of what is “normal” climate for the West, and whether the relatively benign climate of the past century will continue into the future.
● How to Win at Spread Betting: An analysis of why some people win at spread betting and some lose
By Paresh H. Kiri and Alpesh B. Patel
Summary via publisher, Harriman House
No other book has ever provided this kind of vital information – the kind that traders need to win at spread betting. The authors have taken data from the daily trades of hundreds of traders over a five-year period – tens of thousands of trades. Then they analysed it. The book is packed with hardcore insider data – taken from other traders and the authors’ own trades – all carefully dissected to provide you with the answers you need to succeed. As insiders, the authors’ aim is to show you how to beat the market. They now it can be done because they know the winners who do it. In this book, they show you how to do it.
● The Rise of The Global South: Philosophical, Geopolitical and Economic Trends of the 21st Century
Summary via publisher, World Scientific
Edited by Justin Dargin
This book provides a broad and in-depth introduction to the geopolitical, economic and trade changes wrought with the increasing influence of the countries of the Global South in international affairs. The global role of the developing countries came to the forefront in 1974, when the United Nations General Assembly promulgated The New International Economic Order. Since then, the countries of the Global South, particularly China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Qatar, made an indelible impact upon the world’s economic architecture.