LISTS Archives
Saturday, January 10, 2004
A new booklist
Posted by David Smith at 01:40 PM
Category: LISTS

It is a while since I have put a list of recommended books on the site, so here goes, with links to Amazon for further details (click "back" to return to this site). This also gives me another chance to plug my own Free Lunch, as well as, for A-level students, UK Current Economic Policy - which for some reason Amazon has down under the name of the series editor, Susan Grant. Anyway, here's the list:

1. John Maynard Keynes, 1883-1946, by Robert Skidelsky. Skidelsky has condensed his magnificent three-volume biography of Keynes into a single volume. If you can't read all three, read this.

2. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, by David Landes. This is the way economic history should be written. Highly informative and very readable.

3. Manias, Panics and Crashes, by Charles Kindleberger. A pre-dotcom boom classic, but still very well worth reading.

4. Money for Nothing, by Roger Bootle. Roger Bootle has made the mistake of trying to cram two books into one - the "birth of deflation" and the rosy long-term economic prospects for the world. But food for thought.

5. The Prudence of Mr Gordon Brown, by William Keegan. Bill Keegan gave Nigel Lawson a similar treatment and his book appeared at the time of that chancellor's downfall. This one comes as Brown is still going strong. It questions his excessive prudence in the early years, which has given way to present worries over fiscal laxity.

6. Infectious Greed, by Frank Partnoy. The best account I have read about how derivatives have come to dominate the financial system, from somebody who used to be at the heart of it. You might want to wait for the paperback, out very soon.

7. The Roaring Nineties, by Joseph Stiglitz. Stiglitz is so full of himself that it would be easy not to recommend this book but it is a readable account of a remarkable decade from a one-time Clinton administration insider.

8. Open World: The Truth About Globalisation, by Philippe LeGrain. Makes the case for globalisation more powerfully than I've seen anywhere else. He's English by the way, in spite of the name.

And finally, a couple of non-economics books.

9. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. Normally I'd steer clear of Booker prizewinners and, as you'll see from the reviews, people either love or hate this book. I loved the story of Piscine Patel and Richard Parker (he's a tiger by the way).

10. Forgotten Voices of the Great War, by Max Arthur. Moving accounts of the First World War from those who participated, taken from the Imperial War Museum archive. Better than dry historical accounts of the "war to end all wars".