Want to move on? So lay down with those summer business readings



From Robert Maxwell’s mystery to the secret Sackler dynasty, this summer’s business book harvest is certainly not boring

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A round-up of the compelling business reads of the summer, from the Financial Times.


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Think again: the power to know what you don’t know, by Adam Grant, Amazon, $ 55

Grant invites readers to take a scientific approach, learn from their mistakes, and adapt to new evidence in order to improve themselves and better exchange ideas. It is a thoughtful and research-rich invitation to keep an open mind and, if necessary, rethink previous convictions.

Demand more: why diversity and inclusion isn’t happening and what you can do about it, by Sheree Atcheson,Indigo $ 25.

Born in Sri Lanka but adopted by a working-class family in Northern Ireland, Atcheson’s name and accent give no indication of her color or origins. Her background, however, gives her plenty of personal experience and perspective on diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, in this straightforward collection of tips and interviews with experts.


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How to change: the science of getting from where you are to where you want to be, by Katy Milkman, Indigo $ 37

Change is “a chronic rather than a temporary challenge” and should be treated as such, according to Milkman, a behavior scientist with an engaging ability to revel in her own findings about how habits are formed and changed. An entertaining race through the best and the latest science on change and how to make it happen.

Crossing Continents: A History of Standard Chartered Bank, by Duncan Campbell-Smith,Amazon, $ 64

A weighty account of Chartered Bank and Standard Bank, which later combined to form Standard Chartered, where they came from and what they have become. As an authoritative story, the book perhaps inevitably mitigates StanChart’s more recent troubles but, making a review for the FT, Philip Augar hailed it as a “compelling imperial and post-imperial banking record, responsible white men and the lives they led. “


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Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the invention of a global empire by Brad Stone, Amazon, $ 30

Amazon’s growth over the past decade justifies this sequel to Stone’s bestselling Amazon’s early years,The store of everything. The book is chock-full of new details about how its founder turned the ‘flywheel’ of customer-centric demand and repeated innovation, and inevitably encountered new political and commercial controversy in the world. the process of creating a vast technological empire.

Framers: the human advantage in the age of technology and upheaval by Kenneth Cukier, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Francis de Véricourt, Indigo $ 37

It is a well-written prescription for intelligent thinking based on our unique ability to frame or reframe problems, “to exploit mental models to elicit options” to find better solutions. It starts out as a conventional mix of research and storytelling. It turns into a bold call to reinject pluralism and progressive human values ​​into a decision-making process increasingly and dangerously dominated by algorithms or instinct.


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Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe, Indigo, $ 40

A gripping and in-depth investigation into the Sackler Dynasty saga and the addicting pain reliever OxyContin, developed and marketed by Purdue Pharma, the company owned by two of the Sackler brothers and their families. John Gapper of the FT wrote that Keefe brought to this “tour de force,” a “coldly prosecutorial style of prose backed by voluminous research” into the Sacklers’ links to drugs and the philanthropy that tarnished their reputation. .

Autumn: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell, by John Preston,Indigo, $ 32

The media mogul’s colorful career and mysterious death – did he fall from his yacht in 1991, or did he jump? – are captured in this detailed account of Maxwell’s motivation, from the horror and chaos of the Holocaust and its aftermath, to head-on competition with Rupert Murdoch in the 1980s. “The strength of the book is to tell the great sweep of an extraordinary life, ”wrote Bronwen Maddox in her review of the FT.


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The world for sale: money, power and traders who barter the Earth’s resources, by Javier Blas and Jack Farchy, Amazon, $ 33

This story of the rise of commodity traders from the 1970s to the supercycle of the 2000s also tells the story of the broad geopolitical trends that enriched them, including nationalization in the Middle East and rampant privatization in the Soviet Union. in the process of disintegration. Former FT reporters Blas and Farchy give colorful details that give the book “thriller quality,” Felix Martin wrote in his review.

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How boards work: and how they can work better in a chaotic world, by Dambisa Moyo, Amazon, $ 38

As a non-executive on multiple boards, Moyo offers a thoughtful insider briefing on how to deal with the dilemmas of modern boardrooms, including the challenges of changing corporate culture and instilling greater diversity and a purpose. John Plender of the FT said the book provided “thoughtful analysis and reform proposals against which board experts can usefully test their hypotheses.”

© 2021 The Financial Times Ltd


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