Best Books – Picks From Gundlach, Ross, Schwarzman, Gorman, Fuss, SchultzVW Staff
Here is an excerpt from Bloomberg on the most-cited selections and a list of best books of 2014 picked by Wilbur Ross, Jeffrey Gundlach, Stephen Schwarzman, James Gorman, Howard D. Schultz, Dan Fuss and Glenn Hubbard.
The most-cited books
Books seeking to explain the global financial crisis, analyze technology or plot the future for governments proved popular reads. The most-cited selections were Martin Wolf’s “The Shifts and the Shocks: What We?’ve Learned? and Have Still to Learn ?from the Financial Crisis”; “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies” by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee; “World Order” by Henry Kissinger and “House of Debt: How They (and You) Caused the Great Recession, and How We Can Prevent it from Happening Again” by Atif Mian and Amir Sufi.
Wilbur Ross: Best books of 2014
Wilbur Ross, chairman and CEO of WL Ross & Co.
Best books of 2014: Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty
What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories. In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty analyzes a unique collection of data from twenty countries, ranging as far back as the eighteenth century, to uncover key economic and social patterns. His findings will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.
Best books of 2014: Central Banking after the Great Recession
The global financial crisis is largely behind us, but the challenges it poses to the future stability of the world’s economic system affects everyone from American families to Main Street businesses to Wall Street financial powerhouses. It has provoked controversy over the best way to reduce the risk of a repeat of what proved to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. To describe those challenges—and the lessons learned—the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings turned to frontline policymakers and some of their most prominent critics. Central Banking after the Great Recession: Lessons Learned, Challenges Ahead contains the resulting research, leading off with a telling interview between Ben Bernanke, then in his final weeks as Federal Reserve chairman, and Liaquat Ahamed, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Lords of Finance. Insightful chapters by John Williams of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, Paul Tucker of Harvard University, and Donald Kohn of Brookings discuss unconventional monetary policy, financial regulation, the impact of the crisis on the independence of the Federal Reserve. Each chapter is followed by a lively debate.
Jeffrey Gundlach: Best books of 2014
Jeffrey Gundlach, co-founder and CEO of DoubleLine Capital LP
Best books of 2014: What Art Is
What Art Is by Arthur C. Danto
What is it to be a work of art? Renowned author and critic Arthur C. Danto addresses this fundamental, complex question. Part philosophical monograph and part memoiristic meditation, What Art Is challenges the popular interpretation that art is an indefinable concept, instead bringing to light the properties that constitute universal meaning. Danto argues that despite varied approaches, a work of art is always defined by two essential criteria: meaning and embodiment, as well as one additional criterion contributed by the viewer: interpretation. Danto crafts his argument in an accessible manner that engages with both philosophy and art across genres and eras, beginning with Plato’s definition of art in The Republic, and continuing through the progress of art as a series of discoveries, including such innovations as perspective, chiaroscuro and physiognomy. Danto concludes with a fascinating discussion of Andy Warhol’s famous shipping cartons, which are visually indistinguishable from the everyday objects they represent. Throughout, Danto considers the contributions of philosophers including Descartes, Kant and Hegel, and artists from Michelangelo and Poussin to Duchamp and Warhol in this far-reaching examination of the interconnectivity and universality of aesthetic production.
Stephen Schwarzman: Best books of 2014
Stephen Schwarzman, chairman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Blackstone Group LP
Best books of 2014: World Order
World Order by Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger offers in World Order a deep meditation on the roots of international harmony and global disorder. Drawing on his experience as one of the foremost statesmen of the modern era—advising presidents, traveling the world, observing and shaping the central foreign policy events of recent decades—Kissinger now reveals his analysis of the ultimate challenge for the twenty-first century: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historical perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism.
There has never been a true “world order,” Kissinger observes. For most of history, civilizations defined their own concepts of order. Each considered itself the center of the world and envisioned its distinct principles as universally relevant. China conceived of a global cultural hierarchy with the Emperor at its pinnacle. In Europe, Rome imagined itself surrounded by barbarians; when Rome fragmented, European peoples refined a concept of an equilibrium of sovereign states and sought to export it across the world. Islam, in its early centuries, considered itself the world’s sole legitimate political unit, destined to expand indefinitely until the world was brought into harmony by religious principles. The United States was born of a conviction about the universal applicability of democracy—a conviction that has guided its policies ever since.
James Gorman: Best books of 2014
James Gorman, chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley
Best books of 2014: The Boys in the Boat
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown
For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.
It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.
Best books of 2014: Final Rounds
Final Rounds: A Father, A Son, The Golf Journey of a Lifetime by James Dodson
James Dodson always felt closest to his father while they were on the links. So it seemed only appropriate when his father learned he had two months to live that they would set off on the golf journey of their dreams to play the most famous courses in the world.
Final Rounds: A Father, A Son, The Golf Journey of a Lifetime takes us to the historic courses of Royal Lytham and Royal Birkdale, to the windswept undulations of Carnoustie, where Hogan played peerlessly in ’53, and the legendary St. Andrews, whose hallowed course reveals something of the eternal secret of the game’s mysterious allure over pros and hackers alike.
Howard D. Schultz: Best books of 2014
Howard D. Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks Corp.
Best books of 2014: The Boys in the Boat
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown
Best books of 2014: The Most Noble Adventure
In this landmark, character-driven history, Greg Behrman tells the story of the Marshall Plan, the unprecedented and audacious policy through which America helped rebuild World War II-ravaged Western Europe. With nuanced, vivid prose, Behrman recreates the story of a unique American enterprise that was at once strategic, altruistic and stunningly effective, and of a time when America stood as a beacon of generosity and moral leadership.
When World War II ended in Europe, the continent lay in tatters. Tens of millions of people had been killed. Ancient cities had been demolished. The economic, financial and commercial foundations of Europe were in shambles. Western Europe’s Communist parties — feeding off people’s want and despair — were flourishing as, to the east, Stalin’s Soviet Union emerged as the sole superpower on the continent.
Best books of 2014: The Armed Forces Officer
The Armed Forces Officer: A Manual on Leadership (Military Leadership) by Department of Defense
The Armed Forces Officer Department of Defense Department of the Army Upon being commissioned in the Armed Services of the United States, a man incurs a lasting obligation to cherish and protect his country and to develop within himself that capacity and reserve strength which will enable him to serve its arms and the welfare of his fellow Americans with increasing wisdom, diligence, and patriotic conviction. This is the meaning of his commission. It is not modified by any reason of assignment while in the service, nor is the obligation lessened on the day an officer puts the uniform aside and returns to civil life. Having been specially chosen by the United States to sustain the dignity and integrity of its sovereign power, an officer is expected so to maintain himself, and so to exert his influence for so long as he may live, that he will be recognized as a worthy symbol of all that is best in the national character. In this sense the trust imposed in the highest military commander in the land is not more than what is encharged the newest ensign or second lieutenant. Nor is it less. It is the fact of commission which gives special distinction to the man and in turn requires that the measure of his devotion to the service of his country be distinctive, as compared with the charge laid upon the average citizen.
Dan Fuss: Best books of 2014
Dan Fuss, vice chairman of Loomis Sayles & Co.
Best books of 2014: War and State Building in Medieval Japan
War and State Building in Medieval Japan edited by John Ferejohn and Francis McCall Rosenbluth
The nation state as we know it is a mere four or five hundred years old. Remarkably, a central government with vast territorial control emerged in Japan at around the same time as it did in Europe, through the process of mobilizing fiscal resources and manpower for bloody wars between the 16th and 17th centuries. This book, which brings Japan’s case into conversation with the history of state building in Europe, points to similar factors that were present in both places: population growth eroded clientelistic relationships between farmers and estate holders, creating conditions for intense competition over territory; and in the ensuing instability and violence, farmers were driven to make Hobbesian bargains of taxes in exchange for physical security.
Best books of 2014: The Limits of Partnership
The Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century offers a riveting narrative on U.S.-Russian relations since the Soviet collapse and on the challenges ahead. It reflects the unique perspective of an insider who is also recognized as a leading expert on this troubled relationship. American presidents have repeatedly attempted to forge a strong and productive partnership only to be held hostage to the deep mistrust born of the Cold War. For the United States, Russia remains a priority because of its nuclear weapons arsenal, its strategic location bordering Europe and Asia, and its ability to support–or thwart–American interests. Why has it been so difficult to move the relationship forward? What are the prospects for doing so in the future? Is the effort doomed to fail again and again?
Best books of 2014: Pere Marie-Benoit and Jewish Rescue
Susan Zuccotti narrates the life and work of Père Marie-Benoît, a courageous French Capuchin priest who risked everything to hide Jews in France and Italy during the Holocaust. Who was this extraordinary priest and how did he become adept at hiding Jews, providing them with false papers, and helping them to elude their persecutors? From monasteries first in Marseille and later in Rome, Père Marie-Benoît worked with Jewish co-conspirators to build remarkably effective Jewish-Christian rescue networks. Acting independently without Vatican support but with help from some priests, nuns, and local citizens, he and his friends persisted in their clandestine work until the Allies liberated Rome. After the conflict, Père Marie-Benoît maintained his wartime Jewish friendships and devoted the rest of his life to Jewish Christian reconciliation. Papal officials viewed both activities unfavorably until after the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II), 1962-1965.
Glenn Hubbard: Best books of 2014
Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia University’s business school
Best books of 2014: Business Adventures
What do the $350 million Ford Motor Company disaster known as the Edsel, the fast and incredible rise of Xerox, and the unbelievable scandals at General Electric and Texas Gulf Sulphur have in common? Each is an example of how an iconic company was defined by a particular moment of fame or notoriety; these notable and fascinating accounts are as relevant today to understanding the intricacies of corporate life as they were when the events happened.
Stories about Wall Street are infused with drama and adventure and reveal the machinations and volatile nature of the world of finance. John Brooks’s insightful reportage is so full of personality and critical detail that whether he is looking at the astounding market crash of 1962, the collapse of a well-known brokerage firm, or the bold attempt by American bankers to save the British pound, one gets the sense that history repeats itself.
Best books of 2014: The Shifts and the Shocks
There have been many books that have sought to explain the causes and courses of the financial and economic crisis which began in 2007–8. The Shifts and the Shocks: What We?’ve Learned? and Have Still to Learn ?from the Financial Crisis is not another detailed history of the crisis, but the most persuasive and complete account yet published of what the crisis should teach us about modern economies and economics.
The book identifies the origin of the crisis in the complex interaction between globalization, hugely destabilizing global imbalances and our dangerously fragile financial system. In the eurozone, these sources of instability were multiplied by the tragically defective architecture of the monetary union. It also shows how much of the orthodoxy that shaped monetary and financial policy before the crisis occurred was complacent and wrong. In doing so, it mercilessly reveals the failures of the financial, political and intellectual elites who ran the system.