Interesting Books

Created 1998-04-12
Last Modified 2001-07-12
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Interesting Books Well Worth Reading

This page collects books that I have read and liked very much (or, in a few cases, very much want to read). I have linked the new books to their pages at amazon.com so that you can buy them if you wish. (Note that amazon pays "referral fees" on items purchased by people who click on any of these links. See "Kaching!". Also note that a lot of people are (I think rightly) very upset with amazon.com because of its patent-law policy, and seek to reduce its influence...
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Amazon's Hotlist.
If you are looking for used books, try...

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Most highly recommended...

I have linked the books to their pages at the online bookseller amazon.com so you can buy them if you wish; convenience of use, after all, is what the web is for...

Charles Petzold (1999), Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software

A book that I have been looking for for more than 25 years (although it was just written). The book for explaining what computers are and how they work. Quite possibly the best book I have read this year. My review.

 

Clayton Christensen, The Innovator's Dilemma

The author, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, asks why some well-managed companies that stay on top of new technology and practice quality customer service can still falter. His own research brought a surprising answer to that question. Christensen suggests that by placing too great an emphasis on satisfying customers' current needs, companies fail to adapt or adopt new technology that will meet customers' unstated or future needs, and he argues that such companies will eventually fall behind. Christensen calls this phenomenon "disruptive technology" and demonstrates its effects in industries as diverse as the manufacture of hard-disk drives and mass retailing...

 

David S. Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations

A masterly contribution to the literature of world economic history. My review.

 

Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian, Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy

"The first book to explain network economics" -- Eric Schmidt, CEO, Novell. My review.

 

Paul Krugman, The Accidental Theorist

The nearest heir to John Maynard Keynes we have today. My review.

 

Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel

"One of the most important and readable books on the human past published in recent years" -- Colin Renfrew, Nature. My review.



I have linked the books to their pages at the online bookseller amazon.com so you can buy them if you wish; convenience of use, after all, is what the web is for...

Books of This and Previous Months


Future:

Clayton Christensen, The Innovator's Dilemma


July 2001:

John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace; perhaps Keynes's best book; certainly his most influential before the General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money.

June 2001:

Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed; a superb work of journalism, yet strangely blind to the consequences of political struggles for the lives of the people she writes about

May 2001:

Richard Evans, Lying About Hitler; in Evans's view a "holocaust denier" clearly loses his or her historian's license, but what about lesser offenses against wie es eigentlich gewesen?...

April 2001:

Alan Furst (1991), Dark Star (New York: Houghton Mifflin: 0006511317).

March 2001: NONE

February 2001:

Robert Skidelsky (1983), John Maynard Keynes: Hopes Betrayed (London: Macmillan: 033357379x). Robert Skidelsky (1992), John Maynard Keynes: The Economist as Saviour (London: Macmillan: 0333584996).

January 2001:

Mark Mazower (1998), Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century (New York: Knopf: 0679438092).

December 2000:

Robert Skidelsky (2000), John Maynard Keynes: Fighting for Britain (London: Macmillan: 0333604563).

November 2000:

Rudiger Dornbusch (2000), Keys to Prosperity: Free Markets, Sound Money, and a Bit of Luck (Cambridge: MIT Press: 0262041812).

October 2000:

Michael Waldman (2000), Potus Speaks: Finding the Words that Defined the Clinton Presidency (New York: Simon and Schuster: 0743200209).

September 2000:

Haynes Johnson and David Broder (1997), The System (Boston: Little Brown: 0317111457). A couple of very good political journalists (but not policy analysts) recount the story of the death of health care reform in 1993-1994.

August 2000:

Paul Krugman, The Accidental Theorist (New York: W.W. Norton: 0393046389).

July 2000:

David Brooks(2000), Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There (New York: Simon and Schuster: 0684853779).

June 2000:

Robert Wright (2000), Non-Zero: The Logic of Human Destiny (New York: Pantheon: 067944252).

May 2000:

Erik Tarloff (1998), Face-Time (New York: Random House: 06096064635).

April 2000:

Ken Pomeranz (2000), The Great Divergence (Princeton: Princeton University Press: 0691005435: HC240.P5965 2000).

March 2000:

Jared Diamond (1997), Guns, Germs, and Steel: The History of Human Societies (New York: Norton: 0393038912).

February 2000:

Richard Easterlin (1997), Growth Triumphant: The Twenty-First Century in Historical Perspective (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan).

January 2000:

Charles Petzold (1999), Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software (Redmond: Microsoft Press: 073560505X).

December 1999:

Joseph Williams (1990), Style: Toward Clarity and Grace (Chicago: University of Chicago: 0226899152).

November 1999:

Charles Ferguson (1999), High Stakes, No Prisoners (New York: Times Books: 0812931432).

October 1999:

Lewis Lapham (1999), The Agony of Mammon (New York: Verso: ).

September 1999:

Greg Mitchell (1998), Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady: Richard Nixon vs. Helen Gahagan Douglas--Sexual Politics and the Red Scare, 1950 (New York: Random House: 0679416218).

August 1999:

Lawrence Lindsey (1999), Economic Puppetmasters: Lessons from the Halls of Power (Washington, DC: AEI: 0844740810).

July 1999:

Paul Krugman (1999), The Return of Depression Economics (New York: Norton: 039304839X).

June 1999:

Books on "globalization": Gary Burtless, et al. (1998), Globaphobia: Confronting Fears About Open Trade (Washington DC: Brookings Institution: 0815711891). Barry Eichengreen (1999), Toward a New International Financial Architecture: A Practical Post-Asia Agenda (Washington, D.C.: Institute for International Economics: 0881322709).

May 1999:

More books on "globalization": Barry Eichengreen (1996), Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System (Princeton: Princeton University Press: 0691002452). Dani Rodrik (1997), Has Globalization Gone too Far? (Washington, D.C.: Institute for International Economics: 0881322415).

April 1999:

Eugene Steuerle et al. (1999), The Government We Deserve: Responsive Democracy and Changing Expectations (Washington: Urban Institute Press: 0877666768).

March 1999:

Michael Hiltzik (1999), Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age (New York: Harper Business: 0887308910).

February 1999:

Michael Trachtenberg (1999), A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945-1963 (Princeton: Princeton University Press: 0691002738).

January 1999:

Michael Cusumano and David Yoffee (1998), Competing on Internet Time: Lessons from Netscape and Its Battle with Microsoft (New York: Free Press: 0684853191).

December 1998:

Dani Rodrik (1997), Has Globalization Gone too Far? (Washington: Institute for International Economics: 0881322415).

November 1998:

Jared Diamond (1997), (1997), Guns, Germs, and Steel (New York: W.W. Norton: 0393038912).

October 1998:

Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian (1998), Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy (Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press: 087584863X).

September 1998:

Kevin Kelly (1998), New Rules for the New Economy: Ten Ways the Network Economy Is Changing Everything (London: Fourth Estate: 0670881112).

August 1998:

Sylvia Nasar (1998), A Beautiful Mind (New York: Simon and Schuster: 0684819066).

July 1998:

David Brin (1998), The Transparent Society (New York: Addison-Wesley: 020132802X).

June 1998:

David S. Landes (1998), The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (New York: Norton: 0393040178).

May 1998:

John Maynard Keynes (1924), A Tract on Monetary Reform (London: Macmillan).

April 1998:

James Scott (1998), Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven: Yale University Press: 0300070160).



I have linked the books to their pages at the online bookseller amazon.com so you can buy them if you wish; convenience of use, after all, is what the web is for...

Economic History

Beth Simmons (1997), Who Adjusts?: Domestic Sources of Foreign Economic Policy During the Interwar Years (Princeton: Princeton University Press: 0691017107).

Fareed Zakaria (1998), From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America's World Role (Princeton: Princeton University Press: 0691044961).

Stephen Haber (1997), How Latin America Fell Behind: Essays on the Economic Histories of Brazil and Mexico, 1800-1914 (Stanford: Stanford University Press: 0804727384).

Barry Eichengreen (1996), Globalizing Capital (Princeton: Princeton University Press: 069102880X).

Peter Temin (1990), Lessons from the Great Depression (Cambridge: MIT Press: 0262700441).

Jared Diamond (1997), Guns, Germs, and Steel (New York: W.W. Norton: 0393038912).

David S. Landes (1998), The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Others So Poor (New York: W.W. Norton: 0393040178).

Walter LaFeber (1997), The Clash: U.S.-Japanese Relations Throughout History (New York: W.W. Norton: 0393039501).

Karl Polanyi (1944), The Great Transformation (Boston: Beacon Press: 0807056790).

Robert Tucker, ed. (1978), The Marx-Engels Reader (New York: Norton: 039309040X).

Andrew Ure (1836), The Philosophy of Manufactures (London: Lenox Hill: 0833735993).

David S. Landes (1969), The Unbound Prometheus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 0521094186).

David Hounshell (1985), From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932: The Development of Manufacturing Technology in the United States (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University: 080183158X).

Richard Platt (1984), The Smithsonian Visual Timeline of Inventions (London: Dorling-Kindersley: 1564586758).

Eric Hobsbawm (1994), The Age of Extremes (New York: Vintage: 0679730052).

Sylvia Nasar (1998), A Beautiful Mind (New York: Simon and Schuster: 0684819066).

 


I have linked the books to their pages at the online bookseller amazon.com so you can buy them if you wish; convenience of use, after all, is what the web is for...

Today's Economy

Dani Rodrik (1997), Has Globalization Gone too Far? (Washington: Institute for International Economics: 0881322415).

Barry Eichengreen (1999), Toward a New International Financial Architecture: A Practical Post-Asia Agenda (Washington, D.C.: Institute for International Economics: 0881322709).

Lawrence Lindsey (1999), Economic Puppetmasters: Lessons from the Halls of Power (Washington, DC: AEI: 0844740810).

Paul Krugman (1998), The Accidental Theorist (New York: Norton: 0393046389).

Paul Krugman (1999), The Return of Depression Economics (New York: Norton: 039304839X).

Lewis Branscomb and James Keller, eds. (1998), Investing in Innovation (Cambridge: MIT Press: 0262024462).

Gary Burtless, Robert Litan, and Robert Lawrence (1998), Globaphobia (Washington: Brookings Institution: 0815711891).

Joel Cohen (1996), How Many People Can the Earth Support? (New York: W.W. Norton: 0393314952).

Bob David and David Wessel (1998), Prosperity: What the Coming Twenty-Year Boom Means to You (New York: Times Books: 0812928199).

Peter Schrag (1998), Paradise Lost : California's Experience and America's Future (New York: New Press: 1565843576).

Edward Wolff (1996), Top Heavy: The Increasing Inequality of Wealth in America and What Can Be Done About It (New York: New Press: 1565843479).

Herman Kahn (1976), The Next Two Hundred Years (New York: William Morrow: 0688080294).

Max Singer (1989), Passage to a Human World (New York: Transaction Publishers: 0887382592).

Doug Henwood (1997), Wall Street (New York: Verso: 0860916707).

Jonathan Harr (1994), A Civil Action (New York: Vintage: 0679772677).

David Lodge (1988), Nice Work (London: Penguin: 0140133968).


I have linked the books to their pages at the online bookseller amazon.com so you can buy them if you wish; convenience of use, after all, is what the web is for...

Science

George Lakoff (1990), Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind (Chicago: University of Chicago Press: 0226468046).

Jonathan Weiner (1995), The Beak of the Finch : A Story of Evolution in Our Time (New York: Vintage: 067973337X).

Martin Gardner (1983), The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener (New York: : 0688020631).

Martin Gardner (1997), The Night is Large (New York: St. Martin's Press: 0312169493).

 


I have linked the books to their pages at the online bookseller amazon.com so you can buy them if you wish; convenience of use, after all, is what the web is for...

History

Greg Mitchell (1998), Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady: Richard Nixon vs. Helen Gahagan Douglas--Sexual Politics and the Red Scare, 1950 (New York: Random House: 0679416218).

James Scott (1998), Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven: Yale University Press: 0300070160).

Michael Trachtenberg), A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945-1963 (Princeton: Princeton University Press: 0691002738).

Richard Overy (1997), Why the Allies Won (New York: W.W. Norton: 039331619X).

Charles Maier (1988), The Unmasterable Past: History, Holocaust, and German National Identity (Cambridge: Harvard University Press: 0674929756).

Akira Iriye (1987), Origins of the Second World War in Asia and the Pacific (London: Longman: 0582493498).

Norman Angell (1911), The Great Illusion (London: Ayer Books: 0405045999).

Ian Buruma (1994), The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan (New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux: 0374285950).

Arno Mayer (1981), The Persistence of the Old Regime (New York: Pantheon: 0394511417).

John Brewer (1990). The Sinews of Power: War, Money, and the English State (Cambridge: Harvard University Press: 0674809300).

Timothy Brook (1998), The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China (Berkeley: University of California Press: 0520210913).

Peter Fritzsche (1998), Germans into Nazis (Cambridge: Harvard University Press: 067435091X).

Richard Rosenfeld (1997), American Aurora (New York: St. Martin's Press: 0312194374).

 


I have linked the books to their pages at the online bookseller amazon.com so you can buy them if you wish; convenience of use, after all, is what the web is for...

Today's Politics

Howard Kurtz (1998), Spin Cycle : Inside the Clinton Propaganda Machine (New York: Free Press: 0684852314).

William Poundstone's (1992) marvelous book Prisoner's Dilemma (New York: Doubleday: 038541580X)

Eugene Steuerle et al. (1999), The Government We Deserve: Responsive Democracy and Changing Expectations (Washington: Urban Institute Press: 0877666768).

Taegan Goddard and Christopher Riback (1998), You Won--Now What? (New York: Scribner's: 0684834111).

Saskia Sassen (1998), Globalization and Its Discontents (New York: New Press: 1565843959).

 


I have linked the books to their pages at the online bookseller amazon.com so you can buy them if you wish; convenience of use, after all, is what the web is for...

Computers and Communications

David Brin (1998), The Transparent Society (New York: Addison-Wesley: 020132802X).

Frances Cairncross (1997), The Death of Distance (Cambridge: Harvard Business School: 0875848060).

Michael Hiltzik (1999), Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age (New York: Harper Business: 0887308910).

Jeffrey Veen (1997), Hotwired Style : Principles for Building Smart Web Sites (San Francisco: Hardwired: 1888869097).

Robert X. Cringely (1996), Accidental Empires (New York: HarperBusiness: 0887308554).

Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian (1998), Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy (Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press: 087584863X).

Kevin Kelly (1998), New Rules for the New Economy: Ten Ways the Network Economy Is Changing Everything (London: Fourth Estate: 0670881112).

Michael Cusumano and David Yoffee (1998), Competing on Internet Time: Lessons from Netscape and Its Battle with Microsoft (New York: Free Press: 0684853191).


I have linked the books to their pages at the online bookseller amazon.com so you can buy them if you wish; convenience of use, after all, is what the web is for...

Education

William G. Bowen and Neil L. Rudenstine (1992), In Pursuit of the Ph.D. (Princeton: Princeton University Press: 0691042942).

Cary Nelson (1997), Manifesto of a Tenured Radical (New York: New York University Press: 0814757979).

Cary Nelson and Barbara Ehrenreich, eds. (1997), Will Teach for Food (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press: 0816630348).

Jakob Nielsen, Designing Web Usability

Creating sites that truly work is hard. Jakob Nielsen is the best student of web usability there is--and Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity is his new book. Nielsen actually has real statistics to back up his conclusions: the importance of response time, the size of screens and type, types of search queries, et cetera.

Bill Lessard and Steve Baldwin, Netslaves

Authors Bill Lessard and Steve Baldwin neatly summarize the operating principle behind NetSlaves: "People are nuts, no matter what profession they're in, but people forced to work like dogs with the carrot stick of stock options and 'untold' wealth dangling under their noses are especially nuts."

If all you know about the Internet business is what you've read in the financial press, then NetSlaves provides a cold slap of reality. For every headline-making company like Yahoo! or Amazon.com, there are hundreds or perhaps even thousands more like the ones Net vets Lessard and Baldwin have worked for. These are the startups that never finish up, companies that hire hundreds of programmers and Web-site designers and techies of all stripes, then merge or downsize or go out of business before anyone can cash in. The authors take the reader on an anthropological expedition through what they call the New Media Caste System...

 

The Ten-Year-Old Loves the Harry Potter Books

Obviously, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone should make any modern 11-year-old a very happy reader. The novel moves quickly, packs in everything from a boa constrictor that winks to a melancholy Zen-spouting centaur to an owl postal system, and ends with a scary surprise...


Want to know more about how this page grew?

See "Ka-ching!: Amazon's Associates Program," published in Rewired on October 12, 1998.


Professor J. Bradford DeLong, Department of Economics, 601 Evans
University of California at Berkeley; Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
(510) 643-4027 phone (510) 642-6615 fax
delong@econ.berkeley.edu
http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/