Book Reviews

Monopoly Power

The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age by Tim Wu

The “economics eugenics movement” targeting firms perceived as “unfit to deserve industrial life” birthed the modern monopoly in America. It also brought about the laws that are supposed to govern the concentration of economic power in America. Tim Wu provides a rollicking history of what have often been bare-knuckle fights over political and economic power in the US.

Housing Crisis

Generation Priced Out: Who Gets To Live In The New Urban America? by Randy Shaw

The challenges around housing in urban areas are about NIMBY politics and the generation that owns everything, according to Randy Shaw. Stories from San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Austin, LA and Denver illuminate.

On Capitalism

Can American Capitalism Survive? Why Greed Is Not Good, Opportunity Is Not Equal, and Fairness Won’t Make Us Poor by Steven Pearlstein

Pearlstein lays out the argument that societies with higher levels of cooperation and trust are more prosperous than those where legal mechanisms are needed to enforce good market behaviors. And more.

The Meritocracy

Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert Frank

Economist Robert Frank is concerned. Concerned that not enough people recognize the role that good fortune and luck plays in their success, and that too many people attribute their success entirely to their own hard work and virtue.


Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass by Mary L. Gray and Siddharth Suri

There’s a gray area between the robots taking over and human labor, and a new class of worker bridging the gap between what Artificial Intelligence systems can and can not do. Enter the world of Ghost Work.


Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber

Meaning and purpose. David Graeber’s book is about the growth of jobs with neither.

On Capitalism

The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties by Paul Collier

A development economist moved by poverty at home revisits the ethical dimensions of capitalism.

On Capitalism

Saving Capitalism by Robert Reich

The question of capitalism’s longevity has been the subject of many “big think” books in recent times. Robert Reich contributes.