Andrew Hill has a nice feature in the weekend FT about the secret of writing a successful business book. It’s a trailer for what must be the upcoming decision on the FT’s Business Book of the Year. The shortlisted titles are:
The Hour Between Dog and Wolf by John Coates
Private Empire by Steve Coll
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Volcker by William Silber
The shortlist makes it plain that the definition of business book is capacious as there are economics books and biographies here. I suspect the ranks of ‘self help’ business books that fill the relevant bookshop sections will rarely if ever make it onto the FT’s shortlist. The correct definition for eligible books is probably ‘thoughtful books about business in its broadest sense – history, philosophy, psychology, society – but not about how to run a business’.
That’s fine – the aim of contests like these is to get people reading serious books, which must be a good thing. The shortlist gives me an appealing reading list. Of the two of the above list I have read already, I think Sandel should not win it, as my review will explain.
Of course, the Enlightened Economist book of the year winner has already been announced – it was Ariel Rubinstein’s Economic Fables.