Seeing the materials for the latest in our Perspectives series – Driverless Cars: On A Road to Nowhere by Christian Wolmar – has prompted me to boast a little. This is the 14th title in the series, which started out as an experiment to see if there was any appetite for short, focused books about economics and related subjects. In my heart of hearts, I wasn’t at all sure we’d succeed, so my expectations have been greatly exceeded!
Christian’s book is a wonderful, and passionate, tirade against driverless car hype, but the book is also very persuasively argued. My scepticism about this particular technology is now pretty solid. As this bit of Giles Chapman’s blurb puts it, “This is just what the robot evangelists don’t want you to read: a rational, levelheaded, compelling yet cheerful analysis of why the driverless car‘s route to success is so uncertain.”
It’s difficult to single out individual titles. But to mention a few, both Dave Birch’s books have been best sellers for us – Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin and his earlier Identity is the New Money. The recent book by Rebecca and Jack Harding, The Weaponization of Trade is a really thought-provoking analysis of the links between rhetoric and reality, and between trade and international security relations. I have a personal soft spot for Mike Emmerich’s Britain’s Cities, Britain’s Future and Kate Barker’s Housing: Where’s the Plan? because of my own interests. But then when I start looking at the list, I also have to praise – well, all of them. Like David Metz’s Travel Fast or Smart? Julia Unwin’s Why Fight Poverty? …..