Next look ahead – MIT Press, spring 2022

Today, MIT Press. As ever, there are several intriguing technology titles that caught my eye, but to start with the business and economics, I spotted There’s Nothing Micro About a Billion Women: Making Finance Work for Women by Mary Ellen Iskenderian, The Digital Multinational by Satish Nambisan and Yadong Luo, Work Without Jobs: How to reboot your onrganization’s operating system by Ravin Jesuthasan and John Boudreau, and Buy Now: How Amazon Branded Convenience and Normalized Monopoly by Emily West. Also – beacuse the author Nate Hilger waved to me on Twitter – The Parent Trap: How to Stop Overloading Parents and FIx Our Inequality Crisis.

Also Too Much Information: Understanding What You Don’t Want to Know by the astoundingly prolific Cass Sunstein; and what economist could resist peeking at Doing Economics: What you Should Have Learned in Grad School but Didn’t by Marc Bellmare? Just in case.

And among the tech and innovation books, my eye was caught by Born in Cambridge: 400 years of ideas and innovators by Karen Weintraub and Michael Kuchta, a history of innovation in Cambridge MA, around Harvard and MIT;  Machines Like Us: Towards AI with common sense by Ronald Brachman & Hector Levesque; and also Terra Forma: A Book of Speculative Maps by Frederique Ait-Touati, Alexandra Arenes and Axelle Gregoire – most intriguing: “The maps are “living maps,” always under construction, spaces where stories and situations unfold. They may map the Earth’s underside rather than its surface, suggest turning the layers of the Earth inside out, link the biological physiology of living inhabitants and the physiology of the land, or trace a journey oriented not by the Euclidean space of GPS but by points of life. These speculative visualizations can constitute the foundation for a new kind of atlas.”

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Still more to read in 2022…

Today’s featured catalogue is from Polity Press, for January to June, & there are a few econ titles to note.

Distinguished trade scholar Fred Bergsten has The United States Vs China: The Quest for Global Economic Leadership. (They’ve kindly sent me a proof & I’ll be reviewing this.) The equally distinguished Howard Davies, now at Sciences Po, has The Chancellors: Steering the British Economy in Crisis Times (which are all too frequent of course).

There is a ‘history of economic thought from the female point of view’, A Herstory of Economics, by Edith Kuiper, and Digital Labour by Kylie Jarett looks at gig work broadly defined through ‘a critical Marxist lens’.

FInally, I’m particularly looking forward to How The World Became Rich: The Historical Origins of Economic Growth by Mark Koyama and Jared Rubin.



More books in spring 2022 – University of Chicago Press

Quite a few enticing looking books out from U of Chicago Press in the first half of 2022, although mainly collections. I have to start with one featuring my colleague and co-author Anna Alexandrova, and a group of other researchers, Limits of the Numerical: The Abuses and Uses of Quantification.

Two titles that speak to my own interests are Innovation and Public Policy by Austan Goolsbee and Benjamin Jones, a collection The Role of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Economic Growth, and another new NBER volume of essays, Big Data for 21st Century Economic Statistics.

The ever-prolific Deirdre McCloskey has another new book, Beyond Positivism, Behavioralism and Neoinstitutionalism in Economics – her style is an acquired taste but I always find her interesting. There’s a new biography, Hayek, by Bruce Caldwell and Hansjoerg Klausinger.

For more macro interestst, there’s Leveraged: The New Economics of Debt and Financial Fragility by Mauritz Schularick.

Finally, I’d highlight A Political Economy of Justice, another collection of essays with contributors including Danielle Allen and Rebecca Henderson.



Books out in 2022: Princeton

Leftovers eaten, Christmas over, so It’s the time of year to start looking forward to the books due out in the first part of 2022. This time I’ll take this publisher by publisher, starting with my own, Princeton University Press.

The headliner for economists is Restarting the Future: How to Fix the Intangible Economy, by Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake, a follow-up to their bestseller Capitalism without Capital. There’s also – for history of money afficionados – The Currency of Politics: The Political Theory of Money from Aristotle to Keynes by Stefan Eich.

Spiderweb Capitalism: How Global Elites Exploit Frontier Markets by Kimberly Kay Hoang looks interesting – it’s based on interviews with the super-rich and their facilitators. In similar vein, Quinn Slobodian and Dieter Plehwe have edited Market Civilizations: Neoliberals East and South.

Out in the UK in January is The Economist’s Craft: An Introduction to Research, Publishing and Professional Development by Michael Weisbach, a really useful how-to guide for early career people.

I’ll be interested to read some not-exactly economics titles: Lorraine Daston’s Rules: A Short History of What We Live By, Justin Smith’s The Internet Is Not What You Think It Is: a History, a Philosophy, a Warning, and Waterloo Sunrise: London from the Sixties to Thatcher by John Davis.



The Enlightened Economist Prize 2021

It’s always a tough choice. Naturally, I enjoyed all the books on this year’s longlist. After mulling it over all week, I’ve opted for Amartya Sen’s Home in the World, as the one that ticks all the boxes: economic insights, distinctiveness, wonderful writing. If you want a book to curl up under the blankets with over the holidays, it won’t disappoint you.

41eXIWQcz-L._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_My own holiday reading in-pile is huge, as decorating our bedroom recently meant I had to excavate the mound of books under the bedside table & found plenty that I’d never got round to. At the moment I’m reading Harold Nicolson’s diaries – another epoch and so rather good as escapism from our own pretty rubbish times. Needless to say, I’m hoping Santa will bring me some more books too.

And if any of you are looking for a last-minute present for someone in your life interested in economics, I have to recommend my own Cogs and Monsters. I’m chuffed – looking this up just now to add a link – to discover the online reviews are all 5 stars! So you don’t just have to take my word for it.