Southern Africa was once regarded as a worthless jumble of British colonies, Boer republics, and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. But then prospectors chanced upon the world’s richest deposits of diamonds and gold, setting off a titanic struggle between the British and the Boers for control of the land. The result was the costliest, bloodiest, and most humiliating war that Britain had waged in nearly a century, and the devastation of the Boer republics.
The New Yorker calls this magisterial account of those years “[an] astute history…Meredith expertly shows how the exigencies of the diamond (and then gold) rush laid the foundation for apartheid.”₵85.00Quick View
A frontline account of how to fight corruption, from Nigeria’s former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
In Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has written a primer for those working to root out corruption and disrupt vested interests. Drawing on her experience as Nigeria’s finance minister and that of her team, she describes dangers, pitfalls, and successes in fighting corruption. She provides practical lessons learned and tells how anti-corruption advocates need to equip themselves. Okonjo-Iweala details the numerous ways in which corruption can divert resources away from development, rewarding the unscrupulous and depriving poor people of services.
Okonjo-Iweala discovered just how dangerous fighting corruption could be when her 83-year-old mother was kidnapped in 2012 by forces who objected to some of the government’s efforts at reforms led by Okonjo-Iweala—in particular a crackdown on fraudulent claims for oil subsidy payments, a huge drain on the country’s finances. The kidnappers’ first demand was that Okonjo-Iweala resign from her position on live television and leave the country. Okonjo-Iweala did not resign, her mother escaped, and the program of economic reforms continued.
“Telling my story is risky,” Okonjo-Iweala writes. “But not telling it is also dangerous.”
Her book ultimately leaves us with hope, showing that victories are possible in the fight against corruption.₵125.00Quick View
From the author of Dead Aid, Dambisa Moyo’s How the West was Lost explores how the ‘first world’ has its wasted inheritance with flawed economic policy – and what can be done to reverse the decline.
We think we know what’s coming. But is it already too late?
How the West Was Lost is a wake-up call for all of us. Dambisa Moyo argues that during the last fifty years the most advanced countries on earth have squandered their advantage through fatally flawed policies: obsessing over property, ravenously consuming and building up debt instead of investing. Here Moyo outlines solutions that could help stem the tide. By rethinking many of the things we take for granted, she shows, it may yet be possible for the West to get back into the race.
‘An outspoken iconoclast … Moyo shows well how fundamental economic liberalisation espoused by what she calls the profligate, greedy, self-interested West has come back to bite it.’ — Guardian
‘Succinct and sophisticated … I applaud her brave alarum against our economic and social complacency.’ — Observer
‘A well-reasoned look at how the world’s most-advanced nations are squandering their economic lead…a prescription for stopping the rot.’ — Bloomberg
‘Clear and brazen…This argument has rarely have been made more concisely.’ — The Times
‘An economist who makes waves.’ — Sunday Telegraph₵60.00Quick View
The SUNDAY TIMES BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR, the ECONOMIST POLITICS & CURRENT AFFAIRS BOOK OF THE YEAR and a DAILY MAIL and TIMES book of the year
‘You cannot understand power, wealth and poverty without knowing about Moneyland.’ — Simon Kuper, New Statesman
From ruined towns on the edge of Siberia, to Bond-villain lairs in Knightsbridge and Manhattan, something has gone wrong with the workings of the world.
Once upon a time, if an official stole money, there wasn’t much he could do with it. He could buy himself a new car or build himself a nice house or give it to his friends and family, but that was about it. If he kept stealing, the money would just pile up in his house until he had no rooms left to put it in, or it was eaten by mice.
And then some bankers in London had a bright idea.
Join the investigative journalist Oliver Bullough on a journey into Moneyland – the secret country of the lawless, stateless superrich.
Learn how the institutions of Europe and the United States have become money-laundering operations, undermining the foundations of Western stability. Discover the true cost of being open for business no matter how corrupt and dangerous the customer. Meet the kleptocrats. Meet their awful children. And find out how heroic activists around the world are fighting back.
This is the story of wealth and power in the 21st century. It isn’t too late to change it.₵170.00Quick View
The definitive biography of the most important economic statesman of our time
Sebastian Mallaby’s magisterial biography of Alan Greenspan, the product of over five years of research based on untrammeled access to his subject and his closest professional and personal intimates, brings into vivid focus the mysterious point where the government and the economy meet. To understand Greenspan’s story is to see the economic and political landscape of the last 30 years–and the presidency from Reagan to George W. Bush–in a whole new light. As the most influential economic statesman of his age, Greenspan spent a lifetime grappling with a momentous shift: the transformation of finance from the fixed and regulated system of the post-war era to the free-for-all of the past quarter century. The story of Greenspan is also the story of the making of modern finance, for good and for ill.
Greenspan’s life is a quintessential American success story: raised by a single mother in the Jewish émigré community of Washington Heights, he was a math prodigy who found a niche as a stats-crunching consultant. A master at explaining the economic weather to captains of industry, he translated that skill into advising Richard Nixon in his 1968 campaign. This led to a perch on the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and then to a dazzling array of business and government roles, from which the path to the Fed was relatively clear. A fire-breathing libertarian and disciple of Ayn Rand in his youth who once called the Fed’s creation a historic mistake, Mallaby shows how Greenspan reinvented himself as a pragmatist once in power. In his analysis, and in his core mission of keeping inflation in check, he was a maestro indeed, and hailed as such. At his retirement in 2006, he was lauded as the age’s necessary man, the veritable God in the machine, the global economy’s avatar. His memoirs sold for record sums to publishers around the world.
But then came 2008. Mallaby’s story lands with both feet on the great crash which did so much to damage Alan Greenspan’s reputation. Mallaby argues that the conventional wisdom is off base: Greenspan wasn’t a naïve ideologue who believed greater regulation was unnecessary. He had pressed for greater regulation of some key areas of finance over the years, and had gotten nowhere. To argue that he didn’t know the risks in irrational markets is to miss the point. He knew more than almost anyone; the question is why he didn’t act, and whether anyone else could or would have. A close reading of Greenspan’s life provides fascinating answers to these questions, answers whose lessons we would do well to heed. Because perhaps Mallaby’s greatest lesson is that economic statesmanship, like political statesmanship, is the art of the possible. The Man Who Knew is a searching reckoning with what exactly comprised the art, and the possible, in the career of Alan Greenspan.₵100.00Quick View
A Masterful Analysis of Company, Customer, and CompetitionKenichi Ohmae — voted by The Economist as “one of the world’s top five management gurus”– changed the landscape of management strategy in The Mind of the Strategist. In this compelling account of global business domination, Ohmae reveals the vital thinking processes and planning techniques of prominent companies, showing why they work, and how any company can benefit from them.Filled with case studies of strategic thinking in action, Ohmae’s classic work inspires today’s managers to excel to new heights of bold, imaginative thinking and solutions.“In many ways, Ohmae can be considered the modern reincarnation of a much older guru, Adam Smith.” – Journal of Marketing“A fascinating window into the mind of one of Japan’s premier strategists…full of ideas about how to improve strategic thinking.” – Michael E. Porter, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard UniversityInternationally known as “Mr. Strategy,” Kenichi Ohmae was a partner at McKinsey & Company for 23 years, and today he is chairman of Ohmae & Associates. He is the author of more than 100 books.
“Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.”
Adam Smith (1723-1790) was one of the brightest stars of the eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations was his most important book. First published in London in March 1776, it had been eagerly anticipated by Smith’s contemporaries and became an immediate bestseller. That edition sold out quickly and others followed. Today, Smith’s Wealth of Nations rightfully claims a place in the Western intellectual canon. It is the first book of modern political economy, and still provides the foundation for the study of that discipline. But it is much more than that. Along with important discussions of economics and political theory, Smith mixed plain common sense with large measures of history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and much else. Few texts remind us so clearly that the Enlightenment was very much a lived experience, a concern with improving the human condition in practical ways for real people. A masterpiece by any measure, Wealth of Nations remains a classic of world literature to be usefully enjoyed by readers today.₵130.00₵130.00Quick View