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7 Books Thought Leaders Are Reading This Summer

Presented by Columbia Business School

7 Books Thought Leaders Are Reading This Summer

It’s summer, and many of us are scaling down our ambition — at least as far as reading lists go. Scholarly tomes are shoved to the back of the bookshelf. Out come lighter, more palatable novels and celebrity bios, ready to tote on vacation.

Not so our Chazen Senior Scholars. They plan to use the coming months to stuff their capacious brains with ever more knowledge. We caught up with a few of them to find out what books they’d be cracking this summer.

Amir Ziv, Professor of Professional Practice, Accounting

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup,” by John Carreyrou (2018, Knopf). Any failure has a lesson, and I always wonder about “the road not taken,” as Robert Frost would say: which different decisions — and at what junctions — could have led to a totally different outcome. This is true for successes and failures.


21 Lessons for the 21st Century,” by Yuval Noah Harari (2018, Spiegel & Gray). I loved his first two books, and always feel he thoughtfully puts everything in a global historical perspective.

Becoming,” by Michelle Obama (2018, Crown). For times when I need inspiration.

Wei Jiang, Arthur F. Burns Professor of Free and Competitive Enterprise

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion,”  by Jonathan Haidt (2012, Pantheon). I want to know the answer! I enjoyed reading the author’s other book “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting a Generation Up for Failure.”

Destined for War: Can American and China escape Thucydides’s Trap?,” by Graham Allison (2017, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). I hope that the two clashing powers can eventually make peace.

Christian Moser, Assistant Professor of Business, Economics

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World,” by Cal Newport (2019, Portfolio). I hope this book teaches me how to stay focused on essential things in an ever more distracting world.

Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society,” by Eric A. Posner and E. Glen Weyl (Princeton University Press, 2018). A thought-provoking proposal that takes capitalism to the extreme. I would like to understand it better to assess the extent to which this could (or not) help with some of the most pressing issues faced by modern society.

Read the original piece on Columbia Business School’s Ideas and Insights blog. 

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