Soundview Executive Book Summaries


In Times of Crisis: Break Out the Books
October 15, 2008, 5:22 PM
Filed under: Books in General | Tags: ,

In a recent Associated Press article, AP reported that the recent economic crisis has been a boon for financial books, especially those that cover previous crises or that warned of what we are now experiencing. Here are some of the books listed as examples:

Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism by Kevin Phillips. This book sold only 291 copies the week of 9/14, but jumped to 6,391 the week of 9/29*. It also jumped to #91 on Amazon. Bad Money describes the consequences of our misguided economic policies, our mounting debt, our collapsing housing market, our threatened oil, and the end of American domination of world markets. Phillips points out that America’s current challenges (and failures) run striking parallels to the decline of previous leading world economic powers — especially the Dutch and British.

The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein. This title has seen a quadruple in weekly sales since mid-September and is now at #37 on Amazon. Naomi Klein’s book advances a truly unnerving argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times. As Klein demonstrates, this reprehensible game of bait-and-switch isn’t just some relic from the bad old days. It’s alive and well in contemporary society, and coming soon to a disaster area near you.

The World is Curved: Hidden Dangers in the Global Economy by David Smick. A recent release, this book has seen very strong sales right out of the gate, and is now at #65 on Amazon. The World Is Curved  takes readers on an insider’s tour through the private offices of central bankers, finance ministers, even prime ministers. Smick reveals how today’s risky environment came to be — and why the mortgage mess is a symptom of potentially far more devastating trouble.

And to top it off, Roger Lowenstein just signed a deal to write a book entitled Six Days that Shook the World for Penguin Press, covering the recent crisis in depth. Certainly this won’t be the last book covering recent events, so watch your bookseller of choice for more titles telling us what we should have seen coming.

*Book sales statistics are from Nielsen’s BookScan.

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[…] Times’ bestsellers list for hardcover business titles published Oct. 3, 2008. Previously I had written about the effect of the current economic crisis on financial books , but I noticed something interesting when I looked at the bestsellers list again […]

Pingback by Looking at the NYT Bestsellers List to Gauge the Economy «




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