16 books like Barbarians at the Gate

By Bryan Burrough, John Helyar,

Here are 16 books that Barbarians at the Gate fans have personally recommended if you like Barbarians at the Gate. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Liar's Poker

Paul Cranwell Author Of A Material Harvest

From my list on thriller novels you will never forget.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by thrillers since I was first allowed to read them. My childhood bookcase was full of Hammond Innes, Alistair MacLean, and every Nevil Shute novel. Later, these were joined by many others, not least John Le Carré. Banking gave me an insight into the murky world of money, bringing with it real-life stories as compelling as those I love reading about. My obsession with the genre is not only with elegant, complex plots but also with what motivates the characters to take the extraordinary risks they do in such challenging environments. The five thrillers I’ve chosen are my absolute favorites. I hope you enjoy them.

Paul's book list on thriller novels you will never forget

Paul Cranwell Why did Paul love this book?

Although this book is semi-autobiographical, it is still one of the best financial thrillers for me. I love the build-up of the characters working in the toxic mortgage and junk bond markets of the late 1980s.

I love, too, the way it depicts the moral bankruptcy of the major investment banks and exposes the culture of greed that ultimately led to the financial crash of the late ‘80s, which was to be replicated again many years later.

By Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Liar's Poker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street's premier investment firms. During the next three years, Lewis rose from callow trainee to bond salesman, raking in millions for the firm and cashing in on a modern-day gold rush. Liar's Poker is the culmination of those heady, frenzied years-a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business. From the frat-boy camaraderie of the forty-first-floor trading room to the killer instinct that made ambitious young men gamble everything on a high-stakes game…


Book cover of When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

Brad Schaeffer Author Of Life in the Pits: My Time as a Trader on the Rough-and-Tumble Exchange Floors

From my list on what makes commodities traders tick.

Why am I passionate about this?

After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1989 with an LAS degree in communications and a knack for artwork, I had no idea what I wanted to do. That was until my brother pulled me from my low-paid art job in Chicago to work as a clerk on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. I eventually became a trader on that same floor, as well as an oil and gas dealer in New York. Screaming and yelling in the trading pits while money moved back and forth with a shout and a hand signal I learned more about investing, trading, and human nature through osmosis than I ever could in an MBA course.

Brad's book list on what makes commodities traders tick

Brad Schaeffer Why did Brad love this book?

This fascinating read tells the story of the rise and then spectacular fall of the once celebrated hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management.

What made LTCM so attractive to Wall Street investors was its stable of "dream team" quants and financial minds, led by the laconic John Merriweather. Merriweather (featured in the opening Chapter of Liar's Poker) was a former Solomon Brothers bond-trading guru, who after leaving the firm amid a scandal managed to assemble a team of financial powerhouses that included two Nobel Laureates as well as a cadre of respected traders.

From 1993 to 1997 LTCM's returns were first-rate; the sky seemed the limit for this small band of supertraders, professors, and modelers who arrogantly considered themselves a cut above the rest of The Street.

But in 1998, it all came crashing down...and right quick. Having believed their financial models could accurately predict price action not just in…

By Roger Lowenstein,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked When Genius Failed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Picking up where Liar's Poker left off (literally, in the bond dealer's desks of Salomon Brothers) the story of Long-Term Capital Management is of a group of elite investors who believed they could beat the market and, like alchemists, create limitless wealth for themselves and their partners.

Founded by John Meriweather, a notoriously confident bond dealer, along with two Nobel prize winners and a floor of Wall Street's brightest and best, Long-Term Captial Management was from the beginning hailed as a new gold standard in investing. It was to be the hedge fund to end all other hedge funds: a…


Book cover of More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite

Robin Wigglesworth Author Of Trillions: How a Band of Wall Street Renegades Invented the Index Fund and Changed Finance Forever

From my list on financial history that are genuinely gripping.

Why am I passionate about this?

I ended up in financial journalism by happenstance (it was pretty much the only corner of the media world that was still hiring when I graduated in the early 2000s). But I fell in love with it. To understand the world, you have to understand money. Whether you like it or not, it is the hidden wiring that binds us all together. I’ve found that reading history books on finance and economics has helped me better understand what is going on today, so I hope the books on this list will help you do the same. 

Robin's book list on financial history that are genuinely gripping

Robin Wigglesworth Why did Robin love this book?

A history of hedge funds might seem like a weird recommendation by someone who has written a paean to passive investing.

But my favourite books use a subject to tell a much broader story, and Mallaby’s definitive book on the hedge industry manages to show how even the most illustrious investing careers can fizzle out as market regimes ebb and flow.  

By Sebastian Mallaby,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked More Money Than God as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book of its kind: a fascinating and entertaining examination of hedge funds today Shortlisted for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 'An enormously satisfying book: a gripping chronicle of the cutting edge of the financial markets and a fascinating perspective on what was going on in these shadowy institutions as the crash hit' Observer Wealthy, powerful, and potentially dangerous, hedge-find managers have emerged as the stars of twenty-first century capitalism. Based on unprecedented access to the industry, More Money Than God provides the first authoritative history of hedge funds. This is the inside story…


Book cover of Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

Why am I passionate about this?

As a hospital clinical lab director, I have a mission to promote the value of my profession. Are we more important than our soldiers protecting our country? Politicians who make laws? Judges who help maintain law and order? I argue that the health of our families is near or at the top of our priorities. While we ask our doctors to achieve this goal, they ask us every day to help them. The lab is not about boiling tubes and colored flasks. The 8 books I have written and the 5 that I have selected illustrate, in an entertaining manner, who we really are and why we matter.  

Alan's book list on learning how clinical labs really work and why this is important to you and your family

Alan H.B. Wu Why did Alan love this book?

Mr. Carreyrou was the Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the story that eventually led to the downfall of Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos. At its peak, this company was worth over $9 billion. Today, Holmes and her former COO have been convicted of fraud and are serving time.

I like this book because it serves as a curriculum for how NOT to operate a biotech company. It shows that while belief in your vision is essential for all successful entrepreneurs, there is no place for secrecy and arrogance in the business world.

Unfortunately, the “Theranos” effect has led to a decline in investment in new medical technology and has had a negative effect on the value of clinical laboratories.

By John Carreyrou,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Bad Blood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The shocking true story behind The Dropout, starring the Emmy award-winning Amanda Seyfried, Naveen Andrews and Stephen Fry.

'I couldn't put down this thriller . . . a book so compelling that I couldn't turn away' - Bill Gates

Winner of the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2018

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.

In 2014,…


Book cover of Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

Brad Schaeffer Author Of Life in the Pits: My Time as a Trader on the Rough-and-Tumble Exchange Floors

From my list on what makes commodities traders tick.

Why am I passionate about this?

After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1989 with an LAS degree in communications and a knack for artwork, I had no idea what I wanted to do. That was until my brother pulled me from my low-paid art job in Chicago to work as a clerk on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. I eventually became a trader on that same floor, as well as an oil and gas dealer in New York. Screaming and yelling in the trading pits while money moved back and forth with a shout and a hand signal I learned more about investing, trading, and human nature through osmosis than I ever could in an MBA course.

Brad's book list on what makes commodities traders tick

Brad Schaeffer Why did Brad love this book?

Of all the books about trading written over the decades, perhaps none is still so beloved, revered, and followed as this 1923 classic by journalist Edwin Lefèvre. Although technically a work of fiction, the book really is about the life and trading style of one of the greatest speculators of all time, Jesse Livermore (told under the guise of “Larry Livingston”).

What makes this book such a treasure is not just its fun prose, and interesting glimpse into what the process of investing in old exchanges and “bucket shops” was over a century ago, when ticker-tape and board boys with chalk and ladders were one’s only information about market prices, but also how the mind of one of the world’s greatest traders worked.

This book offers many gems of knowledge about trading—based upon the general principle that, although methods and technologies change, human nature does not and therefore “there is…

By Edwin Lefèvre,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Reminiscences of a Stock Operator as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is a fictionalized story based on the trading career of Jesse Livermore. It follows his journey from the age of 15 when he made his first $1,000 to becoming a Wall Street legend.


Book cover of Hedge Hogs: The Cowboy Traders Behind Wall Street's Largest Hedge Fund Disaster

Brad Schaeffer Author Of Life in the Pits: My Time as a Trader on the Rough-and-Tumble Exchange Floors

From my list on what makes commodities traders tick.

Why am I passionate about this?

After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1989 with an LAS degree in communications and a knack for artwork, I had no idea what I wanted to do. That was until my brother pulled me from my low-paid art job in Chicago to work as a clerk on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. I eventually became a trader on that same floor, as well as an oil and gas dealer in New York. Screaming and yelling in the trading pits while money moved back and forth with a shout and a hand signal I learned more about investing, trading, and human nature through osmosis than I ever could in an MBA course.

Brad's book list on what makes commodities traders tick

Brad Schaeffer Why did Brad love this book?

A relatively new arrival on the list, Dreyfuss’s diligently crafted book is the most in-depth look at one of Wall Street’s most spectacular, if lesser-known, collapses in 2006.

The book takes us through the rise of two forces in energy trading embarking on a collision course that would be the ruin of one and an immense windfall of the other. Amaranth hedge fund was an up-and-comer and darling of the hedge fund space. Boasting stellar returns on its several billion in capital, it was able to raise massive sums to hand over to its wunderkind energy trading guru, the Canadian Brian Hunter.

Hunter had set out to dethrone John Arnold at Centaurus (the former Enron whiz kid and youngest member of the Forbes 400) as the biggest energy derivatives trader on the Street. Hunter’s ego soon got him into trouble when a series of disastrous and massively overleveraged bets collapsed,…

By Barbara T. Dreyfuss,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Hedge Hogs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For readers of The Smartest Guys in the Room and When Genius Failed, the definitive take on Brian Hunter, John Arnold, Amaranth Advisors, and the largest hedge fund collapse in history

At its peak, hedge fund Amaranth Advisors LLC had more than $9 billion in assets. A few weeks later, it completely collapsed. The disaster was largely triggered by one man: thirty-two-year-old hotshot trader Brian Hunter. His high-risk bets on natural gas prices bankrupted his firm and destroyed his career, while John Arnold, his rival at competitor fund Centaurus, emerged as the highest-paid trader on Wall Street. Meticulously researched and…


Book cover of The Merchant of Venice

Cyril Demaria Author Of Introduction to Private Equity, Debt and Real Assets: From Venture Capital to LBO, Senior to Distressed Debt, Immaterial to Fixed Assets

From my list on private equity in practice and peek behind the scenes.

Why am I passionate about this?

The financing of private firms is fascinating and a bit mysterious. It remains misunderstood and regularly gives birth to hype and excesses. I started my career working for a venture capital fund at the top of the Internet financial bubble, in 2000. This experience has imprinted my career and derailed my ambitions. It also fueled my thirst for knowledge. I started from essentially a virgin theoretical and academic land. I developed a body of practical and academic knowledge. Writing and publishing my books seemed to be the next logical step. I enjoy reading books on the sector and recommending them.

Cyril's book list on private equity in practice and peek behind the scenes

Cyril Demaria Why did Cyril love this book?

It might seem odd, but there is no real better book than this one to illustrate the challenges of private equity. I use it as an example in my training sessions regularly.

The Merchant of Venice is not only one of the best plays on finance and ethics, but also the perfect illustration of the challenges of start-up investing before it became a profession. This play illustrates how venture financing differs in practice from bank financing. It also conveys the uncertainties associated with entrepreneurship, and how some capital providers are not able to take such a risk.

Shakespeare masters the art of contrasting the perspectives of an entrepreneur and a banker in a short and powerful format. It is a masterpiece and a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the philosophy of start-up investing. 

By William Shakespeare,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Merchant of Venice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Merchant of Venice, the path to marriage is hazardous. To win Portia, Bassanio must pass a test prescribed by her father’s will, choosing correctly among three caskets or chests. If he fails, he may never marry at all.

Bassanio and Portia also face a magnificent villain, the moneylender Shylock. In creating Shylock, Shakespeare seems to have shared in a widespread prejudice against Jews. Shylock would have been regarded as a villain because he was a Jew. Yet he gives such powerful expression to his alienation due to the hatred around him that, in many productions, he emerges as…


Book cover of Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves

Gretchen Cherington Author Of The Butcher, the Embezzler, and the Fall Guy: A Family Memoir of Greed and Scandal in the Meat Industry

From my list on the intersection of history, business, and personality.

Why am I passionate about this?

Early observations of power and privilege came from growing up around my Pulitzer Prize-winning father, Richard Eberhart, and his circle of iconic literary friends. During my long career advising top executives, I came to understand the dynamics of male power and privilege and its fit with individual personality. In their corner suites, I listened to CEOs interpret their pasts and envision their futures while the best of them uncovered their real fears and vulnerabilities. As these (mostly) men confronted their own mythologies and legacies, I, too, got to examine mine—recognizing that the best way to change our companies and our lives is to change ourselves. 

Gretchen's book list on the intersection of history, business, and personality

Gretchen Cherington Why did Gretchen love this book?

This book informed my macroeconomic thinking on the way banks and companies have long been twined and the complex decisions that ultimately somebody—whether company boards or government regulators—need to make when they fail.

This was a perfect study for my own research into the near collapse of the early Hormel company and the reason why it still exists today; Sorkin’s chosen title would apply. Companies have an impact, both good and sometimes bad, and our regional and national economies often suffer from their hubris and greed.

Sorkin’s master storytelling kept me riveted and mesmerized all the way through six hundred and forty pages. 

By Andrew Ross Sorkin,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Too Big to Fail as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BBC SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE 2010

They were masters of the financial universe, flying in private jets and raking in billions. They thought they were too big to fail. Yet they would bring the world to its knees.

Andrew Ross Sorkin, the news-breaking New York Times journalist, delivers the first true in-the-room account of the most powerful men and women at the eye of the financial storm - from reviled Lehman Brothers CEO Dick 'the gorilla' Fuld, to banking whiz Jamie Dimon, from bullish Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to AIG's Joseph Cassano, dubbed 'The Man Who Crashed the…


Book cover of Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street

Stephen R. Foerster Author Of In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio: The Stories, Voices, and Key Insights of the Pioneers Who Shaped the Way We Invest

From my list on developing your investment philosophy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been interested in investing for over four decades since I started as a finance PhD student at Wharton. Since then my research has focused on understanding the stock market. Early on, I tried applying my research to my investing. For example, I was convinced that a recently listed stock called Google was way overvalued—was I ever wrong! That got me to reflect on my investment philosophy—what did I truly believe about how markets really behaved? That brought me back to understanding and appreciating the contributors to Modern Portfolio Theory, which led to a fun decade-long book project. Currently I enjoy writing about investing through my blog.

Stephen's book list on developing your investment philosophy

Stephen R. Foerster Why did Stephen love this book?

Peter Bernstein was one of the great investment writers.

This book is where I got my first taste into the great theorists whose works revolutionized Wall Street such as Harry Markowitz, Bill Sharpe, Myron Scholes, and Bob Merton, all of whom I later had the pleasure of getting to know. I had read about their theories, but hadn’t appreciated the impact they had on the investment industry. Bernstein showed how these luminaries changed the way we think about investments.

By Peter L. Bernstein,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Capital Ideas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Capital Ideas traces the origins of modern Wall Street, from the pioneering work of early scholars and the development of new theories in risk, valuation, and investment returns, to the actual implementation of these theories in the real world of investment management. Bernstein brings to life a variety of brilliant academics who have contributed to modern investment theory over the years: Louis Bachelier, Harry Markowitz, William Sharpe, Fischer Black, Myron Scholes, Robert Merton, Franco Modigliani, and Merton Miller. Filled with in-depth insights and timeless advice, Capital Ideas reveals how the unique contributions of these talented individuals profoundly changed the practice…


Book cover of Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises

Robin Wigglesworth Author Of Trillions: How a Band of Wall Street Renegades Invented the Index Fund and Changed Finance Forever

From my list on financial history that are genuinely gripping.

Why am I passionate about this?

I ended up in financial journalism by happenstance (it was pretty much the only corner of the media world that was still hiring when I graduated in the early 2000s). But I fell in love with it. To understand the world, you have to understand money. Whether you like it or not, it is the hidden wiring that binds us all together. I’ve found that reading history books on finance and economics has helped me better understand what is going on today, so I hope the books on this list will help you do the same. 

Robin's book list on financial history that are genuinely gripping

Robin Wigglesworth Why did Robin love this book?

Sometimes the obvious pick is still the right pick, and anyone interested in the history of financial shenanigans – outright frauds or merely weapons-grade idiocy – has to read Kindleberger.

There’s a reason why it remains a stone-cold classic that bears reading (and re-reading) almost half a century after it was first published. 

By Charles P. Kindleberger, Robert Z. Aliber, Robert N. McCauley

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Manias, Panics, and Crashes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the Eighth Edition of this classic text on the financial history of bubbles and crashes, Robert McCauley joins with Robert Aliber in building on Charles Kindleberger's renowned work. McCauley draws on his central banking experience to introduce new chapters on cryptocurrency and the United States as the 21st Century global lender of last resort. He also updates the book's coverage of the recent property bubble in China, as well as providing new perspectives on the US housing bubble of 2003-2006, and the Japanese bubble of the late 1980s. And he gives new attention to the social psychology that leads…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in golf, economics, and corporation?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about golf, economics, and corporation.

Golf Explore 30 books about golf
Economics Explore 392 books about economics
Corporation Explore 42 books about corporation