58 books like Once in Golconda

By John Brooks,

Here are 58 books that Once in Golconda fans have personally recommended if you like Once in Golconda. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of J R

Travis Jeppesen Author Of Settlers Landing

From my list on when you need a heavy dose of satire.

Why am I passionate about this?

Given the state of the world today, laughter truly is the best coping mechanism. The best satire is all about excess in design, intention, characterization, and deployment of attitude. The more extreme, the better; leave restraint to the prudish moralists! 

Travis' book list on when you need a heavy dose of satire

Travis Jeppesen Why did Travis love this book?

If American Psycho is too bloody an evocation of hyper-capitalism for your stomach, try this tragically under-appreciated door-stopper of a novel, in which an eleven-year-old becomes a millionaire by playing the stock market. Written almost wholly in unattributed dialogue! As with Pynchon, everything written by Gaddis deserves to be on this list; alas, alas. 

By William Gaddis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A National Book Award-winning satire about the unchecked power of American capitalism, written more than three decades before the 2008 financial crisis.

At the center of J R is J R Vansant, a very average sixth grader from Long Island with torn sneakers, a runny nose, and a juvenile fascination with junk-mail get-rich-quick offers. Responding to one, he sees a small return; soon, he is running a paper empire out of a phone booth in the school hallway. Everyone from the school staff to the municipal government to the squabbling heirs of a player-piano company to the titans of Wall…


Book cover of The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

Samuel Buell Author Of Capital Offenses: Business Crime and Punishment in America's Corporate Age

From my list on corporate crime.

Why am I passionate about this?

I teach the law and enforcement of corporate crime as a law professor. At the outset of the course, I tell the students that corporate crime is a problem, not a body of law. You have to start by thinking about the problem. How do these things occur? What is the psychology, both individual and institutional? What are the economic incentives at each level and with each player? What role do lawyers play? When do regulatory arrangements cause rather than prevent this kind of thing?  If the locution were not too awkward, I might call the field “scandalology.” I love every one of these books because they do such a great job of telling the human stories through which we can ask the most interesting and important questions about how corporate crimes happen.

Samuel's book list on corporate crime

Samuel Buell Why did Samuel love this book?

Because I was a prosecutor on the Enron case, people often ask me what to read about it (or even to explain it to them!). At the time, we used to say that Enron was calculus to every other case’s algebra when it came to corporate financial fraud. Elkind and McLean (McLean had a lot to do with questioning Enron’s narrative before the company’s decline) have done the definitive job of explaining a very hard case in accessible style and detail. The truth is that accounting fraud is a very technical form of corporate fraud, sometimes painfully so. But, as I tell my students, the people who work at companies on these kinds of things are no smarter, and often no older, than my students. They just speak a different language. Don’t let that obfuscate matters. Learn the lingo and follow the money. Smartest Guys allows the general reader to…

By Peter Elkind, Bethany McLean,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Smartest Guys in the Room as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What went wrong with American business at the end of the 20th century?

Until the spring of 2001, Enron epitomized the triumph of the New Economy. Feared by rivals, worshipped by investors, Enron seemingly could do no wrong. Its profits rose every year; its stock price surged ever upward; its leaders were hailed as visionaries.

Then a young Fortune writer, Bethany McLean, wrote an article posing a simple question - how, exactly, does Enron make its money?

Within a year Enron was facing humiliation and bankruptcy, the largest in US history, which caused Americans to lose faith in a system…


Book cover of The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust

Alan Prendergast Author Of Gangbuster: One Man's Battle Against Crime, Corruption, and the Klan

From my list on con artists, swindlers, and other big fat liars.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father was a stage magician, and I grew up looking for the gimmick behind the marvel. As a journalist, I gravitated toward true crime and the many varieties of fraud, deception, and misdirection on display in any high-stakes criminal trial. I am particularly fascinated by elaborate cons, whether they involve sideshow mitt readers, political hucksters, or cryptocurrency barons. When I found out that a century ago my hometown was the center of a Big Con operation that raked in millions, I had to learn more. The result is my book Gangbuster

Alan's book list on con artists, swindlers, and other big fat liars

Alan Prendergast Why did Alan love this book?

Out of all the investigative reporting that emerged from the 2008 financial meltdown, Henriques’ account of the scheme that out-Ponzied Ponzi is the book that stays with me.

The Madoff story is about brazen lies and insatiable greed, to be sure, but Henriques’ approach is nuanced, thorough, yet accessible, showing the complacency (one might say complicity) of investors and regulators, dazzled or cowed by Madoff’s magic.

How do you pull off a $65 billion scam? With a lot of help. 

By Diana B. Henriques,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Who is Bernie Madoff, and how did he pull off the biggest Ponzi scheme in history? In "The Wizard of Lies", Diana B. Henriques of "The New York Times" - who has led the paper's coverage of the Madoff scandal since the day the story broke - has written the definitive book on the man and his scheme, drawing on unprecedented access and more than one hundred interviews with people at all levels and on all sides of the crime, including Madoff's first interviews for publication since his arrest. Henriques also provides vivid details from the various lawsuits, government investigations,…


Book cover of The Great Crash 1929

Matthew P. Fink Author Of The Unlikely Reformer: Carter Glass and Financial Regulation

From my list on American financial history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was always interested in American history and studied at Brown University under an outstanding professor of American economic history, James Blaine Hedges.   During my career at the mutual fund association I often approached issues from an historical perspective. For example:  Why did Congress draft legislation in a particular way?  How would past events likely affect a regulator’s decisions today?  As a lawyer I had been trained to write carefully and precisely.  As a lobbyist I learned the need to pre

Matthew's book list on American financial history

Matthew P. Fink Why did Matthew love this book?

The book does an outstanding job in describing the people and events that produced the October 1929 stock market crash in a highly entertaining style. Galbraith wrote more like a witty and insightful journalist than the award-winning economist that he was. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn about American financial history. The book is a model for writers who want to educate non-experts about public policy issues.

By John Kenneth Galbraith,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Great Crash 1929 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of the most engrossing books I have ever read' Daily Telegraph

John Kenneth Galbraith's now-classic account of the 1929 stock market collapse remains the definitive book on the most disastrous cycle of boom and bust in modern times.

Vividly depicting the causes, effects, aftermath and long-term consequences of financial meltdown, Galbraith also describes the people and the corporations who were affected by the catastrophe. With its depiction of the 'gold-rush fantasy' ingrained in America's psychology, The Great Crash 1929 remains a penetrating study of human greed and folly.


Book cover of The Lords of Creation

Matthew P. Fink Author Of The Unlikely Reformer: Carter Glass and Financial Regulation

From my list on American financial history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was always interested in American history and studied at Brown University under an outstanding professor of American economic history, James Blaine Hedges.   During my career at the mutual fund association I often approached issues from an historical perspective. For example:  Why did Congress draft legislation in a particular way?  How would past events likely affect a regulator’s decisions today?  As a lawyer I had been trained to write carefully and precisely.  As a lobbyist I learned the need to pre

Matthew's book list on American financial history

Matthew P. Fink Why did Matthew love this book?

Allen reaches back to the post-Civil War Gilded Age to explain the beginnings of massive finance capitalism in the United States. He then goes on to take readers through the roaring 20s, the 1929 Crash, and the New Deal’s first steps at reform, The author is an entertaining writer and fun to read. He tells fascinating stories and does not bore the reader with technical explanations and statistics.

By Frederick Lewis Allen, Mark Crispin Miller (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lords of Creation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A "stimulating" account of the capitalists who changed America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, setting the stage for the 1929 crash and Great Depression (Kirkus Reviews).

In the decades following the Civil War, America entered an era of unprecedented corporate expansion, with ultimate financial power in the hands of a few wealthy industrialists who exploited the system for everything it was worth. The Rockefellers, Fords, Morgans, and Vanderbilts were the "lords of creation" who, along with like-minded magnates, controlled the economic destiny of the country, unrestrained by regulations or moral imperatives. Through a combination of foresight, ingenuity,…


Book cover of The Clewiston Test

Gwyneth Jones Author Of Proof of Concept

From my list on classic lab-science sci-fi thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated by the sciences, and I love mysteries. I’m too lazy, unfocused, and poor at math, ever to have been a scientist, and I’ve never been tempted to try a career as a detective. Instead, I’ve spent my life pursuing fairytales, thrillers, ghost stories, and even horror and romance — as long as there are mysteries involved. By now I see the patterns and rhythms, and set-pieces that appear again, and again, and I can point them out to you (as long as you don’t mind knowing how the story’s been made). But I never get tired of the endless variations on this theme of finding things out. 

Gwyneth's book list on classic lab-science sci-fi thrillers

Gwyneth Jones Why did Gwyneth love this book?

Brilliant young scientist develops a miraculous new pain-killer. A goldmine for the pharmaceutical company! But is the serum really safe? Ann Clewiston Symonds, the scientist at the heart of this story, comes up against Big Pharma’s disdain for ethical issues, and then a car crash dumps her on the customer’s side of the counter. What follows is riveting, chilling, and still horribly relevant today. Kate Wilhelm was extremely good at telling the hard truths about sci-fi material, that sci-fi usually avoids, and this is her best.

By Kate Wilhelm,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Clewiston Test as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Clewiston test


Book cover of The Hellhound of Wall Street: How Ferdinand Pecora's Investigation of the Great Crash Forever Changed American Finance

Matthew P. Fink Author Of The Unlikely Reformer: Carter Glass and Financial Regulation

From my list on American financial history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was always interested in American history and studied at Brown University under an outstanding professor of American economic history, James Blaine Hedges.   During my career at the mutual fund association I often approached issues from an historical perspective. For example:  Why did Congress draft legislation in a particular way?  How would past events likely affect a regulator’s decisions today?  As a lawyer I had been trained to write carefully and precisely.  As a lobbyist I learned the need to pre

Matthew's book list on American financial history

Matthew P. Fink Why did Matthew love this book?

Professor Perino’s book explains how Ferdinand Pecora, counsel to the Senate Banking Committee, ran the explosive hearings that virtually guaranteed Glass-Steagall’s enactment. I particularly enjoyed reading about Pecora because he and the subject of my book, Carter Glass, were allies in the battle for financial reform. While Perino is a distinguished professor of law, he writes in a non-legalistic and gripping style.

By Michael Perino,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Hellhound of Wall Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A gripping account of the underdog Senate lawyer who unmasked the financial wrongdoing that led to the Crash of 1929 and forever changed the relationship between Washington and Wall Street.

In The Hellhound of Wall Street, Michael Perino recounts in riveting detail the 1933 hearings that put Wall Street on trial for the Great Crash. Never before in American history had so many financial titans been called to account before the public, and they had come within a few weeks of emerging unscathed. By the time Ferdinand Pecora, a Sicilian immigrant and former New York prosecutor, took over as chief…


Book cover of Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression

Ruth Talbot Author Of The Raffle Baby

From my list on the human experience during the Great Depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a research nerd at heart. I am happiest pouring over historic newspapers online (thank you Library of Congress) or digging into a non-fiction book. The research I do for a book can be more rewarding than writing the book itself. When I read a 1933 article about a baby that would be given away as a prize during a civic fundraiser, I was hooked. What desperation would lead a parent to give away a child? Who would buy such a raffle ticket? Who thought this would be a good idea? I never did find the answers to my questions, so I made up my own.

Ruth's book list on the human experience during the Great Depression

Ruth Talbot Why did Ruth love this book?

I read this book when I was a graduate student studying journalism, but it has never stopped resonating with me. When I began to research my novel set in the Great Depression, I returned to Hard Times and also had the good fortune to find and listen to the recordings of Terkel’s interview subjects. This book is essentially a collection of oral histories that runs the gamut of the human condition during the Great Depression: those who had everything, those who had nothing and everyone in-between. This is “person-on-the-street” journalism at its finest. The stories are mesmerizing and the voices are authentic. That is the magic of this amazing journalist who captured the voices of the world for decades.

By Studs Terkel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hard Times as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Good War: A masterpiece of modern journalism and "a huge anthem in praise of the American spirit" (Saturday Review).

In this "invaluable record" of one of the most dramatic periods in modern American history, Studs Terkel recaptures the Great Depression of the 1930s in all its complexity. Featuring a mosaic of memories from politicians, businessmen, artists, striking workers, and Okies, from those who were just kids to those who remember losing a fortune, Hard Times is not only a gold mine of information but a fascinating interplay of memory and fact, revealing how…


Book cover of Kane and Abel

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been fascinated by cultures shrouded in secrets and mystery since childhood, a fascination that intensified when efforts to unravel the mystery and expose the truth were stonewalled, leading to frustrating dead-ends.  I spent decades trying to uncover the truth history obscures through research that included travel to the lands of secrets, mystery, and sometimes outright lies. As a writer, I draw from experience, education, and imagination because I know it's sometimes necessary to wrap truth in fiction to protect it. The books I've selected speak to that reality.

Elizabeth's book list on suspense stories with characters driven by passion and twists and turns that keep you guessing til the end

Elizabeth Maxim Why did Elizabeth love this book?

A story of characters who use hardship as a springboard to success; I was immediately pulled in by a plot told through the eyes of characters as if we were in a pub and they were sharing life lessons. The brutal honesty of how innocents get caught in the crossfires of greed and quests for power resonates. The ending is both poignant and haunting.

By Jeffrey Archer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jeffrey Archer's Kane and Abel is a global phenomenon that has captivated readers worldwide, spawning two sequels and dominating bestseller charts the world over.

Two strangers born worlds apart with one destiny that will define them both.

William Lowell Kane, the son of a Boston millionaire, and Abel Rosnovski, the son of a penniless Polish immigrant, are born on the same day on opposite sides of the world and brought together by fate and the quest of a dream.

Locked in a relentless struggle spanning sixty years and three generations, the two men battle for supremacy in pursuit of an…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Wall Street Crash of 1929, economic inequality, and the Great Depression?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Wall Street Crash of 1929, economic inequality, and the Great Depression.

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