100 books like Stealth Of Nations

By Robert Neuwirth,

Here are 100 books that Stealth Of Nations fans have personally recommended if you like Stealth Of Nations. 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 Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Johannes Lenhard Author Of Making Better Lives: Hope, Freedom and Home-Making among People Sleeping Rough in Paris

From my list on understanding poverty today, from the bottom up.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an anthropologist and studied homelessness in Paris and London for the last decade. I was drawn into the world of people on the streets when I moved to London and started observing their parallel world. I spent almost a year with people on the street in London and two years in Paris. I volunteered in day centers, safe injection facilities, and soup kitchens and slept in a homeless shelter. Since I finished my first book on my observations in Paris, I have advised both policymakers on homelessness and written countless journalistic articles. My goal is always to provide a clearer picture of homelessness through the eyes of the people themselves. 

Johannes' book list on understanding poverty today, from the bottom up

Johannes Lenhard Why did Johannes love this book?

I met Matthew Desmond before he became one of the youngest Professors with his own center at Princeton University. He was visiting London, had just published his first book, and was still finishing the research for this book.

Desmond did an enormous amount of field research; he spent months living in a trailer park, on top of thousands of hours in archives and courtrooms where eviction cases are decided. The result is the best book I have ever read about poverty.

What happens when ‘normal people’ get evicted? Desmond’s story is rich and personal, and that is what we need: we need to understand the lives of poor people better in order to finally decide that we must change the systems that put them there. 

By Matthew Desmond,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Evicted as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION*
'Beautifully written, thought-provoking, and unforgettable ... If you want a good understanding of how the issues that cause poverty are intertwined, you should read this book' Bill Gates, Best Books of 2017

Arleen spends nearly all her money on rent but is kicked out with her kids in Milwaukee's coldest winter for years. Doreen's home is so filthy her family call it 'the rat hole'. Lamar, a wheelchair-bound ex-soldier, tries to work his way out of debt for his boys. Scott, a nurse turned addict, lives in a gutted-out trailer. This is…


Book cover of The Myth of Marginality: Urban Poverty and Politics in Rio De Janeiro

Aili Mari Tripp Author Of Changing the Rules: The Politics of Liberalization and the Urban Informal Economy in Tanzania

From my list on the economy as if people mattered.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Tanzania, where I discovered the importance of learning first-hand from ordinary people about their lives by accompanying my mother, who was an anthropologist, when she carried out participant observation among coastal people. Much later in my own research, I could see how essential it was to interact with people face-to-face and learn about their aspirations, joys, fears, daily struggles, and creative ways of coping with the challenges of an economy in free fall. I learned to look beyond the “economic data” to more fully appreciate the humanity of the people involved. All of these books I selected are by people who learned about the real urban economy in this way.

Aili's book list on the economy as if people mattered

Aili Mari Tripp Why did Aili love this book?

Drawing on her first-hand experience of living in a shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Perlman powerfully upends many existing myths about the urban poor as marginal in this classic work.

This book, which inspired me to look beyond the economic models at how people actually live, shows how shantytown dwellers are integrated into society, but in a way that exploits and oppresses them economically and politically.

They are not socially and culturally marginal, but rather they are stigmatized and excluded from a closed social system that is radically unequal.

They are socially well-organized and cohesive; they aspire to educate their children and improve the quality of their homes; they work hard and take pride in a job well done. They are aware of and involved in those aspects of politics that affect their lives. 

By Janice Perlman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

myth of urban poverty .....


Book cover of They Eat Our Sweat: Transport Labor, Corruption, and Everyday Survival in Urban Nigeria

Aili Mari Tripp Author Of Changing the Rules: The Politics of Liberalization and the Urban Informal Economy in Tanzania

From my list on the economy as if people mattered.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Tanzania, where I discovered the importance of learning first-hand from ordinary people about their lives by accompanying my mother, who was an anthropologist, when she carried out participant observation among coastal people. Much later in my own research, I could see how essential it was to interact with people face-to-face and learn about their aspirations, joys, fears, daily struggles, and creative ways of coping with the challenges of an economy in free fall. I learned to look beyond the “economic data” to more fully appreciate the humanity of the people involved. All of these books I selected are by people who learned about the real urban economy in this way.

Aili's book list on the economy as if people mattered

Aili Mari Tripp Why did Aili love this book?

In this riveting account, Agbiboa dispels the myth that corruption is a culturally accepted norm in Nigeria.

He spent months behind the wheel as a minibus conductor in the informal settlements of Lagos, Nigeria, and experienced first-hand the stark realities of the corrupt interactions between drivers, police, and members of the transport workers union.

Nigerians reject, and simultaneously have little choice, but to participate in the petty corruption that arises from the systematic, violent, and exploitative relationship between the state and union on the one hand, and transport operators and passengers on the other.

Agbiboa shows that binary understandings of formality/informality, public/private, and legal/illegal derived from Western thought do not adequately capture the way that petty corruption is embedded in the state and is driven by elite corruption.

This resonated strongly with my research on the informal economy in Tanzania.

By Daniel E. Agbiboa,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked They Eat Our Sweat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Accounts of corruption in Africa and the Global South are generally overly simplistic and macro-oriented, and commonly disconnect everyday (petty) corruption from political (grand) corruption. In contrast to this tendency, They Eat Our Sweat offers a fresh and engaging look at the corruption complex in Africa through a micro analysis of its informal transport sector, where collusion between state and nonstate actors is most rife. Focusing on Lagos, Nigeria's
commercial capital and Africa's largest city, Daniel Agbiboa investigates the workaday world of road transport operators as refracted through the extortion racket and violence of transport unions acting in complicity with…


Book cover of We Are Poor but So Many: The Story of Self-Employed Women in India

Aili Mari Tripp Author Of Changing the Rules: The Politics of Liberalization and the Urban Informal Economy in Tanzania

From my list on the economy as if people mattered.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Tanzania, where I discovered the importance of learning first-hand from ordinary people about their lives by accompanying my mother, who was an anthropologist, when she carried out participant observation among coastal people. Much later in my own research, I could see how essential it was to interact with people face-to-face and learn about their aspirations, joys, fears, daily struggles, and creative ways of coping with the challenges of an economy in free fall. I learned to look beyond the “economic data” to more fully appreciate the humanity of the people involved. All of these books I selected are by people who learned about the real urban economy in this way.

Aili's book list on the economy as if people mattered

Aili Mari Tripp Why did Aili love this book?

Ela Bhatt, a former Member of the Indian parliament, chronicles the astonishing rise of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) ,which she helped form in 1972.

The overwhelming majority of the labor force in India is self-employed and the majority of the self-employed are women. Today SEWA works in 18 Indian states and is made up of 2.1 million informal women workers — the single largest union of informal sector workers in the world.

In this first-hand account, Bhatt shows how the organization struggled against cultural norms, the state, and formal unions, and challenged the rise of Hindu nationalism as it mobilized women across religious lines and caste in the state of Gujarat, which has experienced decades of Hindu-Muslim violence.

By Ela R. Bhatt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Are Poor but So Many as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book is a first-hand account of the vision, rise, and success of SEWA, the Self-Employed Women's Association, a trade union of self-employed women in India. It takes the reader into an up-close look at these women's daily lives, at the forces that overpower them, the conditions that perpetuate their poverty, the battles they fight, the attitudes they face and the working and living conditions of both rural and urban working women. It highlights the role that
trade cooperatives play in economic development and shows the impact of the larger economy on the lives of the women.


Book cover of VC: An American History

William H. Janeway Author Of Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Reconfiguring the Three-Player Game between Markets, Speculators and the State

From my list on venture capital and the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

After receiving my doctorate in Economics at Cambridge University, I embarked on a 35-year sabbatical as a venture capitalist focused on information technology. I learned about the critical role that the American state had played by sponsoring the computer industry. When the "Dotcom Bubble" of the late 1990s grossly overpriced my companies, because I had written my PhD thesis on 1929-1931 when the Bubble of the Roaring Twenties exploded, I had seen the movie before and knew how it ended. I returned to Cambridge determined to tell this saga of innovation at the frontier and the strategic roles played by financial speculation and the state in funding economic transformation."

William's book list on venture capital and the economics of innovation

William H. Janeway Why did William love this book?

I value this book as a comprehensive history of high-risk investing in America, from the Whaling Industry to Silicon Valley. 

Nicholas reveals the extraordinary skew and persistence in investment returns: a small number of investors are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the gains, and this holds true across widely varying institutional structures and technological domains.

And he explores the intimate relationship between the rise of the IT and Biotech industries and support from the U.S, Government. 

By Tom Nicholas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A major exploration of venture financing, from its origins in the whaling industry to Silicon Valley, that shows how venture capital created an epicenter for the development of high-tech innovation.

VC tells the riveting story of how the industry arose from the United States' long-running orientation toward entrepreneurship. Venture capital has been driven from the start by the pull of outsized returns through a skewed distribution of payoffs-a faith in low-probability but substantial financial rewards that rarely materialize. Whether the gamble is a whaling voyage setting sail from New Bedford or the newest startup in Silicon Valley, VC is not…


Book cover of The Diary of a CEO: The 33 Laws of Business and Life

Simon Court Author Of Founder's Legacy: 50 Game-Changing Leadership Lessons for Building a Great Business

From my list on books for founders trying to be in the 10% of businesses that succeed.

Why am I passionate about this?

For the last 25 years, I have been a coach to business founders, leaders, and leadership teams. My work has taken me to every continent from my base in London. A lot of my work is done behind closed doors, but I have been instrumental in building two unicorns in the last decade. I’m a founder myself and have always been fascinated by what it takes to succeed as a founder. I have a powerful conviction that learning to lead is the heart of it. The books I love are either based on real-world research or deeply practical and based on hands-on experience. Practice trumps theory every time in my world!

Simon's book list on books for founders trying to be in the 10% of businesses that succeed

Simon Court Why did Simon love this book?

I have listened to Steven Bartlett’s podcast for years. He has interviewed an impressive and eclectic range of people, especially founders, and has pulled together much of what he has learned, both from his own business success and that of his guests.

I like the practicality of the “33 laws” in the book. I don’t agree with all of them. For example, I take issue with “Create a cult mentality,” but many of these laws are very sound indeed, including “Ask who not how” and “You must out-fail the competition.”

I like Steven’s persuasive and punchy style and the fact that he came from humble beginnings and has achieved so much. 

By Steven Bartlett,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of The Future Normal: How We Will Live, Work and Thrive in the Next Decade

Zoë Routh Author Of People Stuff: Beyond Personality Problems: an Advanced Handbook for Leadership

From my list on leaders who want to lead for the future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated with the future ever since I watched 2001 Space Odyssey. An amazing spaceship that could help us explore other planets! Then all that weird stuff about an A.I. gone crazy and apes banging sticks around monoliths. What the…? That curiosity smashed into a major concern at the age of fifteen on a canoe trip where I was trying to work out how to live and work closely with other humans - and failing. It turns out humans are crazy creatures. We love being together, and doing amazing things together, but that can be really hard. So leadership and the future fused into a lifelong passionate pursuit.

Zoë's book list on leaders who want to lead for the future

Zoë Routh Why did Zoë love this book?

This was an inspiring and motivating book.

The case studies of leaders, businesses, government, and agencies implementing new technologies for the improvement of work, agriculture, nutrition, productivity, and the climate is amazing.

My favourite case study snapshot is of Vivobarefoot footwear brand that partners with algae technology startup Bloom and their patented BLOOM foam - which takes harmful algae blooms out of waterways.

Shoes made out of algae blooms. By making shoes, it’s actually making the environment better. This is the ‘beyond net zero’ promise and potential. So cool.

The authors offer provocative ‘what if…’ questions at the beginning and end of each chapter to help the reader explore what the trends mean and how they might affect their current leadership paradigm.

One of the most useful aspects of the book is the ‘industry playlist’ infographic at the back of the book. You can look up your own industry and…

By Rohit Bhargava, Henry Coutinho-Mason,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a handbook for visionaries.

Making outlandish predictions about the future is easy. Predicting the future normal is far harder.

For the past decade, Rohit Bhargava and Henry Coutinho-Mason have been on the front lines of exploring the global forces shaping our future normal through their work independently leading two of the most successful trend consultancies in the world: TrendWatching and the Non-Obvious Company.

From donning full body haptic suits to sampling cultivated meat, their work has taken them into cutting-edge labs, private testing facilities, and invite-only showcases across the world. Now for the first time, they are teaming…


Book cover of The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

Dave Hersh Author Of Reignition: Transforming Stuck Startups Into Breakout Winners

From my list on leaders feeling lonely at the top.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a founder, CEO, venture capitalist, buyout specialist, Chairman, author, consultant, and coach. I’ve seen the startup world from every angle and also seen how destructive it can be if we don’t take care of our inner lives. My work now is to help people understand how we can transform ourselves to transform our businesses. These books were helpful to me when I needed them most and shaped not only my leadership approach but also my life. 

Dave's book list on leaders feeling lonely at the top

Dave Hersh Why did Dave love this book?

I was lucky enough to work with Ben at a16z and found him to be a very thoughtful and brilliant guy with deeply held beliefs and perspectives on how to build great technology and organizations.

This book helped me navigate the line between knowing the answers and being stuck in the hardness in my writing and leadership development. It’s also more vulnerable than many other books and serves as a good reminder of why we do it, how hard it can be, and that we’re not alone in that path.

By Ben Horowitz,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Hard Thing About Hard Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup-practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn't cover, based on his popular ben's blog. While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he's gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with…


Book cover of The Multi-Hyphen Life: Work Less, Create More, and Design a Life That Works for You

Joy Batra Author Of The Freelance Mindset: Unleashing Your Side Hustles for Better Work, Play, and Life

From my list on freelancers, side hustlers, and portfolio careerists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell into freelancing when I unexpectedly got the opportunity to act in Bollywood after graduating from law school and business school. With six figure student loans, I needed to make money and still have time for auditions. Enter freelancing! A decade later, I’ve helped other people expand beyond their day jobs, change careers, or tap into a different skillset, and I’ve collected stories of over fifty freelancers who are doing the same. I hope these books inspire and support you as you venture off the beaten path to create a career that’s just right for you!

Joy's book list on freelancers, side hustlers, and portfolio careerists

Joy Batra Why did Joy love this book?

This book made me feel seen.

There’s something so surreal about going from having one very specific job title at a company to having multiple jobs when you start getting more serious about your side hustles. This book made me realize I’m not alone in having more than one career at the same time, while also teaching me why this is a smart decision and how to get better at it.

Plus, the book is funny and incredibly easy to read. Emma Gannon has no idea who I am, but I feel like she’s my new best friend after reading this. 

By Emma Gannon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Multi-Hyphen Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you've been itching to convert your craft into a career, your side-hustle into a start-up, or just want to think about work-life balance in a new way, then The Multi-Hyphen Life is for you.

In The Multi-Hyphen Life, award-winning British author-podcaster Emma Gannon explains that it doesn't matter if you're a part-time PA with a blog, or an accountant who runs an online store in the evenings—whatever your ratio, whatever your mixture, we can all channel our own entrepreneurial spirit to live more fulfilled and financially healthy lives.

Technology allows us to work wherever, whenever, and enables us to…


Book cover of Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos

Tom Gilb Author Of Competitive Engineering: A Handbook For Systems Engineering, Requirements Engineering, and Software Engineering Using Planguage

From my list on learning successful invention and business methods.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a self-taught guy, having started in my first job at IBM Oslo, when I was 18 years old, as punched card machine operator, and plug-board ‘programmer'. I did night studies in sociology/philosophy for 10 years at University of Oslo. I read about 30 books a year, and I’m 82 in 2023. I have spent most of my career as an independent international consultant to corporations and governments, while building up my ideas of useful methods to solve problems. In retirement, I love to spread my ideas, and learn more. I also write about 5 new books a year, when at my Oslofjord Summer cabin. They're all digital and free or free samples. 

Tom's book list on learning successful invention and business methods

Tom Gilb Why did Tom love this book?

No surprises. Self-made businessperson, with persistence and imagination.

This book is unusual. It is literally written by Bezos over decades of developing Amazon. It is mainly his annual reports to the shareholders! So it gives a continuous picture of the growth of the empire.

My favourite practical tip, is his executive meeting process. Meeting begins with a 6-page (with a 1-page summary) briefing, to reread for the first 20 minutes of as meeting in silence, then discussed. No presentation with slides and pretty pictures, and soothing ambiguous words.

The briefing is the result of hard work, in advance, crafting it to be useful. Wow! 

By Jeff Bezos,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Jeff Bezos's own words, the core principles and philosophy that have guided him in creating, building, and leading Amazon and Blue Origin.

In this collection of Jeff Bezos's writings&#8212his unique and strikingly original annual shareholder letters, plus numerous speeches and interviews that provide insight into his background, his work, and the evolution of his ideas&#8212you'll gain an insider's view of the why and how of his success. Spanning a range of topics across business and public policy, from innovation and customer obsession to climate change and outer space, this book provides a rare glimpse into how Bezos thinks about…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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