100 books like The Fourth Revolution

By John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge,

Here are 100 books that The Fourth Revolution fans have personally recommended if you like The Fourth Revolution. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Road to Serfdom

Andrew Koppelman Author Of Burning Down the House: How Libertarian Philosophy Was Corrupted by Delusion and Greed

From my list on libertarian philosophy.

Who am I?

I’ve always been interested in human freedom, and both intrigued and cautious about the path offered by the libertarians. In my book, I finally worked out for my own benefit what is alive and what is dead in their ideals – and the various flavors in which those ideals are available. They have important insights, but too much of what they are selling is snake oil. Until now there hasn’t been any critical introduction to libertarianism for the general reader. This book aims to supply that.

Andrew's book list on libertarian philosophy

Andrew Koppelman Why did Andrew love this book?

The classic exposition of the idea that central governmental economic planning will inevitably be wasteful and tyrannical. Hayek today is caricatured by both right and left, but he is not the minimal state absolutist that both sides often take him to be. Hayek thinks that the way to attack poverty is not redistribution – there isn’t yet enough wealth in existence to give everyone a decent life – but the opportunities created by free markets. Another impetus for my own work was reading this book and discovering that I agreed with him much more than I had expected to. 

By F. A. Hayek, Bruce Caldwell (editor),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Road to Serfdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An unimpeachable classic work in political philosophy, intellectual and cultural history, and economics, "The Road to Serfdom" has inspired and infuriated politicians, scholars, and general readers for half a century. Originally published in 1944 - when Eleanor Roosevelt supported the efforts of Stalin, and Albert Einstein subscribed lock, stock, and barrel to the socialist program - "The Road to Serfdom" was seen as heretical for its passionate warning against the dangers of state control over the means of production. For F. A. Hayek, the collectivist idea of empowering government with increasing economic control would lead not to a utopia but…

Book cover of The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths

Donald Cohen Author Of The Privatization of Everything: How the Plunder of Public Goods Transformed America and How We Can Fight Back

From my list on the battle between democracy and oligarchy.

Who am I?

I have been reading, researching, and writing on the limitations of market capitalism and the unique and important role of government in meeting public needs for almost 30 years. I have come to firmly believe that we can’t – as a nation and planet – solve our most pressing problems without rebuilding trust in government and the capacity and authority of governing institutions. We can’t eliminate poverty, eradicate structural racism, protect our environment and the planet without democratic institutions that have the power to do so. We need markets, but transferring too much power to the market has created many of the problems we face today. 

Donald's book list on the battle between democracy and oligarchy

Donald Cohen Why did Donald love this book?

This is an important book that attacks head-on the mythology in American culture about the inherent superiority of the private sector over the public sector. 

It documents the many public sector investments, inventions, and innovations that created many of the things that we all use in our daily lives. It shows how, despite decades-long attacks on government, we actually can point to a unique and valuable role that government action has played, and continues to play, in meeting public needs. 

Mazzucato is one of the most important thinkers on this subject and has written a number of books that I’d also recommend if this was a longer list. 

By Mariana Mazzucato,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Entrepreneurial State as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this sharp and controversial expose, Mariana Mazzucato debunks the pervasive myth that the state is a laggard, bureaucratic apparatus at odds with a dynamic private sector. She reveals in detailed case studies, including a riveting chapter on the iPhone, that the opposite is true: the state is, and has been, our boldest and most valuable innovator. Denying this history is leading us down the wrong path. A select few get credit for what is an intensely collective effort, and the US government has started disinvesting from innovation. The repercussions could stunt economic growth and increase inequality. Mazzucato teaches us…

Book cover of Innovative State

Jaideep Prabhu Author Of How Should a Government Be?: The New Levers of State Power

From my list on what modern governments can do for their citizens.

Who am I?

A professor of business at the University of Cambridge, I've spent over two decades studying innovation. I've been particularly interested in “frugal innovation”: how small teams now use ubiquitous tools and technologies to achieve what only large corporations or governments could a decade ago. I've written two books about this phenomenon: Jugaad Innovation and Frugal Innovation about the private sector. Whenever I gave talks about them, there was always the question: What does this mean for governments? I began to study how the state could use new technologies and ways of organizing to deliver services to its citizens better, faster and cheaper, and how governments should regulate and cultivate such tools used by the private sector.

Jaideep's book list on what modern governments can do for their citizens

Jaideep Prabhu Why did Jaideep love this book?

The author of this book, Aneesh Chopra, became the first chief technology officer of the United States government in 2009. Prior to that, he was the Secretary of Technology for Virginia and managing director for a health care think tank. As CTO for the US government, Chopra led the administration’s attempts to create a more open, tech-savvy government. In this book, he draws on his experience and interviews with policy experts and tech insiders to show how government can establish a new paradigm for the internet era, one that allows us to tackle the most challenging problems, from economic development to veteran affairs. Once again, it was a source of inspiration for me. My own book extends his discussion of the US federal government to the state and city level, as well as looks at many other countries around the world, both developed and developing.

By Aneesh Chopra,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Over the last twenty years, our economy and our society have been completely revolutionized by technology. As Aneesh Chopra shows in Innovative State, once it became clear how much this would change America, a movement arose around the idea that these same technologies could reshape and improve government. But the idea languished, and while the private sector innovated, our government stalled. The election of Barack Obama offered a new opportunity. In 2009, Aneesh Chopra was named the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States. Previously the Secretary of Technology for Virginia and managing director for a health care think…

Book cover of Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness

John Montgomery Author Of Net Zero Business Models: Winning in the Global Net Zero Economy

From my list on creating a sustainable economy for our children.

Who am I?

As a corporate lawyer, I saw first-hand that corporations lack a comprehensive social and environmental conscience. I had begun to experiment with articles and bylaws when I met one of the founders of B-Lab, the creator of the B-Corp and architect behind the benefit corporation, in 2008. I have been working to upgrade the operating principles of the economy ever since. I was the co-chair of the legal working group for California’s benefit corporation legislation and my former law firm was one of the first law firms to become a B Corp. I’m highly motivated to leave a habitable planet to our children and grandchildren.

John's book list on creating a sustainable economy for our children

John Montgomery Why did John love this book?

This is my favorite book about business. I recommend it to my executive coaching clients and have suggested it to scores of people. 

In short, it profiles the heart-based leadership required to create a sustainable economy. A heart-based leader sets the field of consciousness within his or her organization and models the values of its culture. When we work in environments in which we are loved and trusted, we’re twice as productive and twice as happy and the organization has half the normal employee turnover. 

The twelve heart-based leaders and their organizations profiled in the book provide examples of the kind of leadership required to build a sustainable economy that truly cares for people and planet. 

By Frederic Laloux,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The way we manage organizations seems increasingly out of date. Survey after survey shows that a majority of employees feel disengaged from their companies. The epidemic of organizational disillusionment goes way beyond Corporate America-teachers, doctors, and nurses are leaving their professions in record numbers because the way we run schools and hospitals kills their vocation. Government agencies and nonprofits have a noble purpose, but working for these entities often feels soulless and lifeless just the same. All these organizations suffer from power games played at the top and powerlessness at lower levels, from infighting and bureaucracy, from endless meetings and…

Book cover of Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the Next)

Jordan Flaherty Author Of No More Heroes: Grassroots Challenges to the Savior Mentality

From my list on challenging capitalism, racism, and patriarchy.

Who am I?

I produced dozens of hours of film and television, including for Al Jazeera’s Emmy, Peabody, and DuPont-award-winning program Faultlines; as well as short and long-form documentaries for Democracy Now and teleSUR, and reporting in The New York Times and Washington Post. I’ve written two books based on my journalism, No More Heroes: Grassroots Responses to the Savior Mentality and Floodlines: Community and Resistance From Katrina to the Jena Six. I produced the independent feature film Chocolate Babies, which was recently added to the Criterion Collection. My latest film is Powerlands.

Jordan's book list on challenging capitalism, racism, and patriarchy

Jordan Flaherty Why did Jordan love this book?

During this moment of pandemic and other crises caused by capitalism, many people have turned to mutual aid as an attempt to help their neighbors and communities. As Spade writes, “Left social movements have two big jobs right now. First, we need to organize to help people survive the devastating conditions unfolding every day. Second, we need to mobilize hundreds of millions of people for resistance so we can tackle the underlying causes of these crises.” This book explains both why and how we can create structures that will change the world. 

By Dean Spade,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Around the world, people are faced with crisis after crisis, from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change-induced fires, floods, and storms to the ongoing horrors of mass incarceration, brutal immigration enforcement, endemic gender violence, and severe wealth inequality. As governments fail to respond to-or actively engineer-each crisis, ordinary people are finding bold and innovative ways to share resources and support vulnerable members of their communities. This survival work, when done alongside social movement demands for transformative change, is called mutual aid.

This book is about mutual aid: why it is so important, what it looks like, and how to do…

Book cover of Cambodia's Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land

Tom Vater Author Of The Cambodian Book of the Dead

From my list on Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge.

Who am I?

I'm a writer and journalist with an eye on South and Southeast Asia. I first visited Cambodia in 1995, an ill-fated trip into Koh Kong, then a war-torn backwater town. I returned in 2001 to research a TV documentary about the likely effects of tourism on the Angkor monuments, Cambodia’s tourist magnet. I’ve visited many times since, traveled on trucks, motorbikes, beaten-up Toyotas, and by bicycle, and have written extensively about the southeast Asian kingdom’s post-war recovery, popular culture, tragic politics, and seedy underbelly. Cambodia is a small country, but its turbulent past and uncertain future, along with its wonderful people, touched me like few other places.

Tom's book list on Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge

Tom Vater Why did Tom love this book?

Cambodia, Joel Brinkley writes, is the most dangerous country in the world. The first one falls in love with it, then it breaks one’s heart. Cambodia’s Curse is a book of two tales. Brinkley’s retelling of the war years is a little revisionist but the chapters on the post-war reconstruction, the dirty politics, the lack of opportunities for ordinary people, and the venality of the government that remains in place to this day rightly and masterfully lay the blame for countless missed opportunities to create a more equitable society both into the hands of the international community’s attempts to create ‘democracy’ and Hun Sen’s regime.

By Joel Brinkley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cambodia's Curse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A generation after the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia shows every sign of having overcome its history- the streets of Phnom Penh are paved skyscrapers dot the skyline. But under this facade lies a country still haunted by its years of terror. Joel Brinkley won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting in Cambodia on the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime that killed one quarter of the nation's population during its years in power. In 1992, the world came together to help pull the small nation out of the mire. Cambodia became a United Nations protectorate- the first and only time the…

Book cover of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848

Mark R. Cheathem Author Of Andrew Jackson, Southerner

From my list on explaining Andrew Jackson.

Who am I?

I became interested in Andrew Jackson as an undergraduate student who worked at his Nashville plantation, The Hermitage. Nearly thirty years later, I am still fascinated by Old Hickory. We wouldn’t be friends, and I wouldn’t vote for him, but I consider him essential to understanding the United States’ development between his ascension as a national hero during the War of 1812 and his death in 1845. That we still argue about Jackson’s role as a symbol both of patriotism and of genocide speaks to his enduring significance to the national conversation about what the United States has represented and continues to represent.  

Mark's book list on explaining Andrew Jackson

Mark R. Cheathem Why did Mark love this book?

A number of books explain the world in which Jackson came to national recognition, but Howe’s provides a decidedly critical view of Old Hickory and his politics. He is clearly sympathetic to the Whigs, opponents of Jackson and his Democratic party; nevertheless, Howe’s book is a good starting point for a broader perspective on Jacksonian America.

By Daniel Walker Howe,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked What Hath God Wrought as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. In this prize-winning, critically acclaimed addition to the series, historian Daniel Walker Howe illuminates the period from the battle of New Orleans to the end of the Mexican-American War, an era when the United States expanded to the Pacific and won control over the richest part of the North American continent. Howe's panoramic narrative portrays revolutionary
improvements in transportation and communications that accelerated the extension of the American empire. Railroads, canals, newspapers, and the telegraph dramatically lowered travel times and spurred the…

Book cover of The Liberal Hour: Washington and the Politics of Change in the 1960s

Timothy N. Thurber Author Of Republicans and Race: The GOP's Frayed Relationship with African Americans, 1945-1974

From my list on Republicans and Democrats in the 1960s.

Who am I?

I developed a strong interest in current events, especially politics, in high school. What the government does, or does not do, struck me as a vital piece of the puzzle in trying to explain why things are the way they are. That soon led, however, to seeing how the past continues to influence the present. No decade is more important than the 1960s for understanding our current political climate.

Timothy's book list on Republicans and Democrats in the 1960s

Timothy N. Thurber Why did Timothy love this book?

Historians rightly stress that social movements and broad forces, often decades in the making, shape history, but Weisbrot and Mackenzie note that many of the monumental reforms of the 1960s that continue to define our society today resulted primarily from decisions made by liberal presidents, members of Congress, and the Supreme Court. 

They vividly convey the confidence in government as a force for good that lay at the core of liberal thinking. They are sympathetic to much of the liberals’ efforts, yet they also acknowledge their shortcomings.    

By G. Calvin Mackenzie, Robert Weisbrot,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An engaging be hind-the-scenes look at the lesser-known forces that fueled the profound social reforms of the 1960s

Provocative and incisive , The Liberal Hour reveals how Washington, so often portrayed as a target of reform in the 1960s, was in fact the era's most effective engine of change. The movements of the 1960s have always drawn the most attention from the decade's chroniclers, but it was in the halls of government-so often the target of protesters' wrath-that the enduring reforms of the era were produced. With nuance and panache, Calvin Mackenzie and Robert Weisbrot present the real-life characters-from giants…

Book cover of France Since 1945

Jeremy Black Author Of France: A Short History

From my list on the history of France.

Who am I?

I am a historian with wide-ranging interests and publications, including, in European history, histories of Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Mediterranean, eighteenth-century Europe, Europe 1550-1800, Europe since 1945, and European warfare.

Jeremy's book list on the history of France

Jeremy Black Why did Jeremy love this book?

The leading British interpreter of French history from 1940 produced this valuable guide to a period of major transformation in French history. Gildea has cogently argued that French politics reflects long-lasting divisions that play out in different mileux.

By Robert Gildea,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked France Since 1945 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The last fifty years of French history have seen immense challenges for the French: constructing a new European order, building a modern economy, searching for a stable political system. It has also been a time of anxiety and doubt. The French have had to come to terms with the legacy of the German Occupation, the loss of Empire, the political and social implications of the influx of foreign immigrants, the rise of Islam, the destruction of rural life, and the threat
of Anglo-American culture to French language and civilization.
Robert Gildea's account examines the French political system and France's role…

Book cover of The Two Milpas of Chan Kom: Scenarios of a Maya Village Life

Gabriela Vargas-Cetina Author Of Beautiful Politics of Music: Trova in Yucatan, Mexico

From my list on falling in love with Yucatan’s ethnography.

Who am I?

I grew up in Valladolid, a semi-rural city of Yucatan. My parents loved the history and archaeology of the Yucatan peninsula, which not long ago was a single cultural and linguistic entity. I grew up dreaming of becoming an archaeologist. With time, I became fascinated with people and sociality within and beyond Yucatan, so I became an anthropologist. I trained as an anthropologist in Mexico and Canada, and have done research in Canada, Italy, Mexico, and Spain. I live and work in Yucatan, as a professor of anthropology. Good ethnographies are what anthropology is about, and those I write about here are some of the best.

Gabriela's book list on falling in love with Yucatan’s ethnography

Gabriela Vargas-Cetina Why did Gabriela love this book?

This book is many things: A wonderful ethnography, a tribute to the Mexican and foreign ethnographers who preceded Re Cruz’s in the area, a call to ethnographers for writing creativity, and, glowingly, a show of respect for local people, their agency, and their understandings of the world.

Chan Kom, as Re Cruz reminds us, has been an ethnographic laboratory since the first decades of the 20th century. Re Cruz chose to structure her book following the script of a local play performed by high school students. For anthropology students this is a good example of an engaging ethnography.

For historians of the recent past this is a record of the cultural impact that the emergence of Cancun had on Yucatecan rural life.

By Alicia Re Cruz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Two Milpas of Chan Kom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An ethnographic account of Chan Kom, a contemporary Maya community in Yucatan, Mexico that focuses on the social schism within the community resulting from an accelerated process of migration to Cancun, a major tourist center.

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