10 books like The Righteous Mind

By Jonathan Haidt,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Righteous Mind. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)

By Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson,

Book cover of Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts

We resist and “explain away” any information that makes us feel wrong, immoral, or stupid. That’s how cognitive dissonance works. It also means we overvalue information that makes us feel right, and it’s the reason things like the political divide worsen between people as they age, and worsen in our country over time. Tavris and Aronson keep their own cognitive dissonance in check in a masterful balance between both conservative and liberal examples of mental mechanics at play in real life. Though the topic-based chapters invite you to jump around, I strongly advise reading from start to finish, as not a word is to be missed. I read about this topic a lot, yet this book remains my favorite of all the books that address our biased minds.

Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)

By Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Renowned social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson take a compelling look into how the brain is wired for self-justification. This updated edition concludes with an extended discussion of how we can live with dissonance, learn from it, and perhaps, eventually, forgive ourselves.

Why is it so hard to say “I made a mistake”—and really believe it?

When we make mistakes, cling to outdated attitudes, or mistreat other people, we must calm the cognitive dissonance that jars our feelings of self-worth. And so, unconsciously, we create fictions that absolve us of responsibility, restoring our belief that we are smart, moral,…


The Big Short

By Michael Lewis,

Book cover of The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

In my career as a corporate spy, I was able to see and learn many things I wasn’t supposed to. As a result, I saw the makings of what would become the world’s worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the 2008 Crash. At first, I thought I was the only one, until I read The Big Short. Michael Lewis documents the few oddballs and kooks prescient enough to read the financial tea leaves and see the crash coming. More than that, he shows how Wall Street didn’t care, until it was too late. 

The Big Short

By Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Big Short as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn't shine and the SEC doesn't dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can't pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren't talking.

Michael Lewis creates a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 bestseller Liar's Poker. Out of a…


Influence

By Robert B. Cialdini,

Book cover of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Cialdini shines the light on evidence-based persuasion principles on their application by real-world influencers—many of which he observed when going undercover. Once we understand the power of reciprocation, of commitment, of social proof, of liking, of authority, and of scarcity, we will better understand both how to ethically apply these persuasive powers, and how to resist those who would use them to manipulate us. Cialdini’s gift for engrossing storytelling further explains what has made this book a multi-million copy best-seller.

Influence

By Robert B. Cialdini,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The foundational and wildly popular go-to resource for influence and persuasion-a renowned international bestseller, with over 5 million copies sold-now revised adding: new research, new insights, new examples, and online applications.

In the new edition of this highly acclaimed bestseller, Robert Cialdini-New York Times bestselling author of Pre-Suasion and the seminal expert in the fields of influence and persuasion-explains the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these insights ethically in business and everyday settings. Using memorable stories and relatable examples, Cialdini makes this crucially important subject surprisingly easy. With Cialdini as a guide, you don't have…


A Random Walk Down Wall Street

By Burton G. Malkiel,

Book cover of A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing

Okay, to be honest, this book can be summarized in just one sentence: You can’t predict the stock market. But, most investors, fed on a daily diet of silly and useless predictions from the financial press, need convincing that this is true. Enter Professor Malkiel. We’re talking almost 500 pages of convincing. At the end of the book, you’ll either be an index investor, or you will continue to throw your money at “active” managers (AKA stock pickers and market timers) and you will continue to underperform the broad stock market. Malkiel helped open my eyes with the first edition of this book, now almost half a century ago. The book, of course, has been continually updated for those who still need convincing. 

A Random Walk Down Wall Street

By Burton G. Malkiel,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Random Walk Down Wall Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Today's stock market is not for the faint hearted. At a time of frightening volatility, the answer is to turn to Burton G. Malkiel's advice in his reassuring, authoritative, gimmick-free and perennially best-selling guide to investing. Long established as the first book to purchase before starting a portfolio, A Random Walk Down Wall Street now features new material on "tax-loss harvesting"; the current bitcoin bubble and automated investment advisers; as well as a brand-new chapter on factor investing and risk parity. And as always, Malkiel's core insights-on stocks and bonds, as well as investment trusts, home ownership and tangible assets…


Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism

By Anne Case, Angus Deaton,

Book cover of Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism

Case and Deaton, Princeton economists (married to each other), explain how economic developments in recent decades, such as the rise of trade and the weakening of unions, have eroded the fabric of our society. Case and Deaton document the devasting impact on people and communities left behind by looking at deaths of despair—those from suicide, overdoses, and alcoholism. If you have the feeling that something is not right with capitalism—or even if you don’t—this is a book that will offer you a detailed look at America’s economic underbelly.

Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism

By Anne Case, Angus Deaton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Bestseller
A Wall Street Journal Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book of 2020
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year
A New Statesman Book to Read

From economist Anne Case and Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton, a groundbreaking account of how the flaws in capitalism are fatal for America's working class

Life expectancy in the United States has recently fallen for three years in a row-a reversal not seen since 1918 or in any other wealthy nation in modern times. In the…


Showdown at Gucci Gulch

By Alan Murray,

Book cover of Showdown at Gucci Gulch: Lawmakers, Lobbyists, and the Unlikely Triumph of Tax Reform

Who knew that a book on tax reform could be so interesting? Showdown at Gucci Gulch, which tells the story of the 1986 federal tax reform, remains the best in depth look at how a bill really becomes a law, including a cast of interesting characters, from Ronald Reagan to Dan Rostenkowski. The book is also a good primer on what a good tax system ought to look like and how myriad special interests invariably oppose such a system. Murray and Birnbaum were reporters for the Wall Street Journal who covered the 1986 tax reform and write with a reporter’s eye for detail. Really, this is an entertaining book.

Showdown at Gucci Gulch

By Alan Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Showdown at Gucci Gulch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Tax Reform Act of 1986 was the single most sweeping change in the history of America's income tax. It was also the best political and economic story of its time. Here, in the anecdotal style of The Making of the President, two Wall Street Journal reporters provide the first complete picture of how this tax revolution went from an improbable dream to a widely hailed reality.


Thinking, Fast and Slow

By Daniel Kahneman,

Book cover of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Kahneman won a Nobel Prize for the concepts in this book, the core of which is that humans tend to trust their beliefs over evidence and reliable data. Which helps explain why the mountains of religious mythological misinformation persists in the world today. Are you willing to examine your core beliefs in the light of reliable information? Most people aren’t. (See for example, Csikszentmihalyi’s The Evolving Self.)

Thinking, Fast and Slow

By Daniel Kahneman,

Why should I read it?

25 authors picked Thinking, Fast and Slow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The phenomenal international bestseller - 2 million copies sold - that will change the way you make decisions

'A lifetime's worth of wisdom' Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics
'There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Thinking, Fast and Slow' Financial Times

Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast,…


Chimpanzee Politics

By Franz DeWaal,

Book cover of Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes

This is a highly readable and fun book published back in 1982 by one of the leading primatologists of our era. A close student of ape behavior, Frans de Waal shows how smart apes are and what we can learn about ourselves by studying their behavior. He demonstrates that, contrary to common belief, it is not by physical strength alone that an alpha ape hangs onto its power at the top of the social pyramid. More important than their muscles is their ability to form coalitions with others.  

If your mental image of an alpha ape is a brawny male, forget it. De Waal profiles one female ape, Mama, who manages for years to dominate a group by exercising power more prudently than her male rivals, who shriek and throw tantrums when they don't get their way. This is the good news. The bad news is that apes are Machiavellian.…

Chimpanzee Politics

By Franz DeWaal,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Chimpanzee Politics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first edition of Frans de Waal's Chimpanzee Politics was acclaimed not only by primatologists for its scientific achievement but also by politicians, business leaders, and social psychologists for its remarkable insights into the most basic human needs and behaviors. Twenty-five years later, this book is considered a classic. Featuring a new preface that includes recent insights from the author, this anniversary edition is a detailed and thoroughly engrossing account of rivalries and coalitions-actions governed by intelligence rather than instinct. As we watch the chimpanzees of Arnhem behave in ways we recognize from Machiavelli (and from the nightly news), de…


The Black Swan

By Nassim Nicholas Taleb,

Book cover of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Taleb’s central idea is that it is impossible to predict the extreme impact of rare and unpredictable outlier events. His corollary is that we need to focus on building resiliency vs. better prediction capabilities. This notion of creating resilient organizations is central to our book but one which I see playing out over and over again as we experience wave after wave of disruptive, and seemingly improvable, events. 

The Black Swan

By Nassim Nicholas Taleb,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The most influential book of the past seventy-five years: a groundbreaking exploration of everything we know about what we don’t know, now with a new section called “On Robustness and Fragility.”

A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions…


Strangers to Ourselves

By Timothy D. Wilson,

Book cover of Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious

This book isn't about politics per se. But in summing up the social science literature about the way our brain works, Timothy Wilson helps us understand why voters often seem to act so irrationally. It's because, as Jonathan Haidt would agree, we are largely unaware of what drives our decisions. In a phrase, we are “strangers to ourselves.” To take one example. We privilege the knowledge we already possess. This has the effect of us discounting new information that seems in conflict with what we already feel we know. You can see how politicians play on this keen insight. They try never to convince us of anything we don't already believe. And now you know, dear reader, why politicians often seem afraid to lead.

Wilson usually doesn't explicitly address how the insights he shares can help us understand political behavior, but the reader will easily make the connections on their…

Strangers to Ourselves

By Timothy D. Wilson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Strangers to Ourselves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Know thyself," a precept as old as Socrates, is still good advice. But is introspection the best path to self-knowledge? What are we trying to discover, anyway? In an eye-opening tour of the unconscious, as contemporary psychological science has redefined it, Timothy D. Wilson introduces us to a hidden mental world of judgments, feelings, and motives that introspection may never show us.

This is not your psychoanalyst's unconscious. The adaptive unconscious that empirical psychology has revealed, and that Wilson describes, is much more than a repository of primitive drives and conflict-ridden memories. It is a set of pervasive, sophisticated mental…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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