100 books like Virtuous Bankers

By Anne Murphy,

Here are 100 books that Virtuous Bankers fans have personally recommended if you like Virtuous Bankers. 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 Tacky's Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War

Christian R. Burset Author Of An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in British Colonial Policy

From my list on the rise of the British Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a legal historian with a particular interest in eighteenth-century Britain and the United States. My research has investigated the history of arbitration, historical connections between law and politics, and changing attitudes to the rule of law. Since 2018, I’ve been a professor at Notre Dame Law School, where I teach courses in legal history, civil procedure, conflict of laws, and the rule of law.

Christian's book list on the rise of the British Empire

Christian R. Burset Why did Christian love this book?

The Seven Years’ War was a pivotal event in the formation of the British Empire, but histories of the conflict often omit a crucial battleground: Jamaica.

Starting in 1760, enslaved West Africans in Jamaica organized to throw off their captivity. Tacky’s Revolt, as the uprising became known, was the greatest slave rebellion the Atlantic world had yet seen. It was also linked to other, global struggles, both in Africa and between European empires.

In Tacky’s Revolt, Vincent Brown links these hyper-local and imperial stories. I found it particularly useful for understanding the complexities of race and ethnicity in the eighteenth-century British Caribbean. 

By Vincent Brown,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Tacky's Revolt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
Winner of the Frederick Douglass Book Prize
Winner of the Elsa Goveia Book Prize
Winner of the James A. Rawley Prize in the History of Race Relations
Winner of the P. Sterling Stuckey Book Prize
Winner of the Harriet Tubman Prize
Winner of the Phillis Wheatley Book Award
Finalist for the Cundill Prize

A gripping account of the largest slave revolt in the eighteenth-century British Atlantic world, an uprising that laid bare the interconnectedness of Europe, Africa, and America, shook the foundations of empire, and reshaped ideas of race and popular belonging.

In the…


Book cover of The King's Peace: Law and Order in the British Empire

Christian R. Burset Author Of An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in British Colonial Policy

From my list on the rise of the British Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a legal historian with a particular interest in eighteenth-century Britain and the United States. My research has investigated the history of arbitration, historical connections between law and politics, and changing attitudes to the rule of law. Since 2018, I’ve been a professor at Notre Dame Law School, where I teach courses in legal history, civil procedure, conflict of laws, and the rule of law.

Christian's book list on the rise of the British Empire

Christian R. Burset Why did Christian love this book?

The British Empire underwent a profound transformation in the eighteenth century—so much so that historians sometimes draw a line between the “first” and “second” British Empires.

One aspect of that transformation concerned how colonies were governed. Until the 1760s, most British colonies enjoyed strong legislatures, a limited role for the military in everyday life, and the protections of English law. That changed during the Age of Revolutions, as Britain embraced an increasingly autocratic style of colonial rule.

The King’s Peace charts this transformation in an engaging and accessible way by weaving its arresting case studies into an ambitious argument about how modern states exercise authority. It gave me a keen sense of how the empire could simultaneously feel fragile and crushingly strong.

By Lisa Ford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How the imposition of Crown rule across the British Empire during the Age of Revolution corroded the rights of British subjects and laid the foundations of the modern police state.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the British Empire responded to numerous crises in its colonies, from North America to Jamaica, Bengal to New South Wales. This was the Age of Revolution, and the Crown, through colonial governors, tested an array of coercive peacekeeping methods in a desperate effort to maintain control. In the process these leaders transformed what it meant to be a British subject.

In the decades after…


Book cover of Empire, Incorporated: The Corporations That Built British Colonialism

Christian R. Burset Author Of An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in British Colonial Policy

From my list on the rise of the British Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a legal historian with a particular interest in eighteenth-century Britain and the United States. My research has investigated the history of arbitration, historical connections between law and politics, and changing attitudes to the rule of law. Since 2018, I’ve been a professor at Notre Dame Law School, where I teach courses in legal history, civil procedure, conflict of laws, and the rule of law.

Christian's book list on the rise of the British Empire

Christian R. Burset Why did Christian love this book?

High-school history classes usually tell students that empires expanded at least partly because of their proponents’ greed. But who, exactly, was trying to get paid, and how?

Empire, Incorporated tells the story of Britain’s imperial expansion by focusing on the corporations that drove it.

If you’re on the fence about reading this book, flip to the “Index of Companies, Corporations, and Societies” at the back: the sheer number of entries makes it clear that we can’t understand Britain’s empire by focusing on governments alone. Imperial rule was much more complicated than that. 

By Philip J. Stern,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"[A] landmark book...[a] bold reframing of the history of the British Empire."
-Caroline Elkins, Foreign Affairs

An award-winning historian places the corporation-more than the Crown-at the heart of British colonialism, arguing that companies built and governed global empire, raising questions about public and private power that were just as troubling four hundred years ago as they are today.

Across four centuries, from Ireland to India, the Americas to Africa and Australia, British colonialism was above all the business of corporations. Corporations conceived, promoted, financed, and governed overseas expansion, making claims over territory and peoples while ensuring that British and colonial…


Book cover of The Politics of Empire at the Accession of George III: The East India Company and the Crisis and Transformation of Britain's Imperial State

Christian R. Burset Author Of An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in British Colonial Policy

From my list on the rise of the British Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a legal historian with a particular interest in eighteenth-century Britain and the United States. My research has investigated the history of arbitration, historical connections between law and politics, and changing attitudes to the rule of law. Since 2018, I’ve been a professor at Notre Dame Law School, where I teach courses in legal history, civil procedure, conflict of laws, and the rule of law.

Christian's book list on the rise of the British Empire

Christian R. Burset Why did Christian love this book?

Why did Britain’s empire take the form it did? It’s easy to assume that it all happened automatically—that Britain “conquered and peopled half the world in a fit of absence of mind,” as the historian J.R. Seeley famously put it.

The Politics of Empire challenges that assumption, reconstructing the political movements and ideologies that led Britain to build a territorial empire in India—as well as the kinds of empire Britain chose not to build. 

By James M. Vaughn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Politics of Empire at the Accession of George III as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An important revisionist history that casts eighteenth-century British politics and imperial expansion in a new light

"An important book . . . . Vaughn has greatly added to our understanding of Britain's empire and politics."-Journal of Modern HIstory

In this bold debut work, historian James M. Vaughn challenges the scholarly consensus that British India and the Second Empire were founded in "a fit of absence of mind." He instead argues that the origins of the Raj and the largest empire of the modern world were rooted in political conflicts and movements in Britain. It was British conservatives who shaped the…


Book cover of Economy of Words: Communicative Imperatives in Central Banks

Daromir Rudnyckyj Author Of Beyond Debt: Islamic Experiments in Global Finance

From my list on how anthropology helps us understand the economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an economic anthropologist and teach classes and conduct research in this area. Economic anthropology is different from economics in that it questions many of the things that economics takes for granted. For example, most economists assume that allocating goods through the market by buying and selling is the best way to organize human communities. Economic anthropologists have shown, in contrast, that many societies have been organized according to other exchange principles. In fact, some of the oldest communities in the world, such as Sumer and Babylon, based their economies around elaborate systems of redistribution, in which every citizen was guaranteed food shares.

Daromir's book list on how anthropology helps us understand the economy

Daromir Rudnyckyj Why did Daromir love this book?

Most of us think of economics and economic policy making the same way that we do about other scientific fields, such as physics or engineering. Like those sciences, economics uses numerical models and mathematical analysis to explain how the world works.

In contrast, this book reveals how economics is a very different kind of science from physics or engineering. Holmes shows how economists and economic policy-makers rely on language as much as, or even more than, numbers to achieve their desired policy goals. 

By Douglas R. Holmes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Markets are artifacts of language - so Douglas R. Holmes argues in this deeply researched look at central banks and the people who run them. Working at the intersection of anthropology, linguistics, and economics, he shows how central bankers have been engaging in communicative experiments that predate the financial crisis and continue to be refined amid its unfolding turmoil - experiments that do not merely describe the economy, but actually create its distinctive features. Holmes examines the New York District Branch of the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, and the Bank of England, among others, and shows…


Book cover of Promoting Global Monetary and Financial Stability: The Bank for International Settlements after Bretton Woods, 1973-2020

Perry Mehrling Author Of Money and Empire: Charles P. Kindleberger and the Dollar System

From my list on the forces making the global money system.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in money (understanding it, not so much making it!) dates from undergraduate days at Harvard, 1977-1981, exactly the time when the dollar system was being put back together under Volcker after the international monetary disorder and domestic stagflation of the 1970s. The previous decade had very much disrupted the personal economics of my family, perhaps in much the same way that the Depression had disrupted Kindleberger’s, and set me off on a lifelong quest to understand why. Forty years and four books later, I feel like I have made some progress, and hope that my book can save readers forty years in their own question to understand money!

Perry's book list on the forces making the global money system

Perry Mehrling Why did Perry love this book?

This book tells the story of the global expansion of the dollar system after the collapse of Bretton Woods from the perspective of the BIS, the global central bank.

Created in 1930, as a last-ditch effort to backstop the sterling system (among other reasons), the story of the BIS runs parallel to the story I tell in my book.  This morning in class I asked my students, most of them international relations majors, if any of their other courses had mentioned the BIS, and not a single hand went up. Hence this recommendation!

Kindleberger worked at the BIS 1939-1940 and might well have made it his permanent home had not World War II intervened, and sent him back home to the Fed.  

By Claudio Borio (editor), Stijn Claessens (editor), Piet Clement (editor) , Robert N. McCauley (editor) , Hyun Song Shin (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Promoting Global Monetary and Financial Stability as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the global organisation of central banks, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has played a significant role in the momentous changes the international monetary and financial system has undergone over the past half century. This book offers a key contribution to understanding these changes. It explores the rise of the emerging market economies, the resulting shifts in the governance of the international financial system, and the role of central bank cooperation in this process. In this truly multidisciplinary effort, scholars from the fields of economics, history, political science and law unravel the most poignant episodes that marked this period,…


Book cover of The Federal Reserve: A New History

Richard Burdekin Author Of China's Monetary Challenges: Past Experiences and Future Prospects

From my list on if you didn’t think money matters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Long before I studied economics, I remember being told in church that “money is the root of all evil.” Much later, when I was interviewing for my first professor-level position, I remember one of the interviewers saying, “I suppose everyone is interested in money.” We are not talking here about a fixation on accumulating money, but rather understanding the profound impact monetary policy has upon everyone in society. These readings show how pervasive the effects of bad monetary policy can be and how important it is to keep track of what is going on. Start with the first two chapters of Friedman’s Money Mischief and see if you can stop! 

Richard's book list on if you didn’t think money matters

Richard Burdekin Why did Richard love this book?

This book not only offers an authoritative account of what the Federal Reserve has been up to since its founding in 1913 but also the rationale for why they did what they did. 

One particularly telling observation is made with respect to Arthur Burns, who was the Federal Reserve Chair during 1970-1978: “Burns always attributed [inflation] to nonmonetary sources.” Paul Volcker’s actions during 1979-1987 demonstrated how the restoration of monetary stability was a sine quo non for ending the 1970s inflationary spiral. No matter how necessary the Federal Reserve’s later massive 2020 monetary expansion may have been, it was imperative that this bulge in money also be unwound. 

A worrying element, however, is that, in the midst of all this, none of today’s Federal Reserve policymakers “ever mentions money.”

By Robert L. Hetzel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An illuminating history of the Fed from its founding through the tumult of 2020.

In The Federal Reserve: A New History, Robert L. Hetzel draws on more than forty years of experience as an economist in the central bank to trace the influences of the Fed on the American economy. Comparing periods in which the Fed stabilized the economy to those when it did the opposite, Hetzel tells the story of a century-long pursuit of monetary rules capable of providing for economic stability.

Recast through this lens and enriched with archival materials, Hetzel's sweeping history offers a new understanding of…


Book cover of Milton Friedman on Economics: Selected Papers

Blaine Stewart Author Of Hourglass Socioeconomics: Vol. 1, Principles & Fundamentals

From my list on reads that are almost economics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm addicted to discovering what lies within the unknown. The biggest mystery, I believe, that baffles us today is not necessarily what lies at the edge of the universe but what lives within this one here. I enjoy attempting to solve large problems and if I can’t compute a result at least understand what the problem suggests. In the realm of the unknown, I'm an expert of nothing. In hours of research and reading and writing, one comes to a point in their process of learning with the realization that it does not matter how much one learns, there will always be that much more, logarithmically multiplied exponentially by the rate of acceleration, to learn.

Blaine's book list on reads that are almost economics

Blaine Stewart Why did Blaine love this book?

Ultimately, I am recommending this book to you because Milton Friedman is one of the founders of Capitalism and winner of the Nobel. I enjoyed reading this book in college for the significant impact it holds. Truly, in a free market society based on survival of the fittest, one is forced to outlive the other. However, a great author will combine the two polar dynamic ideologies into one. While Milton Friedman’s work has historical implications on modern society, it is out of date. 

By Milton Friedman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Milton Friedman on Economics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Upon his death in the autumn of 2006, Milton Friedman was lauded as "the grandmaster of free-market economic theory in the postwar era" by the "New York Times" and "the most influential economist of the second half of the twentieth century" by the "Economist". Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976, Friedman was both a highly respected economist and a prominent public intellectual, the leader of a revolution in economic and political thought that argued robustly in favor of the virtues of free markets and laissez-faire policies. "Milton Friedman on Economics" collects a variety of Friedman's papers on…


Book cover of The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money

L. Randall Wray Author Of Making Money Work for Us: How MMT Can Save America

From my list on helping you understand how money really works.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been studying money since the early 1980s, when my dissertation advisor—the late and great Hyman Minsky—warned me not to do “Genesis”, origins stories of money. But I couldn't resist. I'm one of the founders of Modern Money Theory (MMT), an approach developed over the past three decades that has garnered tens of thousands of followers and earned the hatred of the elite. And, yet, those who know how money really works—or who embrace public policy pursuing the public interest (Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), and even central bankers—have admitted that government cannot run out of money. I’ve written hundreds of academic papers, more blogs, many books, and given hundreds of interviews presenting the MMT alternative.

L.'s book list on helping you understand how money really works

L. Randall Wray Why did L. love this book?

This choice is obvious and tough.

The book is notoriously difficult. However, it ranks with Darwin’s Origins of the Species, and Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity as among the most important and revolutionary books ever.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Keynes changed everything in the same way that Darwin and Einstein had. It will change the way you see the world if you make the substantial effort. Keynes argues that it is the organization of our economy around money that causes unemployment—not high wages or lazy workers.

Here’s my one sentence summary: firms only hire the number of workers they need to produce the output they expect to sell at a profit. If they cannot make money from hiring you, you are unemployed.

By John Maynard Keynes,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Maynard Keynes's 1936 General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money is a perfect example of the global power of critical thinking. A radical reconsideration of some of the founding principles and accepted axioms of classical economics at the time, it provoked a revolution in economic thought and government economic policies across the world. Unsurprisingly, Keynes's closely argued refutation of the then accepted grounds of economics employs all the key critical thinking skills: analysing and evaluating the old theories and their weaknesses; interpreting and clarifying his own fundamental terms and ideas; problem solving; and using creative thinking to go beyond…


Book cover of The Money Illusion: Market Monetarism, the Great Recession, and the Future of Monetary Policy

Helena Chytilová Author Of Economic Literacy and Money Illusion: An Experimental Perspective

From my list on economic reads about money illusion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am associate professor at Prague University of Economics and Business. My passion is to discover blank spaces in the economy, for which standard mainstream economic models have not provided answers yet. I was usually fascinated by biased behavior of individuals, which might lead to substantial implications at aggregate level. This has led me to narrow my focus on behavioral macroeconomics with special emphasis on monetary theory and policy, vibrant field with a great potential. After all, experimental economics seems to be a wonderful tool to examine phenomena, which is hard to grasp or for which there is no available data, such as money illusion, coordination failure, bank runs or Modigliani-Cohn hypothesis. 

Helena's book list on economic reads about money illusion

Helena Chytilová Why did Helena love this book?

I like this book especially due to its ability to illustrate money illusion in a very unconventional context.

Normally, money illusion means that people take nominal variables as proxy for real variables, which leads to suboptimal choice having real effects on the economy and affecting business cycle.

However, to my great surprise this book claims that even economic experts might suffer from some kind of money illusion, because they tend to misinterpret what is happening in the monetary system. This offers a very interesting explanation of recession and suggests that economists have not targeted adequate variables.

Unconventional suggestion to practice nominal GDP (gross domestic product) targeting instead of targeting the money supply is “outcome” of unique author´s vision called market monetarism. Inattention of policymakers to development of nominal GDP is blamed to be the direct cause of recession. 

By Scott Sumner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first book-length work on market monetarism, written by its leading scholar.

Is it possible that the consensus around what caused the 2008 Great Recession is almost entirely wrong? It's happened before. Just as Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz led the economics community in the 1960s to reevaluate its view of what caused the Great Depression, the same may be happening now to our understanding of the first economic crisis of the 21st century.

Foregoing the usual relitigating of problems such as housing markets and banking crises, renowned monetary economist Scott Sumner argues that the Great Recession came down to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in monetary policy, the British Empire, and London?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about monetary policy, the British Empire, and London.

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