11 books directly related to capitalists 📚

All 11 capitalist books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

J R

By William Gaddis,

Book cover of J R

Why this book?

I read J R the first time in college, and it was the ideal combination of challenging, cynical, illuminating – and hilarious. The novel is a cult classic among well-read Wall Street types, but be warned: it’s 726 pages of almost entirely dialogue, with not much to guide you about who is speaking or where. Once you figure out what Gaddis is up to, the writing becomes immersive and you join a wild ride with the eponymous sixth-grader, who uses the school’s payphone between classes to trade surplus picnic forks, free catalog samples, and eventually controlling stakes in major companies. J R is one of those books you’ll be proud to finish, and never forget.

J R

By William Gaddis,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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 Money Masters of Our Time

Why this book?

The book features the ideas of some of the most successful investors of all time, including Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, and John Bogle. What was it that made these investors so successful, and why are there so few of them?  Money Masters was one of the first in a series of books about the success of some of Wall Street’s greatest investors and it is still relevant today. These books are especially useful in preserving the thinking of great investors after they pass on. The book adds fuel to the fire of the “Efficient Market Theory” which holds that the market is highly efficient and the only way you can beat it is through luck! Try telling that to some of these great investors!

Money Masters of Our Time

By John Train,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An expert reviews the experts - new and updated appraisals of the winning investment strategies of the greatest financial wizards. Money Masters of Our Time is a reappraisal and revision of those money masters who have stood the test of time plus a look at new money masters. Train emphasises the parts of their various business careers that illuminate their investment techniques focusing on notable individuals whose decisions to buy and sell have actually made money grow. How do they reason? Where do they get their information? How much do they depend on fact and how much on psychology? What…

Book cover of The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

Why this book?

This is an authorized biography of Warren Buffett. I am not sure this is the best book to read if you want to learn to invest like Mr. Buffett, but it gives a fascinating view of his life. There are many great lessons we can learn from Mr. Buffett that go far beyond investing, for example about honesty and treasuring one’s reputation. But I thought this book was important for a very different reason: it shows that Warren Buffett is not a perfect human being and that we can also learn from the maestro by not repeating his mistakes. He achieved his unparalleled success in his business life at the expense of his personal life.

I find myself wanting to work 24/7. I bring my laptop home, or start reading The Wall Street Journal on my iPad at the dinner table – and my work life starts pushing out my personal life. This book made me realize that no professional success is worth regretting 20 years down the road that you didn’t spend enough time with your kids. Unfortunately, Buffett has that regret.

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

By Alice Schroeder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The personally revealing and complete biography of the man known everywhere as “The Oracle of Omaha”—for fans of the HBO documentary Becoming Warren Buffett

Here is the book recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, Warren Buffett. The legendary Omaha investor has never written a memoir, but now he has allowed one writer, Alice Schroeder, unprecedented access to explore directly with him and with those closest to him his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies, and wisdom.

Although the media track him constantly, Buffett himself has never told his full life story. His…

Book cover of Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2013

Why this book?

Carol Loomis has edited Buffett’s widely read Letter to Shareholders for many decades. She is also an outstanding journalist who was a writer and editor at Fortune for 60 years. Her book is a compilation of many of her interviews with Buffett over the years, with some additional commentary. As the book subtitle indicates, the book covers “practically everything” in a conversational format so it is sort of a quasi-biography of Buffett.

Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2013

By Carol J. Loomis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tap Dancing to Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Tap Dancing to Work compiles six decades of writing on legendary investor Warren Buffett, from Carol Loomis, the reporter who knows him best.

Warren Buffett built Berkshire Hathaway into something remarkable - and Fortune had a front-row seat

When Fortune writer Carole Loomis first mentioned a little-known Omaha hedge fund manager in a 1966 article, she didn't dream that Warren Buffett would become the world's greatest investor. Nor did she imagine that she and Buffett would be close friends.

As Buffett's fortune and reputation grew, Loomis used her unique insight into his thinking to chronicle his work, writing scores of…


The Warren Buffett Way

By Robert G. Hagstrom,

Book cover of The Warren Buffett Way

Why this book?

While Graham is the pioneer of value investing, there’s no question that his student, employee, and, ultimately, close friend Warren Buffett is its most successful practitioner. Although the essence of their respective approaches is similar, there are some important differences to understand. As the best book about Buffett’s investing style that I’ve encountered thus far, Hagstrom’s The Warren Buffett Way highlights some of Buffett’s most astonishing investment coups and the logic behind them. Upon reading both of those books, the reader will have gained a nuanced understanding of how Buffett took the Graham approach to business valuation/security selection and improved upon it. 

The Warren Buffett Way

By Robert G. Hagstrom,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Warren Buffett is the most famous investor of all time and one of today s most admired business leaders. He became a billionaire and investment sage by looking at companies as businesses rather than prices on a stock screen. The first two editions of The Warren Buffett Way gave investors their first in-depth look at the innovative investment and business strategies behind Buffett s spectacular success. The new edition updates readers on the latest investments by Buffett. And, more importantly, it draws on the new field of behavioral finance to explain how investors can overcome the common obstacles that prevent…

Book cover of Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science That Changed the Course of World War II

Why this book?

Perhaps an inspiration for Batman’s Bruce Wayne and Wayne Manner, Alfred Loomis’ Tuxedo Park mansion in a New York suburb was a hive of scientific innovation in the early days of radio. Inventor of EEG and ultrasound, Alfred Loomis would play a critical role in establishing the United States’ largest research laboratories: MIT Rad Lab (later Lincoln Lab), Los Alamos National Lab, and more which have conducted pioneering scientific innovation for generations. This biography by one of Loomis’ kin provides a unique insight into the development of modern “Big Science” in the United States.

Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science That Changed the Course of World War II

By Jennet Conant,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the fall of 1940, as German bombers flew over London and with America not yet at war, a small team of British scientists on orders from Winston Churchill carried out a daring transatlantic mission. The British unveiled their most valuable military secret in a clandestine meeting with American nuclear physicists at the Tuxedo Park mansion of a mysterious Wall Street tycoon, Alfred Lee Loomis. Powerful, handsome, and enormously wealthy, Loomis had for years led a double life, spending his days brokering huge deals and his weekends working with the world's leading scientists in his deluxe private laboratory that was…

Book cover of The Men Who Loved Trains: The Story of Men Who Battled Greed to Save an Ailing Industry

Why this book?

Loving was a business reporter for Fortune magazine, and among his beats was American railroads. Here he tells the compelling story of not just the failed merger between Pennsylvania and the New York Central, but of how in the late 1970s and 80s a group of dedicated railroad executives managed to salvage the rail freight industry. I know it doesn’t sound like a page-turning book, but it is, as Loving has the gift of writing deft profiles, and he describes the steps that lead to the creation of Conrail (itself not a success story) but then the deregulation of the railway freight industry that allowed companies such as the Burlington Northern (later BNSF) and the Union Pacific to thrive, yet again. Too bad they didn’t manage to save parlor cats.

The Men Who Loved Trains: The Story of Men Who Battled Greed to Save an Ailing Industry

By Rush Loving Jr.,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Men Who Loved Trains as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A saga about one of the oldest and most romantic enterprises in the land - America's railroads - "The Men Who Loved Trains" introduces some of the most dynamic businessmen in America. Here are the chieftains who have run the railroads, including those who set about grabbing power and big salaries for themselves, and others who truly loved the industry. As a journalist and associate editor of "Fortune" magazine who covered the demise of Penn Central and the creation of Conrail, Rush Loving often had a front row seat to the foibles and follies of this group of men. He…

Book cover of Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World

Why this book?

I have always been fascinated by World War I history. But as a financial historian, I was especially enthralled by this dramatic story of the four central bankers who ruled that era. With great insight and humanity, Ahamed shows how the bankers’ well-intended struggle to restore the world to “how it was before the war” tragically doomed the world to another war – and taught a generation of future leaders to make smarter decisions after World War II. An essential prelude to the Roaring Twenties! 

Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World

By Liaquat Ahamed,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

"Erudite, entertaining macroeconomic history of the lead-up to the Great Depression as seen through the careers of the West's principal bankers . . . Spellbinding, insightful and, perhaps most important, timely." -Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"There is terrific prescience to be found in [Lords of Finance's] portrait of times past . . . [A] writer of great verve and erudition, [Ahamed] easily connects the dots between the economic crises that rocked the world during the years his book covers and the fiscal emergencies that beset us today." -The New York Times

It is commonly believed that…

Book cover of Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

Why this book?

There have been newer books on Warren Buffett since this 1995 gem, but this one goes the deepest into the mechanisms that have brought Buffett a $124 billion fortune. Plus it’s the best on Buffett’s quirky personality. I’ve known Roger from our days at The Wall Street Journal together, and it was exciting seeing him research this project over a three-year span – even if Buffett never officially helped him. The finished book made me feel I “knew” Buffett as if he were a long-time neighbor. 

Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

By Roger Lowenstein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since its hardcover publication in August of 1995, Buffett has appeared on the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Newsday and Business Week bestseller lists.

Starting from scratch, simply by picking stocks and companies for investment, Warren Buffett amassed one of the epochal fortunes of the twentieth century—an astounding net worth of $10 billion, and counting. His awesome investment record has made him a cult figure popularly known for his seeming contradictions: a billionaire who has a modest lifestyle, a phenomenally successful investor who eschews the revolving-door trading of modern Wall Street,…

Book cover of Godfather of the Kremlin: The Decline of Russia in the Age of Gangster Capitalism

Why this book?

This biography by Paul Klebnikov, who was assassinated in Moscow in 2004, describes the criminality that accompanied Russia's transition from communism to capitalism as reflected in the life and activities of the most successful new capitalist, Boris Berezovsky. Through the prism of Berezovsky's career, he shows how the wealth created by the combined efforts of an entire people was successfully siphoned off by corrupt insiders to create the fortunes of the members of Russia's new oligarchic ruling class.

Godfather of the Kremlin: The Decline of Russia in the Age of Gangster Capitalism

By Paul Klennikov,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From nuclear superpower to impoverished nation, post-communist Russia has become one of the most corrupt regimes in the world. Paul Klebnikov pieces together the previous decade in Russian history, showing that a major piece of "the decline of Russia' puzzle lies in the meteoric business career of Boris Berezovsky.
Transforming himself from a research scientist to Russia's most successful dealmaker, Berezovsky managed to seize control of Russia's largest auto manufacturer, largest TV network, national airline, and one of the world's biggest oil companies. When Moscow's gangster families battled one another in the Great Mob War of 1993-1994, Berezovsky was in…

The Millionaire Mind

By Thomas J. Stanley,

Book cover of The Millionaire Mind

Why this book?

Millionaires are good at spotting opportunities that others do not see, finding a profitable niche, specializing, and thoroughly enjoying their careers or businesses. Curiously, they also have a knack for investing, be it investing in the equities of public corporations, making wise investments, and being willing to take financial risks given the right return. Perhaps most vital: they are willing to live below their means.

On the pathway to success, most millionaires regard becoming wealthy as the product of key elements. One is social skills: getting along with people, having strong leadership qualities, benefitting from good mentors, and having an ability to sell ideas and products. Also, being honest with all people, having a supportive spouse, and for many, maintaining a strong religious faith.

Other key elements are ignoring the criticism of detractors while maintaining a competitive spirit or personality, wanting to be well-respected, possessing extraordinary energy, and even being physically fit.

Are such people lucky? Generally they tend to be well-disciplined and well organized, which leads to ‘luck.’ And they are willing to work harder than most people!

The Millionaire Mind

By Thomas J. Stanley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Describes the qualities that enabled individuals to become millonaires, and looks at their childhood, education, and choice of vocation.