A major reappraisal, by Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel-prizewinning economist, of the relationship between capitalism and freedom. Despite its manifest failures, the narrative of neoliberalism retains its grip on the public mind and the policies of governments all over the world. By this narrative, less regulation and more ‘animal spirits’ capitalism produces not only greater prosperity, but more freedom for individuals in society – and is therefore morally better. But, in The Road to Freedom Stiglitz asks, whose freedom are we – should we be – thinking about? What happens when one person’s freedom comes at the expense of another’s? Should the freedoms of corporations be allowed to impinge upon those of individuals in the ways they now do? Taking on giants of neoliberalism such as Hayek and Friedman and examining how public opinion is formed, Stiglitz reclaims the language of freedom from the right to show that far from ‘free’ – unregulated – markets promoting growth and enterprise, they in fact reduce it, lessening economic opportunities for majorities and siphoning wealth from the many to the few – both individuals and countries. He shows how neoliberal economics and its implied moral system have impacted our legal and social freedoms in surprising ways, from property and intellectual rights, to education and social media. Stiglitz’s eye, as always, is on how we might create the true human flourishing which should be the great aim of our economic and social system, and offers an alternative to that prevailing today. The Road to Freedom offers a powerful re-evaluation of democracy, economics and what constitutes a good society—and provides a roadmap of how we might achieve it.
-by Simon Shuster A monumental account of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the forging of a leader, The Showman provides an insider’s perspective on the war reshaping our world, based on unprecedented access to Volodymyr Zelensky and the high command in Kyiv. Time correspondent Simon Shuster chronicles the life and leadership of Volodymyr Zelensky from the dressing rooms of his variety shows to the muddy trenches of Ukraine’s war with Russia. Based on four years of reporting; extensive travels with President Zelensky to the front; and dozens of interviews with him, his wife, his friends and enemies, his advisers, ministers and military commanders, Shuster tells the intimate and revealing story of the president’s evolution from a slapstick actor to a symbol of resilience. In their most candid accounts of the war so far, members of Zelensky’s inner circle show how the president’s character changed under the strains of leadership and the horrors he witnessed each day. His wife, First Lady Olena Zelenska, describes her escape from Kyiv with their children, her life on the run, and the tensions that emerged in her marriage as she struggled to return to a meaningful role in the administration. Ukraine’s top military commander, General Valery Zaluzhny, shares the untold story of his fraught relationship with the president and the subsequent consequences. Reflecting on their own regrets and critical decisions, Zelensky and his senior aides open up about the causes of the Russian invasion and how it may have been avoided. They describe with astonishing frankness how their peace talks with Vladimir Putin fell apart and how their faith in the U.S. faltered, both under Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The Showman provides the first inside account of Zelensky’s life amid the invasion, offering a clear-eyed view of his failures to prepare for it and his willingness to silence […]
By turns loved and reviled upon its U.S. publication, Sheila Heti’s “breakthrough novel” is an unabashedly honest and hilarious tour through the unknowable pieces of one woman’s heart and mind. Part literary novel, part self-help manual, and part vivid exploration of the artistic and sexual impulse, How Should a Person Be? earned Heti comparisons to Henry Miller, Joan Didion, Mary McCarthy, and Flaubert, while shocking and exciting readers with its raw, urgent depiction of female friendship and of the shape of our lives now. Irreverent, brilliant, and completely original, Heti challenges, questions, frustrates, and entertains in equal measure. With urgency and candor she asks: What is the most noble way to love? What kind of person should you be?
“Leadership should mean giving control rather than taking control and creating leaders rather than forging followers.” David Marquet, an experienced Navy officer, was used to giving orders. As newly appointed captain of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, he was responsible for more than a hundred sailors, deep in the sea. In this high-stress environment, where there is no margin for error, it was crucial his men did their job and did it well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention in the fleet. Marquet acted like any other captain until, one day, he unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. When he asked why the order wasn’t challenged, the answer was “Because you told me to.” Marquet realised he was leading in a culture of followers, and they were all in danger unless they fundamentally changed the way they did things. That’s when Marquet took matters into his own hands and pushed for leadership at every level. Turn the Ship Around! is the true story of how the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet by challenging the U.S. Navy’s traditional leader-follower approach. Struggling against his own instincts to take control, he instead achieved the vastly more powerful model of giving control. Before long, each member of Marquet’s crew became a leader and assumed responsibility for everything he did, from clerical tasks to crucial combat decisions. The crew became fully engaged, contributing their full intellectual capacity every day, and the Santa Fe started winning awards and promoting a highly disproportionate number of officers to submarine command. No matter your business or position, you can apply Marquet’s radical guidelines to turn your own ship around. The payoff: A workplace where everyone around you is taking responsibility for their actions, where […]
By Ryan Grim A riveting insider account of the progressive movement in Congress centering A.O.C., Rashida Tlaib, Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar―their rise, their efforts to set an ambitious agenda for the country, and their struggle to find their footing within the Democratic party. The Squad is the definitive, must-read book about the most exciting figures defining our new era. The story is urgent, and the stakes are high―for the country and the world―and Grim, an experienced political reporter who covered the Squad before they were the Squad, is uniquely qualified to tell it. When Bernie Sanders, an obscure Vermont senator, launched his quixotic 2016 presidential campaign, few could have seen just how radically the Democratic Party would transform in just a few short years―or that such a transformation could be led by a Bronx bartender volunteering for Bernie in her spare time. The world as it was when that campaign began is almost unrecognizable today, and the Squad has both shaped and been shaped by the seismic social, cultural, and political changes underway. Referred to informally as the Squad, led by the preternaturally politically savvy Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the group laid down a marker for an aggressive left-wing agenda. Grim takes you behind the scenes as that new energy makes impact with Washington, and the Squad spends as much time fending off assaults from Donald Trump―who regularly singled them out and led chants of “send them back” at rallies―as they did battling their own party’s sclerotic leadership. As they’ve grown in office, they’ve had to contend with the eternal question that confronts outsiders who power their way into the inside: Are they still radical organisers willing and able to lead a political revolution?
This is a book about where believers in Effective Altruism (EA), a philosophy for maximising the utility a person has, are coming from. If you can earn substantial money by working in finance, runs the argument, then rather than (for example) training as a doctor and benefitting society directly, you should earn the cash and then donate it to hire mutiple doctors. The theory: make safe, reliable money selling shoves and then use it for good works. Was it all just a confidence game of epic proportions? In 2021 cryptocurrency went mainstream. Giant investment funds were buying it; celebrities like Tom Brady endorsed it; and TV ads hailed it as the future of money. Hardly anyone knew how it worked—but why bother with the particulars when everyone was making a fortune from Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, or some other bizarrely named “digital asset”? As he observed this frenzy, Bloomberg investigative reporter, Zeke Faux, had a nagging feeling: Was it all just a confidence game of epic proportions? What started as curiosity—with a dash of FOMO—would morph into a two-year, globe-spanning quest to understand the wizards behind the world’s new financial machinery. Faux’s investigation would lead him to a schlubby, frizzy-haired twenty-nine-year-old named Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF for short) and a host of other crypto scammers, utopians, and overnight billionaires. Faux follows the trail to a luxury resort in the Bahamas, where SBF boldly declares that he will use his crypto fortune to save the world. Faux talks his way onto the yacht of a former child actor turned crypto impresario and gains access to “ApeFest,” an elite party headlined by Snoop Dogg, by purchasing a $20,000 image of a cartoon monkey. In El Salvador, Faux learns what happens when a country wagers its treasury on Bitcoin, and in the Philippines, he stumbles […]
How to Buy an Island is the definitive account of the Barclay brothers, charting their incredible journey to power and fortune. Author Jane Martinson unravels previously-buried stories from the brothers’ six-decade long reign at the peak of British business: from their close association with Margaret Thatcher and the massive wealth they garnered from it; to their audacious and controversial acquisition of The Telegraph newspaper; to the scandalous inside story of their public fallout, a dispute mired in succession, betrayal, espionage and inheritance which ultimately left the family split in two. But this is not just a biography of two of Britain’s strangest billionaires. This is the story of a world that would become Brexit Britain, with its tightly enmeshed webs of influence between capitalism, politics and the media. The lives of the brothers reveal much about post-war Britain and a new, ruthless way of doing business which has proved remarkably resilient – they built their wealth in the UK, but retained it by siphoning the profits from their network of private companies to offshore entities in a purposefully complicated corporate web. How To Buy An Island is an examination of politics, corruption, deception, power and money over the last 70 years of British history – not just the story of two impoverished children-turned-billionaire-knights-of-the-empire, but a story of humanity, its limitations and, ultimately, its power to change the world.
by Michael Lewis From the author of The Big Short and MoneyBall comes the story of FTX’s spectacular collapse and the enigmatic founder at its centre. When Michael Lewis first met him, Sam Bankman-Fried was the world’s youngest billionaire and crypto’s Gatsby. CEOs, celebrities and leaders of small countries all vied for his time and cash after he catapulted, practically overnight, onto the Forbes billionaire list. Who was this rumpled guy in cargo shorts and limp white socks, whose eyes twitched across Zoom meetings as he played video games on the side? In Going Infinite, Michael Lewis sets out to answer this question, taking readers into the mind of Bankman-Fried, whose rise and fall offers an education in high-frequency trading, cryptocurrencies, philanthropy, bankruptcy and the justice system. Both psychological portrait and financial roller-coaster ride, Going Infinite is Michael Lewis at the top of his game, tracing the mind-bending trajectory of a character who never liked the rules and was allowed to live by his own — until it all came undone. And just like Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos, it was all a bit too good to be true.
Over the last decade, author and activist Astra Taylor has helped shift the national conversation on topics including technology, inequality, indebtedness, and democracy. The essays collected here reveal the range and depth of her thinking, with Taylor tackling the rising popularity of socialism, the problem of automation, the politics of listening, the possibility of rights for the natural and non-human world, the future of the university, the temporal challenge of climate catastrophe, and more. Addressing some of the most pressing social problems of our day, Taylor invites us to imagine how things could be different while never losing sight of the strategic question of how change actually happens. Curious and searching, these historically informed and hopeful essays are as engaging as they are challenging and as urgent as they are timeless. Taylor ‘s unique philosophical style has a political edge that speaks directly to the growing conviction that a radical transformation of our economy and society is required.
-Mark Leonard In the three decades since the end of the Cold War, global leaders have been integrating the world’s economy, transport and communications, breaking down borders in the hope of making war impossible. In doing so, they have unwittingly created a formidable arsenal of weapons for new kinds of conflict and the motivation to keep fighting. Troublingly, we are now seeing rising conflict at every level, from individuals on social media all the way up to nation-states in entrenched stand-offs. The past decade has seen a new antagonism between the US and China; an inability to co-operate on global issues such as climate change or pandemic response; and a breakdown in the distinction between war and peace, as overseas troops are replaced by sanctions, cyberwar and the threat of large migrant flows. As a leading authority on international relations, Mark Leonard has been inside many of the rooms where our futures, at every level of society, are being decided – from Facebook HQ and facial-recognition labs in China to presidential palaces and remote military installations.