Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members


The year 2020 perceived largely by many as a cursed year is thankfully about to end and the customary year ender annual awards are out one by one. Financial Times and McKinsey have also announced the shortlisted books for their Best Business Book of the Year award. Here are their top six books list put together by Inc that presents some of the world’s most acclaimed and thought-provoking business reads of the year.

Roula Khalaf, FT editor, elaborated that the shortlisted books address critical business issues, including future of work and significance of technology in enjoyable, original and provocative ways. So, take your pick and greet the chill in the wind with a thoughtful read.

  1. Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism by Anne Case and Angus Deaton

The American dream comprises of a picture that is rosier for every new generation. But in 2015, Angus Deaton, the Nobel prize winning economist and Anne Case, fellow economist, found out that the story of American progress had stalled by rising deaths and declining life expectancy among working-class whites.

These “deaths of despair” are caused by substance abuse or suicide, and this best-selling book sheds light on what has gone amiss and seeks to find actionable solutions that can be practically adopted to mitigate the situation.

  1. No Filter by Sarah Frier

“It’s so much more than a business story; it’s a story about culture, fame, and, ultimately, human connection… the most entertaining book I’ve read in years.” – Taylor Lorenz

If you want to read a behind the scenes account of how Silicon Valley actually works in reality, then this is the book for you. Sarah Frier, a Bloomberg reporter, tells an intriguing inside story of the social media giant Instagram, by masterfully combining explosive storytelling with in-depth research. The book delves deep into how Instagram has affected people lives, no matter if they use the app or not.

  1. No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer

“The insights in this book are invaluable to anyone trying to create and sustain organizational culture” – Satya Nadella

If you are looking a lesson in building a new age corporate culture that helps enterprises to thrive, then this is your pick. Reed Hastings, the Netflix CEO and Erin Meyer, a business school professor come together to delve deep into the heart of the unique work culture at Netflix and put forth a fascinating read.

  1. Reimagining Capitalism: How Business Can Save the World by Rebecca Henderson

Global businesses today more than ever need to find out ways to grow without hurting the ecosystem. The author, Rebecca Henderson, a Harvard professor, tries to outline how companies can keep making profit while reconciling with a healthier planet and healthier society.

  1. If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future by Jill Lepore

The author Jill Lepore takes us back to the alleys of forgotten history by digging out Simulmatics, a company from the Cold War era. The company is said to have disordered knowledge and destabilized politics by manipulating consumers and targeting voters on the basis of mined data, decades ago. Interestingly, the book presages many problems faced by Silicon Valley giants today. 

  1. A World Without Work by Daniel Susskind

“[The book] should be required reading for any potential presidential candidate thinking about the economy of the future.”  -The New York Times

If ascent of technology and the new division of labor between man and machine is on your mind, then you must read this book. The machines are about to take over a lion-share of human jobs – will that be good for humans or shall we be living a nightmare? Susskind explores both sides of the story and lays out the possible challenges that humans might have to face due to the rise of machines.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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