The shortlist is:

China Shakes the World
By James Kynge
Houghton Mifflin

An analysis of China that recognises the manifold strengths and weaknesses of an industrialising power.

The critics said: ‘Travels to Germany, Italy and America to talk to communities forced into change as a result of China’s rise. He also weaves in stories of Chinese entrepreneurs who disobeyed national edicts.’ (The Economist)

The Long Tail
By Chris Anderson

Anderson argues that the future of business lies in ‘misses’, once seen as the ‘long tail’ of the traditional demand curve.

The critics said: ‘Anderson has a “theory of everything”. This turns out to be a theory of entertainment, books and the media in general but it is a very good theory, as far as it goes.’ (Financial Times)

Small Giants
By Bo Burlingham

A view from inside 14 privately held US companies that chose to be great instead of big.

The critics said: ‘Champions the unusual proposition that privately held companies should resist expansion. It celebrates American small-town cosiness as embodied in corporate form but its quietly subversive message is relevant to entrepreneurs everywhere.’ (FT)

The Wal-Mart effect
By Charles Fishman
Penguin Press

Inside Wal-Mart’s wall of secrecy, with the first in-depth access to former executives.

The critics said: ‘Opts for a personal approach, sitting with the supplier who went broke because Wal-Mart forced prices down,and makes interesting points such as the observation that “Wal-Mart isn’t subject to market forces because it’s creating them.’ ” (FT)

The Box
By Marc Levinson
Princeton University Press

How entrepreneur Malcolm McLean turned containerisation into a huge industry that slashed the cost of transporting goods around the world.

The critics said: ‘Levinson makes a strong case that it was McLean’s thinking that led to modern-day containerisation …Without the container, there would be no globalisation.’ (The Economist)

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