Listen to this article
The promise and perils of technology dominate the longlist for this year’s Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award.
The 15 titles include Ashlee Vance’s Elon Musk, a biography of the charismatic entrepreneur behind the Tesla electric car, Digital Gold by Nathaniel Popper, on the development of the virtual currency bitcoin, and The Rise of the Robots, by Martin Ford, about jobs and automation.
Only one technology book has won the prize before — The Everything Store, about Amazon, in 2013. But this year’s tech contenders also include: How Music Got Free, Stephen Witt’s story of how online piracy nearly brought down the recording industry; Losing the Signal, by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff, about the rise and fall of BlackBerry; and Steve LeVine’s investigation of how battery science is advancing, The Powerhouse.
Also in the running this year is Anne-Marie Slaughter’s keenly awaited Unfinished Business, due out next month. Slaughter’s book about how to narrow the gender gap is certain to reignite debate about the alternative vision laid out by Sheryl Sandberg, author of 2013 finalist Lean In.
Economists again feature heavily. Mihir Sharma offers a prescription for India’s revival in Restart. Barry Eichengreen compares the lessons from the Great Depression and the recent global credit crisis in Hall of Mirrors. Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman examine another global crisis — that of climate change — in Climate Shock.
Meanwhile, George Akerlof and Robert Shiller turn their attention to economic trickery and the way free markets allow us to be manipulated and deceived in Phishing for Phools, coming next month. Also in the “debunking” category is management professor Jeffrey Pfeffer’s Leadership BS, due in September, about how to fix the misfiring leadership development industry.
Black Horse Ride, Ivan Fallon’s investigation of how Lloyds, the UK bank, became embroiled in the banking crisis, joins a long line of books spawned by the credit crunch.
Finally, for anyone looking for clues about next year’s prize, Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner lay out how to improve our ability to predict the future in their forthcoming book, Superforecasting.
The judges will select a shortlist of up to six books on September 22. The £30,000 prize will be awarded on November 17. To find out more about the judging panel, rules and past winners, please visit: www.ft.com/bookaward.
|Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception||George Akerlof and Robert Shiller||Princeton University Press|
|Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics (UK)||Richard Thaler||Allen Lane/ Penguin Press|
|Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics (US)||Richard Thaler||W.W. Norton|
|Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping Our Future (UK)||Ashlee Vance||Virgin Books|
|Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (US)||Ashlee Vance||Ecco|
|Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet||Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman||Princeton University Press|
|How Music Got Free: What Happens When an Entire Generation Commits the Same Crime? (UK)||Stephen Witt||The Bodley Head/ Penguin Random House|
|How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, The Turn of the Century, and The Patient Zero of Piracy (US)||Stephen Witt||Viking|
|Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family||Anne-Marie Slaughter||Oneworld Publications/ Random House|
|Restart: The Last Chance for the Indian Economy||Mihir Sharma||Vintage Books/ Random House India|
|The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment (UK)||Martin Ford||Oneworld Publications|
|Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future (US)||Martin Ford||Basic Books|
|Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, The Great Recession, and the Uses - and Misuses - of History||Barry Eichengreen||Oxford University Press|
|The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World||Steve LeVine||Viking|
|Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry||Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff||Flatiron/ Macmillan|
|Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin (UK)||Nathaniel Popper||Allen Lane/ Penguin Press|
|Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money (US)||Nathaniel Popper||Harper/ HarperCollins|
|Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction (US)||Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner|
Crown Publishers/ Penguin Random House
|Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction (UK)||Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner||Random House Books|
|Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time||Jeffrey Pfeffer||HarperBusiness/ HarperCollins|
|Black Horse Ride: The Inside Story of Lloyds and the Banking Crisis||Ivan Fallon||The Robson Press/ Biteback Publishing|