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Economics books in 2017. By The Enlightened Economist


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Here is my annual round up of titles that look interesting from the various spring catalogues (I’ve noted a few of these in separate posts before but it’s always handy to gather them together).

There are quite a few enticing titles in the Princeton University Press one (my own publisher). Cass Sunstein has #republic, about democracy in the social media age, Jean Tirole’s Economics for the Common Good will be out in English, and Walter Scheidel’s The Great Leveler looks intriguing – it seems to take the Piketty-esque line that violent episodes are needed to equalise society, looking at the long sweep of history since the stone age. I also like the look of Erika Rappaport’s A Thirst for Empire: How Tea Shaped The Modern World (and I thought it was cotton…..)                       

 Speaking of Piketty, Harvard University Press has After Piketty edited by Heather Boushey, Brad DeLong and Marshall Steinbaum. Philosopher Pascal Bruckner has a book called The Wisdom of Money, somewhat contrarian in our anti-capitalist times. Mark Granovetter’s Society and Economy looks like a must-read. I’m intrigued by Barak Rishman’s Stateless Commerce: The Diamond Network and the Persistence of Relational Exchange – an exploration of a surviving ethnic trading network.

           From MIT Press the highlights include Peter Temin’s The Vanishing Middle Class, which I blogged about after seeing him present on it in September; and alongside that Vaclav Smil’s latest, Energy and Civilisation: A History. Other titles of interest include Tap: Unlocking the Mobile Economy by Anindya Ghose; Paid: Tales of Dongles, Checks, and Other Money Stuff, edited by Bill Maurer and Lana Swart; Information and Society by Michael Buckland; The Death of Public Knowledge edited by Aaron Davis; and Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing by Marie Hicks.

There’s also what looks like a lovely book, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, “Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds.” The blurb says, “In our era of synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, robotics, and climate engineering, this edition of Frankenstein
will resonate forcefully for readers with a background or interest in science and engineering, and anyone intrigued by the fundamental questions of creativity and responsibility. This edition of Frankenstein pairs the original 1818 version of the manuscript—meticulously line-edited and amended by Charles E. Robinson, one of the world’s preeminent authorities on the text—with annotations and essays by leading scholars exploring the social and ethical aspects of scientific creativity raised by this remarkable story.”

     Over at Yale University Press, there’s Niall Kishtainy’s A Little History of Economics; Zeynep Tufecki’s Twitter and Teargas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest; Stephen King’s Grave New World: The End of Globalization and the Return of Economic Conflict; Dieter Helm’s Burn Out: The End Game for Fossil Fuels; and Tom Hazlett’s  (about wireless technology).

 Oxford University Press offers by editors Kevin O’Rourke and Jeffrey Williamson The Spread of Modern Industry to the Periphery since 1871. There’s one I definitely want to read, Paul de Grauwe’s The Limits of the Market: The Pendulum Between Government and Market. I have a chapter myself in National Wealth: What is Missing and Why it Matters, edited by Kirk Hamilton and Cameron Hepburn, which is out later in the year. Matt Andrews, Lant Pritchett and Michael Woolcock are the authors of Building State Capability

.One that looks very timely from Cambridge University Press is Escape from Democracy: The role of experts and the public in economic policy, by David Levy and Sandra Peart. In memory of the much-missed Suzanne Scotchmer is On The Shoulders of Giants, edited by Stephen Maurer.

Columbia University Press has an intersting mix. One that jumps out for me is Paul Milgrom’s DIscovering Prices: Auction Design in Markets with Complex Constraints. Also Vera Zamagni’s An Economic History of Europe Since 1700. Josh Lauer’s Creditworthy is intriguing for its subtitle: A History of Consumer Surveillance and Financial Identity in America.

One of the new titles from Polity Press will be a must-read for me, Lorenzo Fioramonti’s The World After GDP. Steve Keen has Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis? (The blurb doesn’t tell me the answer.) There’s also The Ascendancy of FInance from Joseph Vogl, and Another Economy is Possible by Manuel Castells and others. I’m also quite taken by The Invention of Celebrity by Antoine Lilti – in the Enlightenment, apparently.

 Moving on from the university presses…

From Norton’s Spring catalogue comes the latest from Andrew McAfee and Erik Bryjolfosson, Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing the Digital Revolution.

Profile Books has There and Back Again: The world of things and the end of globalisation by Finbarr Livesey (which appears to have alternative titles); and, with The Economist, Bill Emmott’s The Fate of the West and Dan Franklin’s Megatech: Technology in 2050. From Little, Brown I like the look of Rebel Cities: Paris, London and New York in the Age of Revolution by Michael Rapport.

In its various imprints, Penguin has Pankaj Mishra’s Age of Anger; William Cohan’s Why Wall Street Matters; Daniel Dennett’s From Bacteria to Bach and Back; Chris Renwick’s Bread for All: The Origins of the Welfare State; Klaus Schwab’s The Fourth Industrial Revolution; Daniel Levitin’s A Field Guide to Lies and Statistics: A Neuroscientist on How to Make Sense of a Complex World; and by Adam Lashinski, Wild Ride: Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination.

From Verso, The Production of Money by Ann Pettifor and In the Long Run We Are All Daed: Keynesianism, Political Economy and Revolution  by Geoff P Mann.

No doubt there are many I’ve missed – I’ll be happy to update it with any forthcoming books publishers or authors (or more alert readers) point out to me.

 Source: The Enlighted Economist, Posted on January 1, 2017


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