The best books on Historical Change and Economic Ideology, recommended by Thomas Piketty

Throughout history, social and economic inequalities have been fueled and justified by different ideologies. French economist Thomas Piketty’s latest book, Capital and Ideology, looks at the advent and fall of these ideologies, and how they could evolve in the future. He recommends five great books to better understand these complex and always-evolving ideas, and their consequences for the world.

The Economics of Coronavirus: A Reading List, recommended by Ricardo Reis

As we deal with the economic fallout of coronavirus, what lessons can economic theory and economic history teach us as we navigate the months ahead? Ricardo Reis, professor of economics at the London School of Economics—and consultant to both the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve—recommends four books and one article to help us think through the economic challenges posed by Covid-19.

The best books on Global History, recommended by Maxine Berg

From the Indian cottons that were traded around Asia and Africa in the Middle Ages, to the global dominance of the blue-and-white pottery of Jingdezhen, historian Maxine Berg introduces five books that transformed our understanding of the past millennium and are significant milestones in the development of the vibrant field of global history.

The best books on The Great Divergence, recommended by Davis Kedrosky

After a slow start, why did northwest Europe move ahead of the rest of the world in the early modern period and establish an economic dominance whose effects are felt to this day? Davis Kedrosky, a student at Berkeley and publisher of the economic history newsletter, Great Transformations, introduces ‘the Great Divergence’ and suggests some books that get to the heart of the question.

Peter Temin on An Economic Historian’s Favourite Books

Distinguished economic historian, Peter Temin, talks us through some of his favourite books. His own latest book, The Vanishing Middle Class, charts America’s regression towards a pre-industrial society: with many poor, a few rich, and not much in between.

The best books on Monetary Policy, recommended by Lars Christensen

Monetary policy isn’t just about setting interest rates and if we think about it in those terms, we’ll never really understand it, says Danish economist Lars Christensen. Here, he recommends books to better understand monetary policy, and explains why reading about the past is so important for avoiding mistakes in the future.

The best books on Industrial Revolution, recommended by Sheilagh Ogilvie

The Industrial Revolution transformed the world forever by enabling self-perpetuating economic growth. But historians are still at odds about why the industrial revolution happened where it did and when it did. Here, Sheilagh Ogilvie, Chichele Professor of Economic History at All Souls College, Oxford, guides us through the debates and why they are still relevant today.

The best books on The Dutch Golden Age, recommended by Maarten Prak

The Netherlands witnessed a flourishing in the late 16th and first half of the 17th century, leading the world in technology, commerce and the arts, particularly painting. Historian Maarten Prak recommends five books to help you understand why the Dutch Golden Age saw the invention of stock exchanges and why it produced Rembrandt, too.

The Best Books on the Classical Economists, recommended by Brad DeLong

They were an eclectic bunch, including, among others, a stock market speculator, a moral philosopher, a cleric, a lawyer and a journalist. From the late-18th to the mid-19th century, they provided the first systematic explanations of how economies work, where they fail and how they might be made to work better. Here, Brad DeLong, a professor of economics at UC Berkeley, introduces the classical economists, and suggests books to read to learn more about them and what they were trying to achieve.

The best books on Market Competition, recommended by Jason Furman

Despite the large number of brands, most Americans buy their beer from just two companies. Consumer choice in the new digital economy is hardly better. Economist Jason Furman, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under Barack Obama and now a professor at Harvard, recommends books to better understand market competition.

The best books on The Slave Trade, recommended by William A. Pettigrew

In the 17th and 18th century millions of Africans were shipped across the Atlantic to the Americas as slaves. This trade took place at the same time as ‘liberal’ ideas about the importance of human freedom took root in Great Britain and North America. Here, historian William A. Pettigrew recommends five books to help understand the slave trade, how it was established, why it flourished and why it was eventually abolished.

The best books on Economic Nationalism, recommended by Fredrik Erixon

Economic nationalism is more than just protectionism, it is rooted in a view of the national economy as a unique national phenomenon that needs protecting. As economist Fredrik Erixon explains, its roots are to be found as much in the progressive nationalism of Woodrow Wilson as they are in 19th century Prussia or the mercantilism of 17th century Europe.

The best books on Neoliberalism, recommended by Gary Gerstle

Neoliberalism is, arguably, the dominant political and economic ideology of the Western world, although its dominance is contested and the ills of the world are often laid at its door. Here Cambridge historian Gary Gerstle discusses five books that will help you understand neoliberalism’s origins, its ambitions and why it has been supported and opposed with such partisanship.