strategy and business


Mariana Mazzucato, The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy (Allen Lane, 2018)

Kyle Harper, The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire (Princeton University Press, 2017)

Adam Tooze, Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World (Viking, 2018)


TEN years ago, the global financial crisis entered its most intense phase. The anniversary finds the world less engaged in sober reflection than standing dazed by the history that has unfolded since. Still, it is as good an excuse as any to muse on how the world arrived at this bewildering geopolitical moment. This year’s three best business books on economics — one short theoretical work and two magisterial histories (one ancient, one recent) — make excellent accompaniments to such efforts.

A Theory of Value

An inquiry into the nature of value in an economy might not seem an obvious place to begin. Yet The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in by Mariana Mazzucato, helps establish the intellectual roots of the odd history of the past decade. Mazzucato, an economist at University College London, made a splash in 2011 with the publication of which examined the critical role governments play in the development of new technologies. After reprising some arguments from that book, ultimately goes much further, building toward a broad and intriguing critique of the global economy.

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